This is a long-overdue public thank-you to my friend Beth. Last January, someone posted to our local knitting group e-mail list a link to Morehouse Farms hedgehog mittens kit. I replied that I loved them but wasn’t planning to spend money on yarn anytime soon. Beth knows that my family loves hedgehogs—especially Sylvia, who has been hedgehog-crazy since she discovered Mrs. Tiggy-winkle when she was two. So Beth did something very sneaky: she bought a kit for me and had it sent to my house.
I cast on right away and got to the thumb gusset of the first mitten before I got distracted by other projects. This pattern is fun to knit—albeit a bit slow going (knitting bobbles for the quills takes time!)—and I’m hoping to get a set of these done for myself by next fall . . . and maybe a pair for Sylvia, too!
I know we’re at the height of summer right now, but winter (and the main gift-giving season of the year) will be upon us before you know it. So if you’re hoping to wear–or give–new handknitted handwear this winter, you may want to get started on it soon!
Looking for a challenge? Look no further: these Sanquhar gloves look mind-bogglingly difficult. But wow, the results sure are stunning.
Did you see the movie Coraline, based on the very excellent book by the same name by Neil Gaiman? Someone’s figured out a pattern for Coraline’s gloves. It’s wonderful when geekery and knitting overlap, isn’t it?
If you like unfettered fingers, try some fingerless mittens. Here’s a pattern for some nice and simple ones.
These rainbow-colored fingerless mitts were designed for homespun, but the author says that Noro would be a good substitute (and I bet they would look great in that yarn!).
I like these XO cable fingerless mitts, too; I’d love to try them as full-on mittens.
And here’s a fingerless mitten pattern sized for a man’s hands.
These daisy-stitch fingerless mitts are awfully cute. That daisy stitch, though–how in the world did someone first figure out to do that?
And if you like unfettered fingers but want to make sure your forearms (and maybe elbows, too!) are nice and toasty, check out these extra-long fingerless gloves.
It’s funny that I originally started this blog to keep track of my knitting projects yet lately I’ve been lousy about posting knitting-related updates here. I’m still knitting these days–not so much with my knitting group (busy schedules and other interests and obligations have made it difficult for us all to get together as often as we used to), but mostly during times when I’m sitting around waiting somewhere or watching a DVD.Early last month I finished the hem on my Wallaby. I’d originally knit it with a rolled hem, but after test-wearing it for a couple of months I decided I didn’t like how the roll formed a “bump” that poked me in the lower back whenever I leaned back on it. So I picked up stitches all around the cast-on edge, knit a hem, and sewed it down. I’m pleased with the results.
I also finished my squirrel and oak mittens to match the ones I knit for Sylvia a year and a half ago. She really wanted us to have matching mittens, and it took me a while to get the yarn and gauge right.You may recall that I knit Sylvia’s left mitten three times before I got the size right. I did not rip the failures but plan to knit their mates at some point. The small ones can be a baby gift for someone, and the larger ones will probably fit Sylvia this year.
I had similar trials with my mittens. First I knit one in Knitpicks Palette, which turned out to be too small for me. Then I knit one in Knitpicks worsted Wool of the Andes on #4 needles. Too small again. Using #6 needles yielded success. Fortunately, I always start with the squirrel mitten, which has “20” at the top. Since it’s highly unlikely that we’ll start a new century before I finish the oak mitten, I’ll be able to knit the mates for these and give them away. (The Palette ones are likely to fit Sylvia in a couple of years.)
Happily, I had no gauge problems whatsoever with this baby cardigan, sized for 6-12 months. Two years ago I took a class with Margaret Fisher and was so inspired that a couple of months later I got her book, Seven Things that can “Make or Break” a Sweater: Techniques and Tips for Hand Knitters (even though the capitalization choices and use of quotes in the title annoy me).
This baby cardigan project features all of the elements she discussed in that book: as you read the book, you work through the project, thus getting some hands-on experience with each technique.I knit this in Rowan All-Season Cotton from my stash. What a fun project! I definitely want to knit this pattern again. This particular sweater went to a friend who is expecting her first child at the end of July. I can’t wait to see photos of the baby wearing it this winter!
One of Jan’s coworkers is a guy named Frank. He’s always very friendly whenever Sylvia and I stop by the office to meet Jan for lunch, and never takes it personally when Sylvia gets a case of the toddler “shies” and refuses to talk to or look at him.
He’s a hardcore Mac user and an amateur photographer, so when he learned about my own interest in photography, he started sending digital photography books home with Jan. For me to keep. What a nice guy.
I wanted to repay his kindness, so with Sylvia’s help (she chose the projects: “Frank needs mittens and a hat!”) I did some knitting for him. After verifying that he can wear wool and loves blue, I used Patons SWS in Natural Indigo, with some stripes in Natural Wood. (I should mention that I am forever in debt to Lynnette, my upstream SP9 partner, for introducing me to this fabulous yarn.)
The mittens and the hat are both straight out of Ann Budd’s Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns. I knit the largest size in each pattern (making Jan try them on from time to time), and I think that worked out pretty well.
Sylvia and I went to Jan’s office last Friday, and she eagerly presented the box to Frank. I’d wrapped it in some white packing paper saved from IKEA, and she’d decorated the box with ink stamps, stickers, and crayon markings—including an S for Sylvia and an F for Frank. He seemed pretty pleased, so I think this is one knitted gift that will definitely be worn!