These socks look like they are made for a giant.

For the last few days I’ve been working on knitting up a sample sock for a class I’m teaching in March/April 2020. Knitting the sample so far in advance allows me to work out any errors in the pattern provided, identify ambiguous language, and brainstorm potential issues and solutions for my students. In this instance, I also am reminded why gauge and measurement are important. Even after nearly 2 decades of knitting, I am not infallible.

I’m nearly 3/4 of the way finished with the first sock and I am having some thoughts about it. The process is speedy, fingering weight yarn held double on size 4 dpns. I like the toe-up construction that allows you to try on the sock as you go (assuming the sock is for you or someone whose feet you have easy access to). I’m not 100% sold on the aesthetics of the cast-on method used, but I’m confident my students will not have an issue with this set up. The sock does not look like any that I have previously knit. Because it’s super long and narrow. At first glance it appears that it would fit a banana footed giant.

However, it (very snugly) fits on my completely normal women’s size 9.5 foot. The issue with the sock is that the pattern, as written, is for a 6.5″ foot circumference only. This seems very small, so I consulted the internet, and a medium woman’s sock is usually 8″ in circumference (see the image below). Even with my larger gauge of 5.25 stitches per inch (6 sts per inch per the pattern), and a total circumference of 7″ , I’m lacking at least an inch in circumference.

Luckily, knit fabrics can be very forgiving and have stretch horizontally and vertically. To accommodate for the additional required width, I had to make the body of the sock quite long before starting the heel. I could have frogged the whole thing and started again; but I want to use this as a teaching example of why we ALWAYS need to measure the intended recipient and make a gauge swatch before we start our projects. Both of these activities will be worked into the class agenda, before we start wrestling an octopus with the cast-on. Additionally, I will have an expanded pattern with how to calculate the appropriate number of stitch for additional width and modifications for the short-row heel that incorporates these additional stitches.

As for the socks, I intend on making a mate as written. There will also be an additional sample sock made for display purposes, no one wants to knit socks for a banana footed giant.

Stay tuned for more exciting knitting adventures with Cinna of Miscellaneous Design Studio.

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