More Mitts

I’m still knitting mittens. 🙂

First, I wanted to show you those fair isle mitts in LopiLett, now that they’re finished. Here’s the previous picture of them:

Frost mittens in Lopi Light knit by Deborah CookeI knit the linings in the same yarn. The neat trick is that since the linings are knitted to the cuffs – you actually pick up the stitches at the top of the cuff and knit the lining from there – the wrong sides of both mitt and lining end up together. That means there are no ends or floats to catch your fingers inside. It also means the mittens are double-thickness and toasty-warm.

Here’s one turned so you can see the lining:

Lined mitten in LettLopi, knit by Deborah Cooke

I started a second pair in teal and have the first one done. I think I’ll line this pair with the taupe as I have more of that color left.

Frost mitten knitted in LettLopi by Deborah Cooke

I’ve also been knitting mitts for charity, although I have fewer completed this year because of the hats and these fair isle mitts. All year, I add odd balls and ends to a bag, stashing wool that I think will make good mittens. Every November, I dig out that bag (and sometimes add to it) then start knitting mittens for the food bank. I usually use an old Patons pattern for worsted yarn – it’s a single sheet that wool shops used to give out free. Mine looks about as worn as that one on Ravelry, but has scribbled notes on it, too. This year, though, I had some chunky yarn, some odd balls of Patons Alpaca Blend that I found in the sale bin at Spinrite. I found this wonderful pattern from Tin Can Knits called The World’s Simplest Mittens. It includes instructions for four weights of yarn, and five sizes of mittens, and it’s free!

Here are my first three pair, in that Patons Alpaca Blend. The two pair on the left are a children’s size and the one on the right is the medium adult size. Aren’t they cute?

Mittens knit in Patons Alpaca Blend by Deborah Cooke

I also am knitting some in ends of Rowan Colourscape Chunky. Since this is a self-striping yarn, I’ll knit as many as I can from the ends, then figure out which look the best together as pairs:
mittens knit in Rowan Colourscape Chunky by Deborah Cooke

I really like Colourscape Chunky and am sad it was discontinued. I love the colours and the way the variegation shifts so gradually. I also like that there are tweedy flicks of other colours throughout. Kaffe Fassett designed the colourways and it shows. These green ends are from this vest that I knit for Mr. Math. I have some more bits – left over from this vest for me (which isn’t as nearly as neon pink as it looks in these pix) and also this cardigan for me – plus one more sweater-lot for a cardigan for Mr. Math. I might cast that on in January.

What have you been knitting lately?

Stars!

This week, I knit some stars.

Twinkle Stars knit by Deborah Cooke

The pattern is called Twinkle Star and it’s a free Ravelry download.

I knit mine with some yarn in my stash. The gold is Patons Alpaca Blend and the purple is Louet Bonnie. I changed the needle size to get a nice tight fabric with each yarn. They’re stuffed with polyester fiberfill and I think they’re just cute.

What do you think?

Mitts!

As so often happens this time of year, I’ve been knitting mittens.

This first pair are knit of an Icelandic wool called Lett-Lopi. The pattern is Frost (that’s a Ravelry link). The designer’s company is called Kniterations and I was intrigued to see that she has a Patreon site. I know some authors who use Patreon.

Here they are!

Frost mittens in Lopi Light knit by Deborah Cooke The purple is a bit darker IRL than it appears here.

I did make a couple of changes. The pattern specifies that the star be on both the palm and the back of the hand of each mitt, but I only put it on the back of the hand. It was pretty easy to continue the lice across the other side. (Yes, that allover pattern of stitches is really called lice.) I got into the habit of catching the contrast colour on either side of the thumb gusset, too, as sometimes the floats were longer on the back than I thought ideal. I also changed the shaping at the top of the fingers.Frost mittens in Lopi Light knit by Deborah Cooke

This was a project that I frogged again and again. First, I didn’t read the pattern correctly. I knit the smaller size, which meant starting on row 4 of the chart for the mitt. I didn’t realize that I was working row 1 of the thumb gusset chart and then row 5 of the mitt chart until I reached the star and things didn’t line up. I copied the charts then and pasted the thumb gusset chart beside the mitt chart, lining up the rows beside each other that needed to be knit together.

Second, I didn’t get gauge so had to frog and reknit on smaller needles. This happens when you don’t swatch and I often don’t. Third, I didn’t like the shaping of the tip of the mitt (possibly because I didn’t read the instructions correctly), so I frogged that and redid the shaping in the old familiar way. Fourth, I knit the lining for one mitt in a coordinating yarn, but it was too small and I didn’t think it actually coordinated that well once it was done. I frogged that, too. I had gone down another needle size for the lining, as the pattern instructs, but I’d already dropped a size for the mitten. Now I’m going to knit the lining in the same purple wool on the same size needles as the outside. I think there should be enough yarn since the lining doesn’t have ribbing. (You pick up stitches for it at the top of the cuff.)

The second one went much more quickly than the first. Once they’re lined, I’ll knit another pair in green.

I really like them. What do you think?

Cupcake Hats

I’ve been knitting hats!

These are knit from a self-striping acrylic yarn called Caron Chunky Cupcakes. It comes in six colourways: each ball has enough yarn to make a hat, and includes a matching pompom.

It was on sale one day when I was at Michaels and (of course), I bought all the colours.

I didn’t knit the pattern on the ball band, but went looking for another one on Ravelry. I found this free pattern called First Snow, which I followed for the first six hats.

Here they are:Cupcake Hats knit by Deborah CookeYes, it’s true: I still have more of the yarn to make more hats.

I’ll probably try a different pattern next, although I really like this one.

Cupcake Hats knit by Deborah CookeOne of the things I liked about this yarn – even though I’m not a fan of acrylic – is that there are dye flicks in each colour band of some of the other colours. That reminds me of hand-painted yarns. It also is a nice squishy yarn.

One irksome thing was that two of the balls had knots in them, and the striping didn’t continue properly after the break. (Can you guess which ones?) I understand that most yarn manufacturers say that one to two knots per skein or ball is acceptable, but finding one never makes me happy. When the yarn is dyed to stripe, a break often creates a challenge. We could suggest they discount balls with knots, but these were discounted and I was still annoyed to find the knots. :-/

What do you think of them?

New Socks for Me

I finished a pair of socks this week. Not only are these for me, but I like them a lot.

Socks knit of Diamond Sock Yarn by Deborah Cooke

This is my usual pattern. The yarn is Diamond Luxury Collection Foot Loose, which I had in my stash from half a zillion years ago and discontinued. It’s in a red mix colourway. (This pic makes the socks look more pink than they are in real life.) The blend is 90% merino and 10% nylon, and is quite soft. When I was knitting, I thought it might be too soft and worried a bit about how the socks would wear, but they did some magic with the twist – now that the yarn is knitted up, it feels sturdy but yet still soft. It’s also superwash, but doesn’t have that superwash feel.

Here’s hoping they wear well!

Next week, I’ll show you some hats I’ve been knitting.

What’s on your needles right now?

 

Another Trip to the Koigu Tent Sale

It happened again! For the third time, we made the trek to the Koigu Tent Sale in August.

It was much busier this year, and it poured rain on the way there. I had a plan, though.

First, I wanted yarn for a pullover in the current issue of Pompom Quarterly. It’s called Ixchel – you can see it on the front cover of the issue preview on the PomPom site, or follow the pattern name link to the sweater on Ravelry. I chose these two colours of Koigu.

I’m a bit concerned that the blue mix might have too much going on for fair isle work, but I’ll do a swatch and see. I bought enough of the blue that I could knit a pullover in just that colour, just in case. 🙂

My second mission was to get a single skein of Mori (a silk and wool blend) in a darker colour that coordinated with the Mori I bought two years ago at the sale. I’ve chosen a pattern called Tranquil Mist and have just about exactly the right yardage. That makes me nervous, so having this purpley-black skein is a kind of insurance: if I run out of the turquoise Mori on the right, I can finish with the darker colour.

The red I bought because, well, it’s red and beautiful. I have four skeins of it and love it to bits so it will be used for something.

What about the Koigu I’ve bought at the tent sale before? Well, last year, I bought a kit with ten skeins in ranges of purple and a pattern book. I’ve knit one shawl, which used half that yarn:

Charlotte's Web shawl, knit by Deborah Cooke in Koigu

That’s the other five skeins in a row on the floor. You can read the blog post about the finished shawl right here – Charlotte’s Web.

I’m also working on a cardigan in one of the colourways I bought the first year. The pattern is called Juicy Gloss and there was a post about it here. I’ve made some progress on that one in the last month or so and will show it to you when I finish the body. I’m about halfway down the lace bit, but the rows are long so each one takes a while.

What have you been knitting lately?

And what do you think of my new Koigu?

The Pink Cowl

I don’t knit cowls very often, but I recently finished one. This yarn and pattern was my subscriber gift from Rowan – the pattern is called Prospero and the yarn is Alpaca Merino DK (those are both Ravelry links). The colourwas is Hoby, which is a heathered pink. The yarn is discontinued but I chose it as my gift because I was curious about it. It has a chainette construction. I’d never knitted a yarn like this before. Here’s a close-up of the yarn:

Alpaca Merino DK

What’s interesting is that the yarn was so hard to photograph. I guess it’s so fine that the camera wanted to focus on the background instead, as if the yarn wasn’t even there. You can see the construction of it, though. It’s very airy and can be twisted to just about nothing.

Prospero is a garter stitch scarf grafted into a loop which doesn’t make it the most exciting knit ever. On the other hand, a plain knit like this is an opportunity to be mindful as you work. I had to knit carefully to avoid splitting the yarn – I used really blunt needles, but still had to keep an eye on it. It wasn’t good tv knitting, so I had to make an hour here or there, just to work on it. I made Russian joins where I switched balls, and that worked beautifully to hide the ends. Because the yarn is so open, it doesn’t look any different where it’s doubled over.

I didn’t get anything close to gauge in the length, so I used four balls instead of the two specified in the pattern. The finished cowl is supposed to be 29″ but mine is about 35″. Longer is better when it comes to scarves, IMO, and once I was into the fourth ball, I decided to just use it up. Here it is, finished but not blocked:

Prospero knitted by Deborah Cooke in Alpaca Merino DK

My graft looks good from the right side, although I had a hard time ensuring that the tension was consistent, so it looks a little less good on the back.  And yes, I made one mistake in the graft, but by the time I saw it, I wasn’t going to rip back to fix it.

Ewden, designed by Sarah Hattan in Rowan Alpaca Merino DKI like the fabric from the yarn a lot. It feels light and squishy, and the heathered colour makes it more interesting. This photo is pretty accurate in terms of colour. The finished cowl is a continuous loop of squishy softness. I suspect I’ll wear this a lot this winter.

In fact, I liked it enough that I ordered some more of this yarn before it disappears forever. I’m going to knit Ewden, a pullover designed with this yarn, in the same pink colour. I just love the cable detail on this sweater, which was designed by Sarah Hatton.

What do you think?

Dragon Scale Mitts

There’s a video that people keep sharing with me on Facebook of an artist who makes the most amazing dragon gloves and tails for CosPlay. They’re knitted, with scales, and are just gorgeous. The artist’s site is Jaye Creations.

Seeing them over and over (and over! LOL) again inspired me to finally knit some (much smaller) dragon scale fingerless gloves. I ordered small scales from The Ring Lord, although it was hard to choose colours. These are the black ones that are black on both sides. My order came really quickly and the scales are really nice.

I bought a pattern but realized afterward that each glove was knitted flat and then seamed. I wanted to knit in the round. I also wanted a thumb gusset for a better fit. So, I used a free pattern that I’ve used before and modified it – it’s called Half Skein Worsted Mitts (that’s a Ravelry link). Essentially, I placed a 19 stitch reverse stockinette panel on the back of the hand, and covered it with scales. The scales go on every second stitch, and the placement alternates – 10 scales on the first scale row, 9 on the next. For this pair, the scales are on every third row, so there’s a Scale Row, then two rows of knitting, then the Alternate Scale Row, then two rows of knitting, for a six row repeat. I used some Patons Classic Merino in black tweed from my stash.

Here’s the right mitt in progress:

Dragon Scale Mitts knit by Deborah Cooke

Dragon Scale Mitts knit by Deborah Cooke

I haven’t knit the thumb yet or sewn in the ends in these pictures.

And here are the finished mitts!

Dragon scale mitts knit by Deborah Cooke

They took 291 scales and 49g of Patons Classic Wool, which is almost exactly one half of the 100g ball. I like the weight of them and how they feel, plus the sound the scales make.

I’ll definitely be making more!

What do you think?

New Socks

The mister has a new pair of socks, knit of Fleece Artist Trail Socks. This is a merino-nylon blend and quite a lovely firm yarn. The colourway is called Hercules. You can see the colours from Fleece Artist on this page of their site. They’re in alphabetical order so just scroll down to find Hercules.

Here are Mr. Math’s new socks.

Socks knit in Fleece Artist Trail Socks by Deborah Cooke

Socks knit in Fleece Artist Trail Socks by Deborah Cooke

I had originally bought this yarn to make myself knee socks. I bought two skeins and knit one sock from one skein then cast on the second. It striped differently from the first, possibly because I started in a different point on the repeat, but also was very different in colour.

knee socks knit in Fleece Artist Trail Socks by Deborah Cooke

This happens with handpainted yarns and I could have been cool with it. Instead, I decided to frog the knee socks and make two pairs of regular socks, one from each skein.

Mr. Math got his first.

I’m still trying to figure out if I can keep from frogging the entire knee sock knit of the other skein. Unfortunately, I knit it cuff-down, so I think I have to rip it back the whole way. I kind of like the spiral, but that only happens with more stitches for the calf. Maybe I can cut it off around the point of that needle (??) and save the work. I have to have another look at it and see.

What do you think of Mr. Math’s new socks?