Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Setback

The swatch it a lie - and my foot lies too.

I measured my foot five, six times - each time the circumference was 9 - 9.5 inches depending on whether I was measuring at the ball of my foot, or slightly back from that - trying to use the pictures and procedures outlined by Cat Bordhi and Wendy D Johnson.

This would mean that I should knit my sock at a circumference of 8 or 8.25 inches, right? Swatching had me go down several needle sizes from that recommended for the yarn to get 8 st/inch. The stitch count is 66, which would put it right between 8 and 8.25 inches.

I measured the stitches in several places and I was getting 16 st/2 inches—or 8 st/inch.

As I progressed, it seemed too wide. I, of course, continued anyway as any good knitter in denial would do. I am about 4 inches into the foot going from the toe up, but it still seemed too wide, I tried it on and – guess what?!!!!

I did all the right things.

I did a circular swatch. I cast on 36 stitches, joined in the round and started with 3.00mm needles.  Knit an inch - measured, got 7st/inch.  Went down to 2.75mm for an inch, still not right. At 2.5 mm, I got the gauge for the pattern I was using as my guide – 8 st/inch.

I measured my foot multiple times over the last week – multiple times on different days at different times of the day -- because (a) I kept forgetting to write it down and (b) I wanted to be very sure!  At the ball of my foot where my big toe joins my foot and my foot is widest,  it measured in the 9.5” area of the tape measure, every time.  The area at the beginning of the instep, just past the ball part, measured 9". At 8 st/inch with a cast on of 66 stitches, my sock should be 8.25” - which should be enough negative ease to fit nicely. But it doesn’t. See?

Toe Up Socks 009
(you can see the gaps on either side. :( I put a note on the picture in flickr)

So, I measured my feet again and – guess what I get? 8.5 - 9 inches.

How is it possible that my feet could lose half an inch or more in a day?? ACKKKK! The sock circumference is about the same as the circumference as my foot rather than being 10% smaller for a snug fit. Double AACKKK!

The sock pattern I was using to determine cast-on, stitch count, etc., showed numbers for 4 sizes – small, med, large, x-large. Based on my foot size (women’s 11W), I should have been making size large. However, based on stitch count and circumference numbers -- which I had measured multiple times! -- I went with the medium size. Apparently, this is the only area in my life where I am SMALL in something!

I am very sad.  I really wanted to finish these during the Knitting Olympics. Starting over will not bode well for a 2/28 finale!

Ah well.  Better to have socks that fit than to have a sniff Gold sniff medal and sniff, sniff Bobicus Maximus medals for socks and single skeins!

A rippin’ I will go.  :(


Ev said...

One of the things I learned in Cat's last book "Insouciant Sock Knitters" is that most people make their socks with too many stitches. I usually knit a 64 st sock; for the test socks from this book, I went down to 54 ts! And, so far, they're fitting quite well.

That book may be one to check out. I do love your yarn, though!

Julie McC. said...

Proof once again, swatches always lie. Except when they don't.

Maybe you could make short socks?

trek said...

Happens to the best athletes. Better to have socks that make you happy and feel right on your feet...