May 07, 2013

May is National Celiac Awareness and a lesson on knitting gauge

May is National Celiac Awareness month. I do not have celiac disease, AFAIK, but I do have non-celiac gluten intolerance. This means I have to eat as if I do have celiac disease. I had written up a long, boring blog post about where I am now and then decided that no one really wants to know all that. I will say that I do feel better after going gluten free, but it is still a struggle. The last 6 months have been especially difficult for various reasons and I'm trying to bring back the balance between what I eat with how I feel. Anyway, if you are wondering if gluten is an issue for you, I really like the information at the HealthNOW website which has a questionnaire* and other resources. There are no laboratory tests for non-celiac gluten intolerance and so it is not recognized in the wider medical community. Acceptance is slowly coming as education and awareness grows. Doctors do not really know what to do about it yet. Spread the word and let people know this is a real thing.

Onto knitting.

Recently I finished up these socks made with Patons Kroy 4ply sock yarn. It is a heavy fingering almost sport weight yarn. I knit them up on size 1 needles with a cast on of 72 inches. My gauge was 9 stitches to the inch. I should have cast on 76 stitches to get the finished measurement that I needed, but that proved too large. I went down to 72 which was perfect. Socks are normally knit at a dense gauge for durability.

So I cast on some baby socks with the left overs assuming my gauge would remain consistent, which it was.

The sock on the left is my first attempt. Isn't it cute?! The socks were intended for my nearly 2 year old nephew. I checked my gauge and measurements as I went along and things were looking all right, but I had this nagging in the back of my head that it wasn't. My dear nephew couldn't get them on. We couldn't even get them on his 4 month old brother. The sock had very little stretch because of such a dense gauge combined with a small circumference.

So I ripped out one sock and knit up another with the same cast on with size 2 needles. What a difference! The socks have plenty of stretch. I could have stayed with size 1 needles and cast on more stitches but I would have still had the no-stretch issue. I think these will fit or be just a little big. I ran short of yarn, so pulled out another color for the heel and toes. I just need to knit up the second sock. Fingers crossed that these will work.

*I had 23 of the symptoms listed in this questionnaire!

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