« Rohrspatz & Wollmeise sock yarn | Main | Getting things done . . . »

Socks and Swatches


You don't swatch for plain stockinette socks -- you just start. What a liberating concept. If Elizabeth Zimmermann, Nancy Bush and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee share the same philosophy about starting socks, then I should too (the worst thing that can happen is that you end up with a pair of socks that fit . . . somebody). The sock *is* the swatch. Surprisingly, I've been known to get hung up on the details occasionally and not begin something for fear of messing it up and doing something wrong, so the nice yarn sits in a corner, untouched. I couldn't stand to have the Rohrspatz & Wollmeise suffer the same fate, so I chose my needles (Clover bamboo 2.25 mm) and just started. And it's knitting up beautifully!

This weekend while I was working, a customer came in with a pattern for a baby hat and some yarn (neither of them ours, but that's okay . . . sometimes) concerned about not having gotten the pattern gauge and I suggested just starting the hat with the suggested needle size (which she already owned) instead of what she thought she needed to get gauge (which she would have to buy). The worst thing that could happen is that after knitting the hat, it would be too small or too big. The hat would still fit a baby somewhere. She had more than enough yarn and the appropriate needles. Just start the hat. Oddly enough, she didn't seem happy with my suggestion.

At some point, you just have to believe that you have everything you need and that it's okay to make some mistakes.


The yarn's gorgeous and needs nothing more than stockinette. I'm all for just starting, that's why I love Ann Budd's knitting recipe book that gives yarn gauge, and number of stitches to cast on for whichever size. Has not failed me so far!

Oooh! Love that yarn! Those are going to be great socks. I'm with you, sometimes you just need to start a project and see how it goes.

LOL I LOVE the attitude, but unfortunately a lot of people want perfection and don't like going in blind. :)

As Enabler Extraordinaire, weren't you supposed to encourage her to buy new needles? And probably new yarn, too...

just kidding! It sounds like that's what she wanted to hear, though.

I confess! Im guilty of the perfectionist attitude sometimes but I think this last round of throwing caution to the wind (jaywalkers) is going to be the last time I let a fear of "ruining it" get in the way!

Your socks, as always, look awesome!!

I agree - sometimes we get caught up with the 'details' and forget to have fun.

Lovely yarn!

I'm a big fan of EZ and the YH and anyone else who promotes not being afraid of the yarn/knitting.

One things I do love about toe-up socks is I can easily figure out how many stitches I'll need, based on the gauge I'm getting while I'm doing my toe increase.

Post a comment