Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hold My Hand, Pt 2

A few more mitts. The orange/black ones are Huey's. He wore them a couple times, they got wet, he tried his felted black ones from last year (instead of the store bought gloves he INSISTED were the best), and declared the felted mitts are the best thing in the whole entire world, and these orange ones are too small. He didn't like the orange wools I had on hand, so I took one that was the orangeyist and dyed it in the microwave with some Easter egg dye that had been already dissolved and hanging around in a Mason jar for 4 years. They have a nice kettle dyed look, but I think he wanted oranger. And, I ran out. So to match them up, I topped them off with black, used the bit of orange left to extend the cuff downwards and casted off in black. In retrospect, I should have ripped and re-knitted, using the black as stripes. He wanted purple at first.
They were done on the KnitSmart, using my basic handknit pattern. Even though it meant moving 12? st outwards on each side every other row while making the thumb gusset, it wasn't too bad actually. Still quicker than by hand. Somehow they did end up a little pointed.
Lucy wasn't too happy with her minty green mitts---there was a hole at the top where the sts were gathered together. And, being Patons Decor, they weren't terribly warm. I made the purple and pink striped ones in the lower left as a suprise. They are Patons Classic Wool. Don't recall which pattern I did off hand, but Lucy isn't too fussy, so I probably did the gathered top one again, but when I do it, I do one row of K2tog (and move the sts over so there's only a couple empty needles in the middle), then another row of K2tog, again, moving the sts over to fill the empty needles. I try not to have too many sts to actually gather at the top. They look like the shortrow thumbs. She wore them a bit, I think the thumbs are too long or too short....then she insisted she had to have store bought mittens....in February, when the patio sets are being put on display. Her $15 "Good" brand store bought mittens did not last two weeks before they started falling apart. I'm not sure where these mitts are; I think they are in her basket at school.

The other pink and purple ones are mine. I wanted another pair of 100% wool mitts for walking; I find the 100% wool ones are a lot warmer than the 50% wool ones. However, I had only one pair (the ones that got frozen into a snowbank last year), and they are getting felted and ratty. I have been a little traumatized by the Yarn Harlot's daughter saying only knitters wear mis-matched accessories. I thought that I was being clever and unique by matching the colours, but different yarn. I don't have any yarn to make a complete 'set' or finish off any of the sets I have to make them truely match. But someday I hope to have a pink hat. I used Headwaters Wool. I had to use two strands of the pink, and one of the purple. I had been told that would make the finer yarn the same as the thicker yarn. I wish I could have gotten a good picture. The mitts were sort of rippled--you can sort of see how the purple pops up. I gently felted the mitts to try to even it out and thicken them up. They were too wide, but okay for length, but also too loosely knitted. I know felting shrinks more in length and I didn't want to lose much length. I ended up felting them twice, and they are much improved, not totally felted, but also not as warm as my other mitts. I used my handknitting pattern again. It was hard to get the mitt stretched to get all the thumb sts on the hooks. I think, I could take the other sts off on waste yarn or a holder, cast on the two side sts for the thumb, and knit the thumb first instead of at the end.

I really want to make the Vogue cover mitts from the winter issue. When I went to the K-W Knitter's Fair, Camilla Valley Farm had the yarn in their display but I had already spent too much. Then, when I was there in Nov to get the Fleece Artist mitten kit, I almost bought the yarn, but knew I needed to focus on the gift mittens. Now, winter is pretty much over, and her road is a mucky yucky trail....I wonder what she'd do if I placed a 'mail' order? LOL.

I also made Meg a pair of purple mitts, but no picture. I've been pretty lazy about photos. Not much knitting actually getting finished, but hopefully something new to show very soon!!!

Monday, March 02, 2009


This is the "Valentine's Hat" I was working on for Rob. I finally got it finished just before dinner on Valentine's Day. The yarn is Louet's "Bonnie" a 90% wool, 10% silk, from www.elann.com. It has one ply that stays orange, and one that changes colour---yellowish/teal/turquoise/green/blue/purple.... I started off with one strand...the yarn gauge said I should be able to make pattern gauge. Haa Haa. I don't know what's up lately, but that doesn't seem to be happening much....yarns seem to have a much looser recommended gauge than what I would usually want. After much starting, ripping, restarting, etc, I just wasn't happy with the gauge/fabric/my ability to count, so I opted to go with two strands. Now, due to the nature of this yarn, I wanted to keep the colours that change, the same for both strands. It was very hard to pick out any sort of repeating pattern in the yarn, but I tried, and it worked pretty well. I wanted the top orange/red mainly, because Rob's coats are orange and red, but because he is over 6ft tall, you don't really notice the top of the hat when he's wearing it. He proclaims it warm and toasty, especially with the ties actually tied. LOL.
I have three balls left in another colourway; I thought I might make a hat for next year's Christmas gift exchange. However, I have been traumatized by the Yarn Harlot's daughter saying unmatching winter accessories is uncool. I thought it was quite clever that although my hat and my mitts were not the same yarn, they were the same colour, but different textures. This hat took almost 3 balls, so that wouldn't leave me much for mitts. So, I don't know yet. I guess it will go to the stash---I was trying to avoid that!
During the Christmas break, I wanted to also try earflap hats on the knitting machine. I used one hand knitting pattern, and after altering, got a cute hat that fits Meg but Lucy claimed it. Then I made another one for Meg, although it's big enough for Lucy, LOL. Then I made this one for myself. It's left over Fiorito from Lucy's Valentine's sweater from a couple years ago. I altered the pattern for the crown, and although I'm happy with it, it looks dorky on me. I think it needs a pompom. And, I don't think it's beefy enough for the yarn/purpose of an earflap hat. I look like an egghead wearing an egg cozy. But it looks really cute on Meg!

This is the inside of another hat, handknit for me. Made just around the time of the YarnHarlot's daughter's comment, I was making this to 1) use up stash 2)have a 'go with anything' hat. It's an icky feeling lumpy yarn, perhaps Caron Fascination or something. When I got it done, it was slightly loose on me, and not very warm. I used some Patons' Decor (I wanted to keep it all machine washable) and picked up stitches on the inside, of the top of the garter band section (it's based on Thorpe). I knitted a few rows, then realized that the yarn was smaller, and the gauge was different, so if I didn't increase some sts, it would really pull in the edge of the hat. Once I increased, I realized that I WAS at the edge of the hat. So the cast off edges are a little too snug, but no wind is blowing this off my head. I continued the grey down into the earflaps for extra protections. It's a very windy walk to the kids' school!
This is what it looks like from the outside. I do not look hip and stylish like the model. I look like a crazy woman towing a toboggan full of kids and backpacks when the rest of the world is already home safe and warm, doing homework and sipping cocoa. It's tighter on me, so I think that's a big 'uncool' issue...most kids wear their earflap hats loose and floppy. Me--I've got it tied tight and snug under my chin, LOL.