Finding Kneesocks

I finished the knee socks.

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Pattern: None in particular, just cobbled together from what I know about socks.
Yarn: Knit Picks Risata, 68 g each Waterslide & Clementine
Needles: 2.0 mm Knitter’s Pride Karbonz
Started: March 2011 the first time, May 2013 for the re-do
Finished: June 23, 2013

There are a lot of things I like about these socks.

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I like the stripes. I like that I figured out how to knit a 2-color short-row heel without cutting the yarn and rejoining. I like that they actually are the same size and length as each other, especially considering that was one of my main goals for these socks.

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I like that they’re tall enough to wear with my boots. (Because I looooooooove my boots.)

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I like the calf shaping.

Yes, I like these socks a great deal. Just about every detail worked out how I wanted it to. These socks are great.

Until I walk around in them.

This is what happens when I walk around in them:

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I can see a few things that make these socks less than awesome. One is that I knit the ribbing on the same number of stitches as the top section of stockinette. Because ribbing is stretchier than stockinette, I really should have gone down several stitches for the ribbing so it could stretch and grab onto my leg, then increased when I switched to stockinette.

The second problem I see is that the ribbing sits right at the widest part of my calf. This, combined with the fact that I didn’t build in enough negative ease in the ribbing, means that if it slips down just a little suddenly the ribbing is about 2″ larger around than my leg and it’s basically all down hill from there.

I think the main problem here is the yarn, though, or more specifically my inability to work with it properly. The last pair of kneesocks I made were pretty much exactly like these (except one was at a much tighter gauge than the other, of course), and they stay up fine, but they were 100% wool. Risata is cotton/wool/nylon/elastic, so of course it’s going to behave differently. I didn’t think I’d need to worry about it too much, because I figured the elastic would help keep the socks up. These socks are just not stretchy at all, though. The yarn doesn’t even feel that stretchy to me, so I guess I wasn’t tensioning it properly while I knit. I’ve only worked with one other stretchy yarn (Fixation) and it was an absolute pain to hold correctly but the socks came out stretchy. This yarn didn’t feel difficult to work with so I think my problem is that I didn’t notice I wasn’t holding it correctly because it didn’t complain at me like the Fixation did.

So, if I want to fix these socks, there are a few things I need to do.

  • Practice how I tension a stretchy yarn.
  • Depending on how the tension experiments work out, possibly rethink my gauge and needle size, because these stitches feel very loose to me once I put the socks on.
  • Make the socks longer so the ribbing passes the largest part of my calf.
  • Work in some serious  negative ease on the ribbing.
  • Maybe knit the whole socks in rib and skip the stockinette entirely?

For now, these are just going into the “someday” basket. I gained 2 finished projects this week including these socks and I don’t want to lose that good “finish all the things” feeling just yet. Plus we start The Move on Monday and I will definitely need something new, shiny and simple to distract me. Preferably something that involves very little accommodation for the shape of my parts. Suggestions are always welcome.

6 thoughts on “Finding Kneesocks

  1. I’m sorry the knee socks don’t fit properly. I have knit a couple pairs of knee socks for my daughter, so know how much work goes into a pair of them. I wonder if it would work to thread some of that clear elastic stuff through the ribbing – I think you can get it at fabric stores. ??

    Good luck with your move tomorrow! You will be all unpacked and settled in by the time the moving van shows up here to haul our stuff to our new house. 🙂

    1. Oooh, I didn’t think of elastic! That’s definitely worth a try before I attempt a re-re-do on these socks. Thanks!

      And good luck with your move too! I’m at the point where I just want it to be tomorrow morning so we can get started. Whether or not the move goes smoothly, I just want it to start happening.

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