Mitts for Grandma

About two months before Christmas, my mom decided that my grandma needed fingerless mitts to keep her hands warm during the day – and that I should make them. I decided that Delicato, a pattern I’ve knit before would be the order of the day, and started searching out yarn possibilities. Once my mom decided which yarn she liked best, we ordered the yarn, it arrived…and I avoided knitting them. Around about Thanksgiving I decided I’d better not put them off anymore, and started, completely winging the needle size based on past experience (which worked out perfectly). It was a slow start. As I mentioned in my last post, knitting wasn’t exactly my friend in 2012 and my wrist was bothering me. As Christmas inched closer however, I had no choice so I sat down for a marathon day of knitting–and was rewarded by feeling much better about both the craft and my wrist. (True culprit for the wrist pain is, I believe, the computer–which alas, I cannot completely avoid.) I completed them in just the nick of time, and my grandma both likes and has been wearing them. Win!

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Pattern: Delicato by Anne Hanson (Knitspot)
Yarn: Woolen Rabbit Pandora (merino-bamboo-nylon sock blend)
Needles: US 1 (2.25 mm)

It’s a good thing I enjoyed making these again–my mom has requested a pair from the leftover yarn! I don’t know how quickly I’ll get to them, though–since I last posted, I was offered a full time job (income, yay!) with a long commute (1 hour drive – no public transport option, boo!), so my time will be more severely limited than the last couple years. But they are definitely near the top of the list!

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To Finish Off the Year

It’s been ages ago now (and perhaps seems even longer), but this summer I participated in the Summer ’11 edition of Seasons of Lace. It was fun to knit lace along with others, even if I still haven’t finished Rock Island from the KAL. (Soon, I hope!) But that was summer, and this is winter, so I was very surprised a couple weeks ago to receive an e-mail that I had won yarn in the Resurrection Lace Raffle! Just before Christmas I received this little beauty, a skein of Twisted Fiber Art yarn, Muse base (wool-silk), Warlock colorway, generously donated by Cathy Cate of Hither and Yarn.

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Thank you Cathy! Now I just need to decide what to do with it…

In other knitting news, I successfully finished a pair of Hot Waffles Knits for my brother for Christmas. I didn’t get any pictures, but this:

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is what they look like. Yes, they are exactly the same as my Dad’s Mitts. I think my brother likes them; I know he’s been wearing them already. So that was a success.

Not so successful:

Two of at least three short sections from the middle of my ball of Cascade 220 Superwash. They were only holding on by a single ply, which meant more ends to weave in. It looks like maybe the yarn snagged on a piece of equipment or something. I’ve never had this happen in commercial yarn before (although I have knit with yarn from mom & pop companies that’s been broken and knotted). I’m not overfond of weaving in ends, and in black it’s just torture. So I wasn’t too happy by that, but I bought the yarn so long ago, that there’s nothing I can do about it. (And none of the other balls I bought from the same dye lot had that problem. Weird.)

There is one thing I can do–I swear, no more knitting anything in black that requires seaming or weaving in of multiple ends. I mean it this time!

New Knits!

Despite my tendency towards bouts of project monogamy, I find I’ve suddenly succumbed to new projects. In a way, this is out of nowhere—I hadn’t been consciously planning on starting new projects—but really, this has been in the works for a while.

My dad has been hinting around since the tail-end of last winter that a pair of fingerless mitts would be really nice. With the arrival of chilly temps, now set in for good, I think, I’ve finally got around to doing something about it.

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I had some leftover Cascade 220 Superwash in the stash in black, so earlier this week I cast on for a pair of Hot Waffles (Anne Hanson). I forget how fast DK weight knits up. Or anything with rows of fewer than 100 stitches! I’m almost finished with the first one, but I want to have my dad try it on before I get too much further. It seems a little small to me, but it might be OK. (I um, only sort of checked my gauge. I decided it was ‘close enough.’ And I didn’t have the next needle size up anyways. At least they’re fast if I have to start over!)

The next new project is actually still only in skein stage. I need mittens (or gloves). Soon. I managed to finish out the winter last year by repairing my old gloves but they’re not going to make it far this year. While I’m at it, I also need a hat to go with my relatively new winter coat (I made do last year with just a scarf). Seeing as this is all coming at once, and that it would be nice if the yarn matched, I started poking around for what might work. Anne’s Monkey Bread Hat & Scarf look so nice and cozy in the yarn she used, that I simply couldn’t resist, and better yet, there was a perfect red in stock:

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As usual with reds, the color isn’t quite right; it’s actually a little darker. The yarn is Great Northern Yarns 70% Mink/30% Cashmere. Everything I’ve heard about it is positive: very warm, soft, lovely bloom, wears well. I ordered enough for a Monkey Bread Hat & Scarf, and for the mittens, I’ve decided to go with Ysolda’s Snapdragon flip-tops. Aniko on Ravelry knit hers in this yarn and they looked so nice and cozy. Plus I really like the idea of the combination of mittens (ease of knitting—all those fingers + ends is the number one reason I’m avoiding gloves) and ready access to fingers for anything fiddly.

I’m still working on Rock Island, but theses projects will probably be taking priority for the next little while. And there may be a good deal of skein petting involved. The mink/cashmere really IS soft!