Most commercial sock yarns are the same. Opal, Regia, Lang Jawoll, Lane Cervinia, Online... I'll get about 36 stitches to four inches on US #1 needles. Without even thinking about it, I know that I should make a 64-stitch stockinette sock for myself with these yarns. I know that with Trekking XXL, I get 45 stitches to four inches on US #0 needles.

Cascade HeritageBut now here is a new yarn, Cascade Heritage. It looks to be about the same thickness as the 'standard' commercial sock yarn. I know I have to make these socks slightly larger, 'cause they're not for me. But swatching? Pfft. I'll just start the sock with 72 stitches, I say to myself. The cuff can be the swatch... and oh, man, that's large. After twenty rounds of cuff and five rounds of sock leg, I stretched the cuff out around a tape measure, and there would be no negative ease in these socks at all. Okay, well, twenty-five rounds isn't much to rip out and start over.

Second try, 2x2 ribbing over 68 stitches, and I realized that while the socks are a much better size, I don't really like the way that 2x2 ribbing will flow into 3x1 ribbing on the sock leg... so I ripped it out again, only six rounds this time, and started over with a 1x1 twisted rib on the cuff. Since there will be 3x1 ribbing all the way down the leg and top of the foot, I'm not relying on the cuff to hold up the whole sock. I like the look of the twisted rib, and it will fit nicely into the body of the sock.

I really like the yarn so far. It's very smooth on my hands, and slides nicely across the needles, and what little I've knitted up felt pleasantly squooshy. I can't tell yet if the colors will pool, flash, or distribute evenly. I'm hoping for the latter, but I wouldn't be surprised if it does something funky across the gusset.

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One Response to “In Which the Pirate Swatches by Just Starting.”
  1. [...] for Michael, in Cascade Heritage Paints #9922. He bought the yarn for me back in November, and I broke the queue to cast on for [...]

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