can you say ‘tension’?

well you might pronounce it ‘gauge’ but whatever. I don’t do tension squares. It’s all my mother’s fault, she set me a bad non-blocking non-swatching non-grafting example. So I blame her for the Great Irish Socks Disaster. Because I did a lot of travelling last week (train to and from London, magical mystery trip to Wales with the coach driver following his satnav down narrow blocked lanes) I had plenty of time to knit these up and had both socks done except the toes.
Irish tricolour socks
Got son to try them on on Sunday. Oh dear. They won’t go over his legs. I’d cast on 40 stitches on 3mm needles, and assumed all would be well (my tension is usually a little on the loose side). Oh dear.

It turns out my tension with this yarn is 22 stitches to 10 cm instead of 26 – 28. Gah. Can’t frog as I have been cutting the yarn as I go, so will have to find an Irish child with slim legs. But I am sick of the sight of them for now and have cast on some different socks, this time for Rob. And yes I checked the tension – as I have several socks already knitted from this yarn I’ve measured the stocking stitch soles of those rather than knitting a separate tension square.
garter rib socks
These are garter rib socks from Sensational Knitted Socks, in Stroud SuperSock (colourway = Ebb).


One response to “can you say ‘tension’?

  1. I’d never done a gauge swatch until I tried to make a pair of legwarmers for one of my friends who desperately needed them. I tend to knit tight. So imagine my surprise when the legwarmers came out, not only too big for my fairly slender friend, but too big for my not-even-remotely-slender legs. They were thigh warmers at best.

    I don’t do a gauge swatch when crocheting because half the time I’m doing it freehand and just “keep going til it’s right.” But for knitting I learned my lesson.

    I hope you find your deserving Irish child, or equivalent. And I hope your next pair of socks for you son turns out awesome.

    (Sounds like you had a really fun weekend, though.)

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