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Some discussion about gauge for socks

I knit some plain socks for my mother. Well, unpatterned might be a better word for them:
I figured, since I pinched this yarn from her stash I would make her a pair of socks from it: 
After knitting the first one, I had two thoughts: these socks are really ugly but she’ll like them, and my gauge is too loose. I’m knitting at 28 stitches x  39 rows / 10 cm
This is not the first time I have thought this. I tried knitting on 2.25 mm Karbonz, a while ago which didn’t help 

At knit night on Monday I compared the texture of my socks to those of Brent and Ursula’s, and decided something has to be done. Brent thought that wood might be better, so I decided to do the foot of the second sock on 2.5mm wooden needles - because I didn't to want to mess with the gauge too much, I just wanted to see what difference it would make. I’m not sure it made any. Post blocking I can’t tell which sock was knit on which needles.

I decided to knit myself a pair of Rose City Rollers in the same yarn, as a comparison. My plan was to knit the first on 2.25mm needles, and the second on 2mm – I’ve got an old set KnitPro sock DPNS. When I pulled out the set there were only 4 of the 2.25. I’m knitting the first on 2mm, and I bought a set of Karbonz 2mm for the second. Certainly my gauge is much tighter 32 stitches 48 rows for 10 cm. I also note that my hands are tireder than they have been for a while.

I have realised that there are three things I really like in a sock needle: metal, sharp tips and 5 inches long. And it has to be DPNs. I’ll use 2 circulars if the pattern requires it or if I’m traveling, but I really do like DPNs best.


I’ll be running – and telling you about – some experiments I’m doing with needles over the next couple of weeks. I’m hoping the outcome of them will be that I get a good gauge with metal 2.25mm needles – because then I can buy a set of Signature DPNs in 2.25mm. Otherwise I’m not quite sure what the answer is – although I did find instructions for do-it-yourself carbon fiber needles!




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