Blendalong tangent & What's Wrong with My Sock?

Damn it all to hell. I did a swatch like a good girl. I cast on and my ribbing seemed to make a tiny little circle. I searched the web extensively. Artyarns Supermerino – lovely soft yarn. Socks. Simple equation, right? One of my favorites was Grumperina’s Paula socks. She cast on 44 stitches on size 3. I used a 3 also, but went up to 56 stitches to account for fiberguy’s freakishly large instep. I even planned to pick up as many stitches as I could around the afterthought heel for more room, right? I get about 4 inches down the leg and think this is really loose fabric for a sock. Everyone else’s Supermerino seems thicker. Iris Schrier was doing Modular knitting on Knitty Gritty today and she used it. It looked thick on her size 8 needles. Mine looked thin on my 3’s. And Hell’s Bells, it was too small. Way too small. What could I be doing that is so far off? Even in Knitty, the Thuja socks call for 44 stitches on size 6 needles. Her gauge is 5.5 stitches/inch 9 rows/inch in stockinette stitch; mine was 6 stitches/inch, 8 rows/in in stockinette. And though mine was tighter, it still felt so loose that I could put my finger through it. I weighed the skein and it was correct. What the heck am I doing WRONG???

To fix it, I ripped back to above the heel and laddered to make 2x2 ribbing for the stretch. I will increase a few for the instep and take away later. I tried not to growl at the cat.

I had more success yesterday. My mosaic sock is done and I start sock two tomorrow. Notice the arch ribbing to increase fit? I used a new sock blocker that fiberguy is making for me and it gave me a lovely round toe. It wasn’t finished yet, so I had to put a plastic bag over it to block the sock – no one is anxious here…

And the ply blend samples are done and I am just trying to get a better photo of them. The colors are very hard for me to capture and I may ask you all for help with this bit later. A few interesting things have come out of the ply blends so far. Please note in the samples below that one forms little diamond shapes and the other forms a more straight grid. I have seen this phenomenon before while weaving, but now I see what causes it. If I used a 4-ply of different colors, a barber pole yarn, I got diamonds. If I used two 2-ply strands, I got straight lines. Check out the threads coming off the samples to see this. Isn’t that interesting?

The two 2-ply samples were all a bit thicker, not wider, but puffier.

Lastly, I will show you my ply box that my good friend Harvey made me years ago. It was based on a design in Spin•Off and I use it all the time. While sampling for the ply blends, at one time I had 16 bobbins going. This was not necessary, as I saw later. In the next set, which I started today, I'm down to a normal set of bobbins and the ply box goes back to sleep.

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