Sunday, February 26, 2012

The try-on of the v-neck vest went well. It fits rather snugly over a heavy winter shirt, and my husband prefers not-snug. It’s also still slightly short of the desired length to the underarm. I think both of these problems can be addressed at once by putting all the stitches back on the needle (ugh) and adding about 2”. That will give me enough length that I can block it for width, if you follow. It’s very malleable yarn.


I’ve got everybody’s foot-length, expressed in no.-of-rounds after gusset, in my notes already. I’m ready to move on to the next level, and try to fit socks to the actual measurements of ankle and ball-of-foot.

Fitting my husband’s feet is the real problem. Everybody else professes themselves perfectly happy. I used to have it pat, but a couple of years ago I knit a pair that he really struggled to get into. I gave them to James, and started knitting for my husband with 8 extra stitches in the circumference.

This time I have knit three pairs for him in rapid succession. When he tried on the first, the KF hand-dyed-effect in "rhubarb", he complained that there was too much fabric in the foot, “like a duck-billed platypus”. So I took it back to the heel and knit the foot on fewer stitches – on the number I used to use for the whole sock. That seemed to work reasonably well. I did the same for the “anthracite” and the “outré” (otherwise known as “moor”) socks.

For the latter, he now says the leg is too slouchy. It’s as if I should go back to the original stitch number. But…

But once I get to grips with Gibson-Roberts and Neatby, and start incorporating measurements of circumference, I may be able to knit a custom-fitted sock that will solve the whole problem. It also occurred to me just now, looking at a pattern in Zite, that a broad rib down the leg might help.

I wonder if the fact that I’ve never actually seen Hellie’s boyfriend Matt wearing the socks I knit him, means that they don’t fit?

The swatching problem comes into play here  -- or rather, it doesn’t. Thank you for your comment, Ron, as so often. I have knit many socks on German yarn and 2.5 mm needles. I know exactly what’s going to happen. I have long been sure that traditional knitters in many genres rely on that sort of relationship with their materials. Gauge becomes a given.


Helen and her son Archie will be here late tonight. I must make some beds. Tomorrow Archie will go off to board for the week at an Edinburgh school, to see how he likes it and they him. Helen will go back to Athens on Tuesday. I get to collect Archie on Friday afternoon, spend Saturday with him (he has asked for a visit to Waterstone's), and take him to the airport next Sunday. 

The house has gradually filled with an astonishing number of large packages, with one still to come. Helen’s husband David explains that that is because everything costs twice as much in Greece. I am glad I am not responsible for packing it all and coaxing it onto an airline, but that’s not the point. If everything costs twice as much in Greece, surely that is another strong argument for their getting out of the Euro and devaluing.

Thank you for the GoodReader instructions, Judith. I think I can do that, and will try soon. Not today, however, which belongs to bed-making and rugby-watching.


  1. I quite agree with you on the subject of German sock yarn and 2.5 needles. Totally predictable. Perhaps something to do with the way it is spun/plied? I have had to do an awful lot of adjusting and re-knitting some of the lovely non-German yarns in recent sock essays.

  2. scrattynz7:31 PM

    Hi Jean-My mother always works the leg in a 3,1 rib and this seems to cover most problems and stays nice and snug. Just looking at my sock now. she also ribs the foot the same way, then stst for the toe!

  3. =Tamar9:02 PM

    Maybe he is having water-retention variations and that is leading to larger or smaller calves on different days. The amount of actual walking done (or salt eaten) on a given day might affect it as well. I have shoes that were much too tight when I first got them and after a few water-retention adjustments now I can wear them. (They are not worn in, they are still essentially new.)