Thursday, November 7, 2013

Finding the Right Fit

Finding the right fit was a phrase I really got to know when my children began their searches for college. During each presentation (5 in total per child), regardless of the core topic, the concept of "finding the right fit" was discussed. I agree, the right fit is THE most important element to success. This can be applied to just about everything from a college campus, shoes, job placement, dog groomer to a simple pair of socks, hand knitted socks to be specific. 
"Huh?" you say to yourself, let me explain. 
I always seem to have a pair of socks on my needles. For me, I find socks require limited concentration, probably because there is always a pair on my needles! I am also intrigued by how the color-ways knit up. I find excitement watching the stripes form and wonder will they be thin or thick or alternating or will the colors pool randomly allowing each sock in the pair to express itself uniquely. Socks also travel well; using a 1 gallon zip able plastic bag to carry all the yarn required for a pair, markers, crochet hook (for the inevitable dropped stitch), darning needle to close the toe via the Kitchener stitch and three sets of needles I use to make custom socks for the right fit. Yes three different needles!
The body of the sock is knit mostly with size (2) 9" circular needle but when working on the heel flap, the 9" acts like a stitch holder for those stitches that will not be worked for the flap. I complete the flap and the gusset increasing using size (2) 12" circulars until the gusset decreases have been completed before going back to the 9" needle. When I reach the toe decrease, onto size (1) double pointed needles I go. I have short toes and the smaller needle creates less sock to bunch up in my shoes. Or as my son would say in his preschool days, "my socks hurt." I never realized how mean socks can be! 
Currently I am in the process of swatching for my sons socks, sporting his school colors, as I have never used this flavor of yarn. It is Huntington from Valley Farms in Northampton, MA and extremely soft. The yarn is 75% fine Superwash Merino wool from Peru with 25% nylon, a common sock yarn blend. Since it is so fine I am experimenting with double stranding, changing to a size 1 needle, fair isle to give it some bulk or using a 1 x 1 rib. I will post my decision once I arrive at it, along with my thoughts about the yarn in general.
Speaking of schools, I want to send an apology to all the past, present and future Boiler Makers for referring to them as Boil Makers in my last post. Sometimes my brain works much faster than my fingers can type!

I leave you one last thought...Whatever you choose, make sure the fit is right!