My sister in law really made me happy the other day! She saw a picture of my most recent knitted socks on Instagram and asked if I’d knit a pair for each of her kids. Ummm…..of course! It makes me so happy when someone I love asks me to make them something.
Since their kids are still in elementary school, I decided that tube socks would be the best choice. That way the socks can just get shorter as their feet get longer. I found a great pattern – Tube Socks for Kids by Jane Richmond – on Ravelry, had my sister in law measure each of their feet, picked out the yarns and got started. She told me that Alex’s favorite colors are red and gray, so I went with Knit Picks Felici in the Firefighter colorway. And Madi’s favorite colors are blue and pink, so I went with Knit Picks Felici in the Jelly Bean colorway. Both were in my stash so yay for that!
Photo courtesy of pattern
I cast on and was knitting away happily when I realized that they were looking very small. Now, I’m used to knitting socks for adults so I thought maybe they just looked small because they’re for kids. But I went on a little more and decided that they were just going to be way too little. I’d followed the pattern exactly though. So what happened?
My gauge – of course! The pattern calls for getting a gauge of 7.5 stitches to the inch. But since I’m such a tight knitter, I was getting 8.5 stitches to the inch. Normally, I’d just change needles to get the right gauge and not modify the pattern at all. But this time I really wanted to use the needles I was using (US 2, Chiagoo Red Lace, 60″ circular) because I wanted to knit all four socks at the same time.
Modifying the pattern wasn’t too hard though. I knew that at 7.5 stitches per inch I was supposed to increase up to 40 stitches for Madi’s socks. Which, according to the pattern, would give me a finished circumference of about 5.25″. But since I wanted to go with a gauge of 8.5 inches instead I needed to do some math.
Scary, right?!? No…not really! If I take the pattern’s number of stitches (40) and divide it by the pattern’s gauge (7.5 stitches per inch) it comes out to a finished circumference very similar to the pattern (5.3″). I knew I still wanted the finished circumference to be what the pattern called for in Madi’s size (5.25″ or close to that). And I knew that I was going to be getting a gauge of 8.5 stitches per inch. But I still needed to know how many stitches to increase to. So I simply multiplied my gauge (8.5) by my desired circumference (5.25). That equation gave me the answer of 44.625. I needed a whole number and wanted it to be an even number since I always use Magic Loop to knit my socks. That meant that I’d increase up to 44 stitches (22 on each of the two needles) for Madi’s socks. Then it was just a matter of doing the same math equations for Alex’s socks.
I cast on for a second time, doing all four at once by the way, and have been knitting up a storm! I really think the larger size is going to be better! I sure hope they love them too!
My project has been “living” in my beautiful bag from Darlene at Bags By Awesome Grannie. Her bags are truly awesome! Along with the one for the tube sock project, I also have a larger sweater sized bag from her. It’s super roomy! But back to the one my socks are living in…I absolutely LOVE the fun hot air balloons on the fabric, and the wonderful carrying handle. Not to mention the super cute zipper pull with her logo on it. And guess what….Darlene has offered to give one of my lucky readers a bag just like it! In order to enter, simply visit Bags By Awesome Grannie and leave me a comment here about what your favorite bag is that she has currently in stock. Or what type of fabric you’d love to see her make a bag out of! Good luck!! (Contest open to US residents only & will close at 11:59 pm EST on March 18, 2015)