Thursday, 24 February 2011

Mixed Feelings

I've been on another startitus kick and combined it with some sort of sock kick. I did manage to reign it in at a piffling two projects (but I may have patterns printed and yarn gathered for at least three more pairs of socks...). This is one of those new projects, started last week when I spotted a £2.60 sock yarn in my local market and thought that 'it would be rude not to at least try it':

The pattern is Maeva from the Winter Knitty and it looks lovely, but the pattern is slowly rolling into the 'not-one-of-my-favourites' pile. Here's why:
  • All the charts are quite low resolution meaning you either have fairly small charts or you have charts whose row numbers are near-impossible to read.
      This one is no biggy, I can either root out a super skinny highlighter or just do a bit of actual counting to sort out ambiguous row numbers.
  • The gauge is a little looser than might be average: 34 stitches and 50 rows in four inches on 2mm needles (stockingette) - I get around 44 stitches and 55 rows. in four inches on 2mm needles.
      Not really an issue - I should have looked before I started and I didn't. Everyone's gauge is different and just because I often get the pattern gauge with the pattern needles doesn't mean that when I don't the pattern is wrong.
  • The gauge is a bit weird - it looks kinda tricky to get both the stitch count and the row count on the same pair of needles. On my 2.25mm needles I'm just slightly over on the stitch count at 35 stitches in four inches, but I'm under on the row count at 48 stitches.
      It sort of seems like my gauge is close, but I'm having all sorts of trouble with the foot length, my sock is trying ever so hard to be much, much longer than I'd like it to be (try 4" longer). I'm putting this down to 3 things:
      1. Because I'm over on the stitch count I had to knit the 64 stitch (L/XL) sock. This is the normal number of stitches for me on this needle size so it's not that surprising, but it does mean all the charts are also just a touch longer. (I could have accommodated for this by using the small charts with a bigger border around the cable section but it didn't occur to me until far too late).
      2. Because I'm under on the row count the whole sock is longer anyway - each row takes up slightly more space than it should.
      3. A slightly odd foot length measurement (see below).
  • The foot length for my size seems wrong - I'm a US size 6 which the pattern calls 9.25" foot length but I have an 8.25" foot. Am I weird?
      This does bother me somewhat. I've fiddled around with the tape measure and I can't get a bigger measurement than 8.25", but the sizing is for a US 6-7, maybe there really is an inch between the sizes? It does mean that right from the off I was worrying about the chart lengths.
  • Why chart an ordinary toe? Knitting the odd rows and doing "k1 m1r knit to end of row m1l k1 on even rows" is perfectly comprehendible in words and would save me printing the first of five charts. Given that knitty is set to show each chart in a new webpage, the use of a chart here is essentially wasting a sheet of paper for nearly everyone who knits this pattern.
      This makes nearly no impact on the knitting but is still strangely quite irritating.
  • Likewise, the heel flap chart seems pretty redundant, I'd much rather these were included in the pattern as instructions. If you want to waste paper with charts like these then at least make them optional. As it is, I'll probably write out the instructions when I get to this bit.
      As above.
  • I'll reserve judgement on Chart 5.
      Because I've clearly grumbled enough already, I'll stop now.
So many grumps, but they are still very pretty socks. I do hope they work out in the end.

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