The big questions of the afternoon were about needles.
Sarah asked, "What do you mean, there are two sizes of needles that are both marked 1?" (Well, she might have said a few more things, having just found out the hard way...) I got a related question last week: "The pattern calls for sizes 11/2 and 21/2, but my friend says those don't exist."
Yes, Virginia, there is a size 11/2—or at least there are sizes between the standard U.S. size 1, U.S. size 2, and U.S. size 3. Needles may not be marked this way, but there is a difference.
In the U.S., needles with a diameter of 2.25 millimeters are considered size 1; 2.75 mm makes size 2; and 3.25 is size 3. However, if you look closely at a package of Addi Turbo needles marked US 2, you'll notice that they're also listed as 3.0 mm, and US 1 is 2.5 mm. One-fourth of a millimeter isn't very big, but it's enough to make a difference in a sock!
Some needle manufacturers began making the whole gamut of sizes, and to distinguish between the different diameters they sometimes list half sizes.
At the end of the day, choosing the exact needle size in the pattern isn't important. Halves or millimeters, the important thing is to get the gauge you want to make the socks fit. So . . . Check your millimeter measurements as well as the U.S. sizes.
What's the next step?
We'll gather again in a few weeks, but in the meantime we're knitting away—and I know you are, too. Have other questions you'd like us to address? Check out the forums (one for each sock in the issue) or ask it here!