Tag Archive | mittens

Striped Convertible Mitts

It’s no secret that I like knitting. I’m a process knitter, which means I knit because I like the process of knitting, not necessarily because I want the end result. So when a friend asked me if I’d make her some mittens, I agreed right away. I’d be knitting anyway, why not make something a friend would enjoy wearing?

It turns out she’d bought the kit for these Line by Line Mittens to Gloves from Knit Picks, complete with five colors of Knit Picks Swish, because she wanted to learn to knit. Then she tried, and discovered she didn’t love it, and it made her hands and elbows hurt. But she still had this kit sitting there, staring at her and mocking her. (I’m imagining that last bit; that’s what it would be doing to me, anyway.) And she still wanted the mitts. They didn’t look complicated to me, even though I’d have to learn how to do the convertible top. She insisted there was no hurry, but when I finished the husband’s socks (which were supposed to be Christmas gifts but oops were not) I was happy to do something new and different, and I cast on the first mitt over the weekend.

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They knit up quickly, though it didn’t take long for me to realize I’d forgotten the downside to stripes: ends. Lots and lots of ends to weave in. I texted her a progress photo after the first one was done, joking that I’d let her weave in the ends, and cast on for the second mitt.

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With the basic mitts done, it was time to figure out the convertible tops. I took a break long enough to weave in a crap-ton of ends (yes, she would have happily done it herself, but I needed the break, and it was satisfying to see the neat and tidy mitts). Then I counted down the rows to where I was supposed to pick up 24 stitches. But I’d never picked up stitches in the middle before; I’d always picked up from an edge. So that took a few tries before I found a method that worked and looked acceptable. Not sure if it’s the “right” way, but eh, who cares about that, right? Getting the stitches all set up for that convertible top was kind of a hassle, to be honest, but once I got the first couple of rows done, it was smooth sailing, and by the middle of the Golden Globes last night, I had a complete mitten!

I’ll do the last mitten top tonight so that I can give her the mittens tomorrow, and then I’ll give the pattern back and never knit it again. I didn’t really care for how it was written. The thumb gusset was set up on both sides of the beginning-of-round marker, so I was fiddling with color changes and increases within a few stitches. I prefer it when the gusset is closer to the middle of the round, especially if there are color changes. Still, these are awfully cute, and it does feel good to do something nice for someone else sometimes!

Two Finished Gifts

I feel like I’m running in place with my Christmas knitting. I finish projects but I still have ones waiting in the wings, so I don’t feel like I’m getting ahead. But still, I did finish two projects the other day, and that’s a relief. The first is the pair of Lightning McQueen mittens, the project where the first mitten came out too big and I had to frog it and reknit it. My second try was much more successful.

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Hooray, two matching mittens! These are actually a birthday gift that I’ll give today, so here’s hoping they actually fit the little boy they’re for. Pattern is World’s Simplest Mittens by Tin Can Knits.

My second FO is a pair of Christmas-gift socks, the Strutting Peacock socks that I’ve had on the needles since mid-November. (Feels like longer.) This wasn’t a fun knit for me. I don’t think I like the Knit Picks Chroma for socks, at least not for socks with twisted stitches. The colors are pretty, and the final socks do feel dense and warm, but the yarn sticks to itself a lot, making tinking and frogging difficult. I bought more colors in the big sale, so I’ll try another pair with a simpler pattern and see if I like it better.

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I do like the look of the pattern. It took a little while for me to memorize, but I was able to do the second sock mostly without the pattern. My only modification was to do a stockinette foot rather than carry the pattern down, to make for faster knitting. I think I’d like to try this pattern again with better yarn.

Last night was a band concert, the girl’s last District Band concert. She played beautifully, they sounded wonderful, and I had lots of knitting time. I chose the simplest of knitting so that I could watch her while I listened and knit, and made good progress on my Scrappy Cowl.

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This is a pretty fun project. I think I’m going to like this cowl a lot! But for now I’ve set it aside because I need to focus on more gift knitting. The boy has a girlfriend, and he would like me to make a cowl for the girlfriend. I like the boy, so I will do my best to complete that along with the other two gift projects on my list! Are you done with your gift knitting yet?

Knitting Gone Wrong

I found out recently that one of my nephews was in need of mittens. I’d made him a pair a couple of years ago, but somehow one got lost, and plus he’s grown since then. Aunt Knitter to the rescue! He has a winter birthday and a pair of mittens would be a lovely gift. He is currently infatuated with Lightning McQueen so that was my inspiration. I had just the right colors of Knit Picks Brava Worsted in my stash, I chose Tin Can Knits’ World’s Simplest Mittens, and cast on. How could I go wrong?? (*dun dun DUN* This is called foreshadowing.)

Wow, the first mitten went fast! Just a couple of hours over two nights and I had a finished mitt. I thought it looked kind of big, and the proportions seemed a little off, but the length measurement matched the pattern specifications, so off I went onto the second mitten.

From the start, I questioned myself. It said to cast on 28 stitches. That number seemed wrong. I didn’t remember casting on that number the first time. But oh well, I’m getting old, I’d slept since then, whatever. I kept going. This mitten went even faster than the first; I finished all but the thumb in one night. Woohoo! Yay me, right?

HAHA. No. I held the first mitten up to the second. The second mitten was MUCH smaller. Not really shorter, but the body was a lot narrower. I counted stitches and discovered I’d cast on 32 stitches the first time. No wonder 28 didn’t sound familiar! Somehow my eyes had landed on the stitch count for the child size in DK weight the first time, and the second time I actually did it correctly. Sigh. At least I have one mostly-finished mitten in the right size. I spent the rest of my knitting time last night frogging the first mitten so I could reuse the yarn. Waste not, want not, right? And I’m grateful that it’s small, so I have time to get it finished before the birthday party this weekend! #mustknitquickly

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This is the “bad” mitten

Have you ever had a disaster trying to make two things the same size?

Just keep knitting, just keep knitting

We had a busy busy weekend around here! My daughter, who’s a high school freshman flutist, made it into the All District Band. Fabulous achievement, right? Yes. But it meant driving 30 minutes each way on Thursday and Friday after school for rehearsals. The upside was that I then had two and a half hours to myself. I got to sit there and listen to talented musicians practice beautiful music while I played with yarn. I really can’t complain; I enjoyed it. And I finished the last of my must-knit Christmas gifts! Unfortunately, you can’t see them until after Christmas. But I swear I got them done.

Saturday was performance day for the band, and I knew I’d have a lot of idle time. So for my easy concert knitting, I decided I needed to make little pouches for some small gifts I’m giving. I was going to use little boxes, but surely a handknit pouch is more fun, right? I’m using this brilliant Treasure Pouch pattern with bits of leftover worsted yarn and size 4 DPNs. Each one takes maybe 45 minutes tops, and I got two done that night! They’re adorable. I’ve got another on the needles and I’ll be making a few more before the big day.IMG_3385Yesterday we had a birthday party for a special little boy, and I’d made him his first handknit mittens. They match his winter hat (which I also made but forgot to photograph). Thankfully, they fit well and he seemed pleased…until he needed his hands to play with the Batmobile and pulled them off.IMG_3368Now that the presents are all prepared and procured, I’m getting the itch to start wrapping. I want presents under the tree, but I’m also ready to get rid of some of these piles in my closets!

These owls are ready to leave the nest

It’s a cool, gray, drizzly day, and I’ve spent the morning with my fancy crochet hook, finishing up an order. That makes two that are ready to ship out tomorrow! IMG_5046 IMG_5052 IMG_2942IMG_2951Now the dog is impatient, so I’ll step away from the yarn and take him for a walk. When I return, I’ll be switching back to knitting to give my wrists a break!

Princess Anna crochet hats, and some mittens

Finally some FOs to show off! I worked hard last week on a proofreading job, but I had some yarn time too, and over the weekend I finished a few things. A friend posted a picture and link to a Princess Anna-inspired hat for girls from a blog called Over the Apple Tree, and my MIL asked for four of them for grandkids. How could I say no? These hats are too cute! IMG_2924 IMG_2921 IMG_2931The hat pattern originally came from Vallieskids and is flexible enough that it will fit a wide range of head sizes. The girls are similar ages, so I just sat back and cranked out four hats all the same. Then I had to learn how to crochet embroidery for the green stems, and it was a lot easier than I expected. The hard part is making them all look the same. The flowers came from my favorite flower pattern, called the Fabulous Flower. I could have done the smaller one to make it more like the original blog post, but I rather like bigger flowers.

I also had a request for a hat and mitten set, so I got to do my first pair of mittens! I’ve done fingerless gloves before, but never a whole mitten and a full thumb. Well, it was a piece of cake. And since they were for a young girl, they knitted up so fast. I did a whole mitten and most of the second yesterday, and this morning I finished up the thumb. I loved making these. I think mittens might be making an appearance this holiday season. IMG_2914 IMG_2916Both the mittens and the hats were made with Caron Simply Soft. I love how it feels, and that it’s machine washable.