size does matter

In this case, we’re talking about knitting needles and yarn weight.  [Sorry folks if I lead you to believe this was going to be a dirty post.  🙂 ]   Back in the day when I worked at a craft store, I taught a few people how to knit (and a couple of my coworkers at my current job over the past couple of years too, come to think of it).  One of the key things to explain to someone who is new to knitting is the importance of using the same type of yarn that a specific pattern calls for.  Of course, there are other terms such as gauge and tension (here I go with the nerdy-knit-talk) but that’s a whole different discussion.

The other day I went online searching for a cute and relatively easy baby sock pattern.  I came across this one and decided to try it because it was from the top down, it didn’t have any tricky stitches I didn’t already know how to do, and I loved the texture of the ribbing in the final product.  For those of you knitters/crafters out there who know me and my fondness for Debbie Bliss cashmerino yarn, you will probably not be shocked to find out that that’s the first ball of yarn I reached for to make my first pair of these cute socks instead of a ball of fingerling weight yarn that the pattern called for.  And for those of you who were my past students, you’ll remember that it’s the yarn label that tells you which size needles to use, right?  In this case, I used size 8 double pointeds and decided to make the newborn size in the pattern.

I don’t think this is a good idea if you really wanted newborn sized socks.  Unless your newborn is born the size of a 3-year-old.  Then maybe.

Was the pattern easy?  Yes, very.  Did I like how it turned out in the end?  Yes.  Was it the size I was looking for?  Nope.

So I decided to grab some scrap Koigu yarn I had from making my first pair of socks (yikes! 2 years ago!) and tried making the sock again.  This time, the result was much better (as you can see by the middle sock in the photo above) and closer to what a real newborn size sock should be.

Lesson learned?  Using a “worsted” weight yarn on a pattern that calls for “fingerling” or “sport” sized yarn is going to yield very different results since you need a larger sized needle for the heavier yarn.  Knowing this, however, I might try this pattern with some bulky yarn that I have with bigger needles to make myself a pair of these socks since it’s a nice easy pattern to work with.

And don’t worry, I will make the mate for the gray one so that our little girl will have something to look forward to wearing in a couple of years from now!


3 thoughts on “size does matter

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