Intro to projects 9, or, the right needles

I’ve been working on my second pair of socks (I’m wearing the first pair) and having a bit more problem with this pair. Currently they are on hiatus while I await the correct pair of tools.

See, I have found that with the smaller needles sizes (US3 and below), circular needles don’t really cut it for me. It has to do with the length of the metal part. Because of how I hold them, I like them to be long enough to balance against the outside of my hand, otherwise I hold way too tight, and the smaller sizes of the circular needles are correspondingly shorter in the metal part, at least the Addi Turbos are. I’d be happy to try some others to find out if they are longer so I could try the whole two socks on circular needles thing, but in the meantime… In the meantime, I find that when working on my socks, I need to use the 7-8″ dpns made of metal, which is very limiting. The wooden ones bend too much, or break in my hands in those smaller sizes. What most of the local yarn stores carry is of course the wooden varieties, and maybe the bamboo or plastic version, and one even had the casein types. But do they carry the Skacel steel or Inox aluminum? NO! Oddly, I’ve found at almost every store I’ve checked that they have those sizes in the US0000 and maybe the US000, but then they skip up to US 3, so they don’t carry the sizes I’m looking for, which is the US00, 0, 1, 1.5, and 2. I have been using the Skacel aluminum US1’s that I did find once, but even they are really starting to bend in my hand, which is why I want to try the steel ones.

Anyway, on this current pair of socks, I’ve been having difficulties because I was trying to learn the short row version for socks. So far, I’ve had to do the toe at least twice — or was it three times — and the heel definitely took three tries. I’ve been using the Wildfoote sock yarn, and I think that the US1 is just a little too large for the leg part of the sock. The ribbing feels too loose. So I’ve had to make my first purchase of knitting paraphernalia on the Internet, the only way I was going to find what I want. It’s not a good trend to start — too easy to spend money that way.

On reflection, I think I need to try on the foot part to see if it fits right. That is a prime advantage of this direction of sock.

The pattern is the toe-up pattern found on Wendy Knits. It’s been quite clear. The difficulty has been keeping track of the count. I find that I can recognize where I am by sight only after I’ve seen it in action, probably a few times, so this first time out I need to keep careful count of where I am so as to make sure I get no holes. Not keeping a careful enough count has already resulted in holes and at least one of the heel redos. And I really want more good wool socks.

Ah, well, I need to get to bed. I’m feeling a little cranky due to niggling headache and too much executive board meeting this afternoon.

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