Monday, February 27, 2006

Lessons Learned

Think Pink!

1. When the first line of a pattern is "string 450 glass beads onto yarn," don't expect to have too much fun. Stringing the beads was a pain. Pushing the beads down the yarn as I knit was more of a pain.

2. When a pattern specifies a certain bead size and the store doesn't carry that bead size, buying a different size believing that it is "close enough" is not a good idea. I had trouble stringing my beads and I think the beads look a little small on the sock. Also, some of the beads like to shift places.

3. When a you have pretty beads that are clear with colored holes, don't expect that color to stay after pushing the beads down the yarn a lot. I strung blue beads and pink beads on my yarn. The blue beads' color lined the holes of the beads. The pink beads were solid colored. I ended up knitting with clear beads and pink beads. The clear beads don't show up as well. I wonder if I should just string pink beads onto the second sock?

4. When you have yarn that is half blue and half pink, and you want it to appear more pink than blue, the yarn is going to appear more blue than pink. The yarn is Lorna's Laces Baby Stripe courtesy of Jennifer. (Thanks Jennifer!) I was actually hoping that this yarn would pool into blue and pink blotches. No such luck. Perfect stripes.

5. When you think there is an error in the pattern, and you can't get an immediate response from the designer, just make something up. There are a couple of errors in the heel instructions. The errors are probably quite obvious to any experienced sock knitter, and because of my VAST experience* with socks, I felt confident making up instructions for the heel. To be fair, the designer did send me the pattern corrections in a reasonable amount of time, but I was too impatient. I wanted an instant answer.

6. When a pattern says "knit until sock is 0.5 inches less than desired length," and you have no idea what the desired length is, ask for help on your blog. Using this size chart, I'm guessing that SG's shoe size is 11 or 12. Using this shoe size to foot size chart, I'm estimating that SG's foot is 7 to 7.33 inches long. But how do I translate this information to a "desired length?" Should the sock be 7 inches long? 6.5 inches long? 6 inches long? Please help me!

* for those who don't know, my "vast experience" with socks is pretty much nonexistent.


Rachel said...

Oh dear. Your co-president of the Apathetic Sock Knitters Club wonders if she is in for a similarly lackluster sock-knitting experience. 'Twould be a shame after the way I've built it up in my head.

I have to say, I think those socks look pretty cute, and I'm sure it's only because they don't match your vision that you're dissatisfied with them. I think the subtlety of the beads makes them very sweet and delicate.

I can't really advise on the length thing, as my sock-knitting experience makes you look like a Master Socker in comparison.

Stephanie said...

I kind of like my socks longish so I usually knit about 7 inches and then start the heel flap.

helen said...

i (in my own 'vast' experience *rolls eyes*) have heard that socks should be 10% smaller every which way? because they need to stretch a tad for a snug fit. i am debating this for my current sock-pal knitting. her foot length is 7.25. so how long should i knit it? 7? don't want it toooo small though. grrrr. i have enough trouble making socks for myself. why am i making socks for someone else??

Karen said...

I took a look at that site, and not to make things more complicated, but my son is 5, and his sizing is under the 6-7 year olds. Sigh. I just have a big kid.

ANYWAYS, I would make the sock 7.5 inches total, just in case and then when she grows some more, they'll still fit. So, you're going to knit the foot to 7 inches, then do the decreases for the toe.

Jennifer said...

I think Karen's comment makes a lot of sense. Making the socks a tad on the big side will be appreciated as kid feet grow rather quickly.

Kirsti said...

You could also figure it out this way: look at how many rows the toe decreases are done over. Calculate how long this will be. Then subtract that from the foot length - and aim for just under that measurement for the rest of the sock.

I do think the beads (and the sock itself!) look just lovely, even if the colours aren't working out how you intended!

Terby said...

I like my socks pretty fitted, so I knit a total length that is approximately 2 inches shorter than my foot. My preferred toe is about 1.75 inches of knitting. I'd err on the larger side, and knit 7 inches of sock before the decreases. She can always grow into it.

The beads are cute. I was pretty ambivalent about socks until I found a pattern and yarn combo I really liked. Now I think they're a fun way to try different techniques on a small scale, and I really like the way handknit socks feel.

janna said...

The socks are so pretty - I love the yarn, and might be convinced that the beads are absolutely necessary for the look, too! And in my sock vast experience (two pairs), I think the socks should be the same lenght as the foot. My first pair were longer than my feet - very comfy, but impossible to jam into my clogs!

knit chick said...

Typically, for the adult socks that I've knit, the pattern usually tells you to knit the foot until it's about 2-2.5" of the desired length. Since she's still growing, I wouldn't worry too much if it was a little longer.

She's going to love those socks. Don't forget to show her that you really were making a sleeve. ;)