Gauge, ribbing

I learned to knit last winter and, after a few months knitting scarves and a few hats, I have suddenly discovered a previously dormant desire to knit socks. I’m partway through my first sock now.

I’m using Koigu (which I got as a gift, and now I’m afraid I’m being spoiled, making my first sock out of this stuff) with size 3 dpns (as recommended by the ball band and an LYS. I get a bit more than 8 stitches per inch. Is this quite tight? Through google, I’ve gotten that impression. I ask more out of curiosity than anything.

My ribbing for the cuff looks so awful. The stitches look stretched/distorted wherever knit stitches meet purl stitches. They get a bit straighter if I tug lightly on them, but I haven’t ever seen anyone else have this problem with ribbing. I’ve had the same problem knitting hats with ribbing. Does anyone know what causes this? What’s the secret to neat-looking ribbing?


Ribbing does this… it’s partly because the tension on your k st is different from the p st tension. Try wrapping the wool for your purls the other way, and correcting them next time by working them through the back loop.

8spi sounds about right for socks, but check your pattern. It should specify tansion.

and don’t worry too much about the way the ribbing looks…when you wear the sock you won’t notice.

The ribbing issue you mention is why many of us like to knit socks using a different pattern for the leg of the sock. The book Sensational Knitted Socks is a great reference for constructing your own sock and making the leg in whatever pattern you like…along w/ your preferred toe, etc.

Great yarn choice for those socks!!:inlove:

The recommended needle size is never to be taken as the absolute right needle for you, no matter who recommends it, the LYS or the skein. You need to get the gauge given in your pattern and will need to adjust your needle size until you hit on the right needle to use for YOU. It is a bit trickier in the round. The gauge you get with a needle in flat work may not be the gauge you get with it in round knitting. I need about one size larger needle to get the gauge I knit in flat work, but we’re all different.

There is a hypothetical way to do a circular gauge on straight needles. It is like working a giant i-cord and carrying a big runner after each row. You cast your stitches for 4 inches onto a double pointed needle (You work with 2 dpns for this) then always slide your work to the other end of the needle bringing the yarn from where it is all the way to the other end and knit from there. (See instructions for i-cord somewhere). You knit every row. But… I find this doesn’t always give me 100% accuracy either. :slight_smile:

You will want to get gauge or your socks may disappoint you and fit someone else. (Not altogether bad. LOL)

If you use the above method to get gauge for knitting in the round, I suggest casting on about 6 more stitches that needed for 4 inches. With this method, the edge stitches are not achored to anything and will be really loose and weird.

And remember that for ribbing you often use slightly smaller needles than you do for the rest of the sock