Relearning How to Make Socks

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Happy New Year!

Before you get concerned (especially those in my 2019 club!) I didn’t forget how to knit socks, I’m still plugging away and I’ve set up a challenge for myself this year involving socks (more about that on another post).

I saw a post on a Facebook group I’m in a few weeks back about knitting socks on a 9 inch circular needle. I owned two sets myself and I have made socks on them before but afterwards, I went back to my preferred method of magic loop.

I was intrigued with the idea of knitting more with my 9 inch circulars and promptly dug them out. First off – what I thought was a 9 inch Addi Turbo was 12 inches and a US 1.5 which made sense when I bought it since that was what I used the most. Nowadays sock yarns seem a little thinner and I primarily stick with US 1s so I wasn’t keen to cast on with the Addis.

The other needle I owned was a US 0 genuine 9 inch HiyaHiya.

I had been working on getting gauge with Wool and the Gang’s Kinda Magic Socks and was willing to try it on the 9 inch needle. I cast on with my HiyaHiyas and doing the 1×1 rib cuff was one of the longest experiences of my life. I still didn’t get gauge! I put the sock aside again but the plan to come back to it.

I was still intrigued with using a small circular needle for a sock. I’m not a fan of DPNs and I wanted to pick up my sock knitting speed this year. I kept hearing how amazing the Shortie set from Chiagoo is. I love my Chiagoo Mini Twist set that I got a few years ago. The joins and cables are top notch and perfect for Magic Loop, so I knew I couldn’t go wrong with the Shorties. If I didn’t like it – I could just resell it and move on. I ordered it.

I pushed all of my other knitting aside and dove into the 9 inch circular rabbit hole. I had cast on a pair of Sockception socks by Tara Bogh while I was waiting for my order with my HiyaHiyas and I got to work transferring it to my Shorties. I then cast on a new pair of socks and and started to get a feel for knitting with a tiny circular needle. It became clear very quickly that my gauge is much much different compared with the same needle size on Magic Loop. I’m getting 7 stitches to the inch with a yarn I would normally get 8 stitches to the inch, making a fabric that’s too loose for me. 

I’m going to go down a needle size and try again. I do like the speed from having a smaller circular. I calculated that it would save me about 20 seconds per round which adds up when you make a lot of socks! I’ll let you know more the more time I spend with them. It’s not making my hands cramp as badly as you think. I in no way have tiny hands and the 2 inch needles on the HiyaHiyas weren’t 100% comfortable. The 3 inch needle length with the Chiagoo is much more comfortable and easier to knit with for my hands. It’s a work in progress though. 

If you wanted to get into my 2019 sock club, Mary Queen of Socks – today is the final day! 

I won’t be designing on my tiny needles anytime soon, but expect a pattern this year explaining how to create a vanilla sock with them once I figure it out. 

Happy Knitting!

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