Between the sock yarn and the 2/8 weaving yarn (thread?) that I've got here, waiting to be knitted, I figured it was high time to dig out the small size double-points. So I did. Unfortunately the size 0 and size 0000 needles are plain steel, and very hard to tell apart, and I was left with a handful of tiny needles, not sure which was which (and wondering, at that size, if the difference really mattered in terms of gauge). No problem, I thought, and took them to the husbeast.
The husbeast does industrial inspections for the Navy and regularly spends his days measuring things down to the thouandth of an inch, and he's sized needles for me before. I figured he'd do his usual Zen deal: spin them between his fingers, separate them into two piles, and hand them back. But no. He was in a mood, or something.
Off he goes into the garage, muttering about Cals and Mikes. Cals turned out to be calipers, and Mikes turned out to be this:
A micrometer. Yes, indeed, I'm married to a man who keeps a micrometer in his toolbox. So he measured my knitting needles.
It turns out several of my size 0 needles vary from each other by over ten thousandths of an inch. Horrors. (I plan to use that as an excuse the next time I'm knitting lace and the gauge goes wonky, I swear I am. "Oh, sorry, the one needle is .0003 inches smaller than the other, it throws me off.") And I thought measuring gauge out to two decimal places was crazy.
So anyway. I've started knitting a swatch with the light blue 2/8 yarn. It's in the round, so I'm thinking of it as both a swatch and a practice sock at the same time. Right now I'm using size two needles, and unwashed, it's coming out at about eight stitches per inch. However, it looks kind of loose, so unless it really blooms in water, I'll probably be going down to size ones and nine stitches to the inch, which was sort of the gauge I was half-heartedly shooting at to begin with.
How long do you suppose it takes to knit a sweater on size 0 needles?