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A second sock and a bit of math.
I'm knitting myself a pair of socks.
I’m knitting myself a pair of socks.
The first one started as a sample for Knit City, and I finished it moments before the doors opened. Or I didn’t finish it, depending on exactly what you understand the word “finished” to mean.
I had a sock-shaped item and I bound off all the stitches so I could put it on sock form for display. It was even sock-shaped enough that I could have worn it on my foot. So it that sense, it was finished.
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It was, as they say, the sock I needed but no not the sock I deserved. Or maybe the sock I deserved but not the sock I needed? That quote from Batman never made a ton of sense to me but still pops into my head often in situations that are less than ideal. (eg. This burnt-but-somehow-still-frozen waffle is not the breakfast I deserve, but it’s the breakfast I need right now.)
“Screw this, it’ll have to do” is less poetic but maybe more accurate.
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Really, all that happened with the first sock was that I made the cuff shorter than i wanted. I ran out of time and bound off 8 rows early. Not ideal but it would have to do. And it did.
After returning from Knit City and sleeping for a week, I picked out the bind off, added the missing rows of ribbing, and bound off. Voila, sock complete.
Now I’m happily working away at the toe of the second sock and thinking about stitches. I said there was going to be some math, and I wouldn’t lie about something like that.
Would you like to know how much yarn is in each stripe?
Of course you would.
I happen to know the lengths of each of the different sections of colour, because I have to measure it out in order to put dye in the right places. I can consult my notes and see that the long sections (pink) are 10.5 m long, and the short sections (greens and beige) are all exactly half that.
Some day I will regale you with stories of how wool is stretchy and absorbent and measuring the weight or length should really only be done under tightly controlled laboratory conditions. But for now please take all these numbers with a grain of salt.
So. We know the length of the yarn. We also know that the pink stripes are 13 rounds high (wide?), and each round is 64 stitches.
This means I use 80 cm for each round of the sock, or 1.25 cm (0.5”) per stitch.
The pink section has 832 stitches. Each green or being stripe has 416 stitches.
A full skein of this yarn is 405 m, which would give you 32,400 stitches.
If a pair of socks uses 2/3 of a ball of yarn, that’s 270 m and 21,600 stitches.
If you knit half a dozen pairs of socks, that’s 129,600 stitches and 1.6 km (1 mile) of yarn.
And importantly, it means that I was 512 stitches, or 6.4 m of yarn short of finishing that sock for Knit City.