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A Working Example of: Size Does Matter

8 February 2008

We had back to back snow days here on Wednesday and Thursday, and there is nothing that cramps my style more than snow days. Case in point: When Impera was in kindergarten, and North Carolina had record snowfall (22 inches overnight), meaning that schools were cancelled for a week, I called on the third day and offered to drive her in even if buses weren’t running.

So today, instead of doing work/catching up on things, I took some pictures for you. (Because once I’m in the time-wasting groove, it takes more than a small concern at the back of my mind to get me back to work. Especially on a Friday!)

I’ve been swatching that Kureyon sock yarn I bought for Christmas. I don’t know why I’m obsessing over size with this particular yarn (I rarely do more than half of a recommended swatch just to get a general idea of which size I should follow the directions for). If they don’t fit me, they’ll fit someone else, so it isn’t a wastefulness issue. It’s not that I adore this colorway so much that I wouldn’t want to share, either.

Katie J asked me to share my opinion about this yarn as I knit with it. And there are a few things I can already say. First, this is Kureyon, so their definition of “spun” is pretty loose — some of the sections seem just like tufts of wool to me — and despite this being billed as sock yarn, the thickness of the yarn is uneven, which makes for a great Clapotis shawl (which I knit out of the regular Kureyon a couple of years ago), but I’m not so sure about socks. I’m willing to make “artsy” socks, though, so once these are completed I’ll revisit the unevenness issue.

Second, the yarn feels very waxy/sticky as I knit with it — this may be to protect the unspunness of it from unraveling too much during the knitting process. I washed the swatches and that seems to have removed the waxiness. (I have never washed swatches, either; usually I undo the swatch and incorporate it into the project, but I wanted to know if the waxiness remained.)

Third, I’m a bit worried that the variegation is done on too large a repeat for socks. Heck, in making two swatches, I mostly had only one color (teal) show up. We’ll see once a first sock is complete, I suppose.

I first made the swatch with size 1 needles, which is the size suggested in the pattern I’m using. I didn’t get a 2″ x 4″ swatch, even when washed, blocked, and stretched a bit (1.5 x 3.25). I then tried size 2 needles, and that was more in the ballpark (1.75 x 3.75). (And for those few who would know to wonder: yes, the Kureyon gives the same yardage per weight as the Garnstudio yarn.) So I suppose I should go with the size 2’s, even though I really like the fabric knit from the size 1’s better.

Of course, the sock is just a (k2 p2) ribbing down the entire length, so I *could* use the 1’s and just increase the number of stitches I cast on. But after my overzealous sizing for the Consort’s winter hat (it really is too big — he wears a baseball cap over it to keep it on his head), I don’t trust myself.

We’ll see.

And a last picture to give you non-knitters an idea about the thickness of the needles I’m talking about (yep, fishing for amazement and awe here):

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