A Lesson in Gauge (again!)
|Sunshine socks from Sock Innovation by Cookie A|
|Kathleen's Sunshine sock|
|Seaweed Cardigan stitch detail|
There's a stitch pattern that I've knitted several times. It's a wavy, lace and cable pattern that doesn't have a name that I know of, so let's just call it "wavy lace," okay?
The Seaweed Cardigan by Cecily Glowick MacDonald uses this pattern, and it was one of the Knitting Daily Knit-Alongs last year, and I knit a scarf using the wavy lace pattern, too. I really love how it looks, so I thought I'd do Cookie A.'s Sunshine sock pattern from Sock Innovation, which uses a very similar wavy lace pattern.
When I wear my Seaweed Cardigan it's really loose and stretchy, so I didn't think twice about knitting Sunshine with my preferred needles Addi Turbo size 2.5 mm 32-inch circulars and some really neat yarn, Berroco Sox Metallic. I did my gauge swatch and got gauge in stockinette stitch, which was 40 sts = 4 inches. Good to go, right?
Wrong, but I didn't know it until I was almost done with the sock. My gauge was WAY TOO TIGHT on the lace part of the sock. There's a gauge measurement for the lace pattern, but I skipped that swatch. Big mistake, because I can't get the sock over my instep.
Even after rather severe wet blocking, the sock is way too small. So, these beauties will be for my Gramma, who has size 5 feet.
The big question here is, When will I learn? If I had done my lace pattern gauge swatch, which would probably have taken about an hour max, I would have realized that I needed to go up a needle size for the leg portion of the sock. I probably could have gone all the way up to a size 3mm for the leg section, which would have made it nice and stretchy.
This makes sense to me now, although I was pretty shocked when I first tried to try on the socks, because the cable lace pattern is much tighter than stockinette stitch—ten more stitches, in fact, the 4-inch gauge for stockinette is 30 stitches and the 4-inch gauge for the wavy lace pattern is 40 stitches. Hence the smaller leg.
It could also have something to do with the yarn. It has a metallic content that might make it less stretchy than other yarns. I've used it before on a pair of fingerless mitts, though, and I had to go down a needle size, so go figure. I'll just have to make sure I get both gauges when I try this one again. I may still decide to go up a needle size on the leg, but at least I'll be starting off with the right needle size!