Saturday, April 14, 2007

Gauge revisited & with pictures

Many thanks to lori, a technical editor for IK, who told me the following:

"The gauge stated in the book is correct and not a mistake. I measured it myself from the actual socks shown in the photograph. I'm a technical editor for Interweave Knits and worked on this pattern when it first appeared in the magazine back in 2003.

There are a couple of reasons why Priscilla Gibson-Roberts was able to achieve 7 sts per inch with the yarn shown. First, she is a very tight knitter and produces some of the firmest socks I've encountered. She can get up to 12 sts per inch on a US size 1 or 2 needle!

Second, althought the original yarn, Classic Elite's Waterspun, had a recommended light worsted gauge, the yarn itself was very puffy with a lot of air space, so it could be squished down more than a conventional, robust worsted in order to pack more sts into an inch.

The combination of dense gauge and squishable yarn in the original socks was heavenly, but Waterspun has sadly been discontinued. If you look up the yarn specs, you'll see that Waterspun contained 138 yards in 50 grams, which is very lightly-spun indeed for a worsted, but a pretty common yardage for DK weight yarn. So if you can't find a substitute light worsted that's puffy and airy enough – the key words here are "lightly spun" -- the next best thing would be to try a DK weight yarn.

Priscilla Gibson-Roberts used Dale's Tiur (a DK at 125 yds/50 grams) worked at 7 sts per inch for her Caspian Sea Socks that are currently offered free on the Interweave web site. I'm making a pair of those for myself in Tiur right now, and am getting 7 sts per inch. The knitting is tighter than I'm used to, and the fabric is pretty thick, but it's do-able."

I realize that by now you all might be tired of hearing of my E.E. footlets, so I promise this is my last post on the subject. Especially because... I finished one of them.

Ignore the setting; it's raining outside and the only way to get decent light in my dump of a house is the back porch. I'll post more pictures and thoughts (mostly on my admiration for Priscilla's designs) on my blog


Kristy said...

What an interesting update! Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I think you could also get gauge (7sts per inch) for this pattern using Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted (225 yard/113 grams).

Marsha said...

Not tired of hearing it at all. I noticed that so far no had taken this pattern on. Looks to be a great job you've done so far so continue to keep us posted!

Bonnie said...

Although 7 st to the inch seems awfully tight for worsted weight yarn, I can see how it would be important for making these slippers durable.

Yours look terrific. I think I may have to add these to my Fave Socks "to do" list (which is longer and longer all the time!).

Kathy said...

Thanks for sharing - ALL the details are appreciated. I have a stash of Tuir... Hmmm I may have to give these a try. I also love Priscilla's designs. Very talented lady!