Getting Started: Simply Sockupied Knit-along Kicks Off!

Sock Knitting Party!

Last Friday afternoon, we began our Simply Sockupied Knit-Along at Interweave.

We admired Jaime Osterlund's first sock, which was almost ready for the heel turn. (We love an overachiever!)

We marveled at the tiny circular needle Sarah will be knitting on.

We wound up with quite a list of things knitters say—I'm tempted to make our own video!

"I'm just going to stretch my gauge swatch until I have the number of stitches it says I need." (Yes, it turns out we don't always practice what we preach-but we are prepared to rip out the sock after a few inches to make sure we're on gauge.)

"How long does the swatch have to be?"

"You mean I was supposed to swatch on the same needles I make the project in?" (For the record: Well, yes. Even if you're using the same size needles in the same material, your gauge might change if the needles have a different finish or if they're circulars and you swatched on dpns.)
























Needle sizes?

The big questions of the afternoon were about needles.

Sarah asked, "What do you mean, there are two sizes of needles that are both marked 1?" (Well, she might have said a few more things, having just found out the hard way…) I got a related question last week: "The pattern calls for sizes 11/2 and 21/2, but my friend says those don't exist."

Yes, Virginia, there is a size 11/2—or at least there are sizes between the standard U.S. size 1, U.S. size 2, and U.S. size 3. Needles may not be marked this way, but there is a difference.

In the U.S., needles with a diameter of 2.25 millimeters are considered size 1; 2.75 mm makes size 2; and 3.25 is size 3. However, if you look closely at a package of Addi Turbo needles marked US 2, you'll notice that they're also listed as 3.0 mm, and US 1 is 2.5 mm. One-fourth of a millimeter isn't very big, but it's enough to make a difference in a sock!

Some needle manufacturers began making the whole gamut of sizes, and to distinguish between the different diameters they sometimes list half sizes.

At the end of the day, choosing the exact needle size in the pattern isn't important. Halves or millimeters, the important thing is to get the gauge you want to make the socks fit. So . . . Check your millimeter measurements as well as the U.S. sizes.

What's the next step?

We'll gather again in a few weeks, but in the meantime we're knitting away—and I know you are, too. Have other questions you'd like us to address? Check out the forums (one for each sock in the issue) or ask it here!

Happy knitting,

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