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Old 04-10-2007, 09:09 AM   #1
kitkat
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Tell me the truth now.
How many of you do gauge swatches for your socks? Or is the sock itself in fact your gauge swatch?

I had a little sock issue this past weekend. I was using Socks that Rock (compliments of feministmama from a year or so back) and was trying something new. I normally do a ribbing throughout the sock.....I have friends who do ribbing at the top then switch to stockinette....boring but fast and with STR, who needs a pattern, the yarn is so pretty without it!. Well, something went awry, and in hindsite, I think it was the heel - probably the rest would have been ok....anyway I ripped it all out. When I do-over - I will cast on with the same amount (56) on the same needles (Inox size 2's) as the top part was fine......

So I posted a question on the socknitters list. Many of the responses I received had to do with gauge and math and all those things that make my head swim......

So....back to the original question - do you swatch for socks????
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:15 AM   #2
ReneeKnits
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Nope, never. But, I haven't made many socks so maybe I've just been lucky.

I do make gauge swatches for everything else I knit though.
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:18 AM   #3
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The one time I did, the sock ended up being 3 times wider than it needed to be! I could fit both of my hands inside of it!
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:21 AM   #4
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I did on the last pair I knit, because I'd never used actual sock yarn and size 2 needles. I'm glad I did, because my guesstimate at my gauge was way off. On the other hand, I didn't wash/block the swatch, because I was afraid I'd run out of yarn. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it doesn't shrink or grow when it hits the water. I've never had that happen yet, but I've heard horror stories about it.

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Old 04-10-2007, 09:22 AM   #5
Miss Moosey
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I do gauge swatches, but I don't spend hours going up and down in needle sizes trying to make it perfect; I use it as a rough guide.

I figure if my socks come out too big (which is rare, as I have enormous feet), I can give them to people with bigger feet. And if they come out too small I can give them to my mom (who has small feet). And if they come out really really really small I can give them to one of my younger students!

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Old 04-10-2007, 09:31 AM   #6
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I usually do simply because I'm a tight knitter, but I've learned that since I usually have to go up about two needle sizes to get gauge, I just automatically do that.

That being said, however, I still think it's a good idea to do them. My tension has started to loosen, I believe, which made my most recent sock a bit too big around (not length, since I tried on as I went). I'm frogging the sock and doing them on the size needle recommended in the pattern.

I also have not found that my socks shrink. It's probably the cotton blend I use. Although I would be willing to bet that wool socks would shrink.
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:32 AM   #7
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always. i love socks, but i'm picky about them and want them to fit correctly.


The pair that i'm working on now, i'm on my third needle size. 3 for the calf, 2 for the ankle, and 1 for the feet. I got gage on size 2, but wanted the calf bigger. after finishing the ankle, i slipped my foot inside, decided it wasn't tight enough across the foot and switched to size 1.
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:34 AM   #8
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Interesting, ladies! Luckily with a sock its pretty easy to tell if its off or not. Easy to try on too!

I am still a relative sock newby - so am working on figuring out what works for me best. I have done 3 different heels now - and like the first one I learned the best....now that I have done several pairs, I can see what the differences are the relationships between the numbers.....so I can tailor patterns to myself.
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:41 AM   #9
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I admit that I never do a gauge swatch. I've always been confused about the math, and have just never bothered. So far, my socks have been fine, and I've never knitted any sweaters, or anything that needed to fit someone, so it has never mattered too much.
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:57 AM   #10
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If you learn to do toe up socks, you can easily try on as you go and make size modifications.
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