Monday, September 25, 2006

Are your hydrangea socks really small?

Hi all,

I'm confused and hoping someone out there can help. The Calla Lily socks started wtih 63 cast on stitches, and they fit me perfectly. The Hydrangea pattern calls for 72 cast on stitches. If the yarn is the same (it appears to be), shouldn't the sock be bigger?

The pattern says that the finished leg circumference is 6", unstretched. When I first read this, I assumed it was a typo. Why? 2 reasons:
  1. The gauge says the knitter should get 18 st/2" in pattern, and 72 st at 18 st/2" works out to 8" circumference, not 6".
  2. A 6" leg circumference is tiny. My very average size female ankle is 8 1/4" at its smallest point. My 4-year-old son's ankle is 5 3/4" at its smallest point.

I decided to knit the pattern as written, thinking that the specified 6" leg circumference should have read 8", and that it would easily stretch to my 8 1/4" ankle (and hopefully a little more since my ankle is 8 1/4" at its smallest point).

I'm 4-5" into my sock now, and the finished size is definitely 6" in circumference (3" flat). I can barely get it over my heel, and it doesn't stretch much at all. If I knit the cuff any longer, I won't be able to get the sock up any further.

Clearly, I must rip and reknit. I don't really mind doing this. I'm just confused, and that bugs me! Everything is exactly as Sundara's pattern says it will be, but I don't understand why. How can I be getting 18 st/2" in pattern but still only have a 6" leg circumference with 72 CO st? The only thing I can figure is that it has something to do with the twirly diagonal nature of this stitch pattern. I'm still not exactly sure how it spirals as it does - it's magic to me. Pretty, magical... but won't fit my foot. And my son will not want to wear these particular socks. :)

Is anyone else encountering this issue?

I could post a photo, but I daren't be the first - at least not until I get the okay to post hydrangea photos.

Thanks in advance for whatever help you can offer!


Blogger BrooklynMom said...

I really only did about six rows, but on two circs--I just slipped what I did onto my foot. For background, you should know I did my Calla socks on DPN's size One. I'm doing these on Knit Pick circ. ones (quite honestly, I find the Knit Pick circs and Addi Turbo circs in size one's are a little bigger than a true size one. They don't quite fit in the hole on my needle guage). Anyway--point is, at guage I found the Calla's too small. So I went up in needle size, and stuck with the needle size for these. I find the socks stretchier, but not smaller than the calla's. I have a size 9 foot. I hope this all makes sense!

12:11 PM  
Blogger BrooklynMom said...

Janelle--sorry. I should point out that my sock is measuring about 3 3/4" flat (although it is a little early for me to measure that. I think you need to go up in size on the needle. I must say, however, I think the pattern is magical too! Two lines of pattern makes it twirl! Facinating!

12:16 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

i think you should go ahead and post your pictures. if it's a WIP, it's fair game, i think. :)

i haven't started my hydrangea socks, but thanks for this heads up.

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I read the pattern, I thought it'd be small for me too, so I went up a needle size. I now have a sock that fits my leg perfectly. Watch out though! The foot is baggy as a consequence, especially the toe (all that stockinette). I'm thinking of going back down a size when I hit the heel flap of sock #2.

11:21 PM  
Blogger Kym said...

I have finished one sock, and am about 3 inches into the second. I'm using the needles specified in the pattern (size 2 - DPN) and getting gauge. My finished sock measures 3" laying flat. The sock is definitely a tight fit -- especially over the ankle. However, the foot fits very well. I think the suggestion to knit the cuff with a larger size needle, but then switching back to a smaller size for the foot might be a perfect solution. As far as the cast on with 72 stitches --- I think that's "misleading" when comparing size -- because you go down to 64 stitches every other row (to get that magical thing going). There is less stretch to the sock because of the bias -- I think.

5:06 AM  

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