Saturday, February 13, 2010

Best Mittens Ever? Yes.

I found this pattern more than a year ago and showed them to my sister one day to see if she'd like me to knit her a pair.  While I waited until she was back in a climate where she could appreciate them, I did finally manage to knit them up for her for Christmas.

I used knit picks glossy fingering, a combination of merino wool and silk, for extra warmth and a little extra shine.  The yarn was quite lovely to knit with, and I really like how these turned out.

The big surprise for me was learning that my normally extra-loose gauge totally tightens up when knitting with two colors.  It makes sense, given that I am not as adept at holding the yarn in my left hand and everything ends up getting tightened up a bit, but it made me a bit nervous.

My sister has small hands, but I'd already gone down a couple of needle sizes (as I have started to do as a matter of routine, these days) and they ended up a little bit small, especially in how the thumb fit to the rest of the hand.

Thankfully, some post-Christmas blocking seemed to help (so she claims) and now my sister is wearing her new mittens around the house.  She has so far avoided wearing them outside because she "loves them too much."  Well, I tried to argue that mittens should be used, but really, who I am to say she can't decide these are precious objects.

*This post is brought to you by borrowed internet.  Eight percent, whoo!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Blizzard 2010

I was working on a lightweight white lace linen cardigan for spring when the great Northeast Blizzard of 2010 struck Washington, DC, and somehow in all that white it just didn't feel right.
I had lots of time on my hands but needed to be working on something cozy. So I continued with the hats. I found some leftover yarn from the sweater I happened to be wearing and tried the sideways grande hat again with much better results (I deleted 9 stitches from the cast on strip).

Then I decided I had enough leftover yarn from the first sideways grande attempt to make a tam from the same pattern book.

Finally, I decided to try the two at a time method for knitting socks on two cable needles. So far, so good. If you try this, I recommend finding needles that are a different color. It makes it much easier to keep it straight which row you are on. Mine are green aluminum (from an ancient stache) and bamboo. A trick to remember if you use self striping yarn - not all balls are wound in the same direction. If you want your socks to match, you may need to rewind one skein. I didn't bother so my stripes will be upside down o one sock.

Happy winter. I'm not sure I'll ever want to go back to work after this unexpected knitting break.