Trust Your Gut

As a new nurse, this was one of the first things I learned: If there’s a little voice in the back of your head saying “hmmm”, LISTEN to it. That lesson has served me well time and time again. Over the years, I’ve learned that it not only applies to nursing but to life in general, too. I’ve gradually learned to listen to my instincts, if not always to act on them.

I’m starting to think it applies to knitting, too. We’ve all done it–forged onward with a project when our senses are telling us something just isn’t right. That’s the reason people knit handkerchiefs that were supposed to be shawls, hats that would fit Bob’s Big Boy and it’s probably mostly responsible for the creation of this thread on ravelry. Sometimes it’s the pattern that leads us astray, or the way knitted fabric stretches every which way when we try to measure it. Sometimes it’s just dogged determination that something will turn out a certain way despite plentiful evidence to the contrary.

I think I’m at such a crossroads. All my instincts are telling me that my latest socks (Little Minx) are fixing to be extra giant sized. I just can’t tell you why. Sure, they look a little on the big side. But why? My gauge is right. I’m using the right needles. The yarn is…well, I think it’s working. The pattern doesn’t seem off base. So what’s the problem?

The answer is…I’m not sure. But there sure is one. I had intended to make the large size (72 sts) as, by measurements, that would fit me the best. I cast on and started working on the toe increases. When I got to the right stitch count for the small/medium size (64), I tried them on. They don’t cover my toes all the way yet, but it’s pretty clear they’re too big. If I stretch them out, the circumference hits 11″* easily and could even stretch a little more.

So. Options. I could:

  1. Frog. Choose a different yarn. Restart. However, I would have to do them on dpns as I don’t have long enough circs in US1 to magic loop them TAAT.
  2. Rip back to 56 sts and carry on.
  3. Just plain carry on. Knit the small/medium size.
  4. Ignore all the alarm bells in my head and continue increasing. Make the large size. Lament the fact that I don’t know any giants who want bright orange socks. Orange socks that should have been mines.

I’m hovering between options 2 and 3 currently. I’ve read through lots of project notes from others who have made these socks (god I love ravelry) and haven’t found much guidance. The fit didn’t seem to be a major issue for anyone else, at least not to the same degree. What people did say, however, was that the pattern stitch tends to pull in a good bit. Given that, I’m tempted to leave room for a little extra give, ie, option 3.

The confounding factor is the yarn I’m using: Frog Tree Pediboo Sport. It can be fingering weight, it can be sport weight. It’s mostly merino but it has 20% bamboo. It just doesn’t behave like a typical sock yarn. Honestly, the bamboo content makes it knit up a lot like cotton–shiny, slippery, not much memory. I read through some project notes from people who made socks out of it, and one thing that got mentioned was they turned out kinda floppy. I don’t want floppy socks. I want socks I can wear! So that makes me lean back toward option 2.

FullSizeRender 300

It’s a little tricky to take good pictures of orange socks when it’s dark and no one’s awake to help you.

You see? Too big. So what to do?

Looking on the bright side, I totally nailed Judy’s Magic Cast On and working TAAT!

*It’s supposed to fit a foot circumference of 8.5-9.5″.



  1. wolfberryknits · May 28, 2016

    Ooooh they’re gonna be really lovely orange socks, and I don’t even like orange!! πŸ™‚ (I’d be ripping I think, definitely make them for yourself!)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Knitters and Hookers · May 28, 2016

    Can definitely relate to this! Not with socks but with hats – I’ve had to rip out a fair few cause I didn’t follow my gut that they have noooo chance of staying on anyone’s head. I’d go with option 2 personally. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • alexand knits · May 28, 2016

      Yeah, I’ve soooo been there! The worst I think was Purl Soho’s Color Dipped Hat. I got over halfway through–fisherman’s rib with fingering weight yarn on US2s–before finally admitting it was waaaay too big. Ripping that out hurt!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sanne · May 28, 2016

    Sounds like a wrong fiber fit for the pattern. Not every fiber/yarn is suitable for every project after all! I ran into the issue that a 100% cotton top felt way too heavy for comfortable wear despite it being soft and nice on the skin. It happens.

    If I were in your shoes I’d frog and use the yarn for something else. It looks so lovely, and with the effort that goes into socks it seems wasteful in all aspects to carry on when it doesn’t feel right.

    Liked by 1 person

    • alexand knits · May 28, 2016

      Yeah, I think you’re right. I don’t know what this yarn wants to be, but I’m pretty sure it’s not socks. However, I decided to keep going for a bit before ripping it out. I’m curious to see how the pattern affects the socks, just so that I can have that info if I use it again with a different yarn. I’m doubtful that they will be salvageable.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Midnight Knitter · May 28, 2016

    That yarn would make swell fingerless mitts… not sure it wants to be socks. No good ever came from making a yarn do something it doesn’t want to do. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Paula @ Spin a Yarn · May 29, 2016

    I have the exact same dilemma with the socks I’m making right now. Part of me knows that it’s because I’m knitting on US 2’s instead of US 1’s. Somehow I magically expected them to fit πŸ™‚ I’m still debating whether I should frog or continue. So, I feel your pain! Great job on your first time with that cast on and getting started with TAAT!

    Liked by 1 person

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