Thursday, March 01, 2012

i'm dreaming of a...

since relocation, i have been looking for a job non-stop. seriously non-stop.  so a week or so before christmas, when i was totally stressed about lack of funds for holiday celebrating, i realized i had time to knit.  like, time to knit actual christmas presents without having to stay up all night.  and since the people i was knitting for worked during the day, i could knit all day on their presents and they would never know!  wow! a novel concept.

the goal was to use yarn from my stash.  everyone in the girl house needed items to keep their hands warm.  i knew i had some rowan cocoon in the loveliest shade of gray (#803-scree) that i could use for fingerless mitts for my favorite sister. i looked through ravelry for a pattern and found joelene wiggins' "cabled fingerless mitts" pattern and decided to give it a whirl.  it is a lovely pattern that was a easy, quick knit.  and i mean quick.  as the slowest knitter on the planet, when i can knit a pair of mitts in three days, that is a quick knit.

i did do some mods though. i made the mitt longer as a whole, cuff was a total of 3 inches long;  added an extra cable repeat so the mitt hand would be longer;  added 2-3 rows of ribbing to cover the fingers more; did extra rows on the thumb, and switched cables on the hands so they weren't the same.  they came out wonderfully.  the yarn is warm and soft with just the right amount of bulk to hold the pattern but still comfortable to wear.

my sweet friend saw what i was knitting for her aunt and fell in love with them. in fact she wanted to wear  them all the time.  the original plan was to make her  mittens out of a frog tree sport weight alpaca that i had in my stash, and use sock pixies - pixie warmers pattern.  but it just wasn't calling my name.  i started it and it seemed so airy and light i felt it wouldn't keep the hands as warm as the cocoon would.

and though i am not fond of making the same pattern twice, i knew she loved the pattern and the yarn.  so i scraped some money together and bought another skein of cocoon.  this time in a beautiful teal (#813-seascape).  and they are stunning.  i love the color and so did she.

thankfully both girls love their mitts and wear them all the time.  which brings me to the big guy.  who walked in the door two days before christmas and announced he could really use a black beanie.  seriously!?  you couldn't have let me know sooner?

so i dive into my stash.  first off, i don't have any black yarn so i go for some misti alpaca baby suri alpaca and silk in a dark gray.  i tried it with a couple of simple rib patterns but it wasn't calling my name. so using some christmas money i bought a hank of malabrigo twist, but not in black.  after a bit of thought, i decided to exchange it for a hank of black since black was what he wanted, instead of a colorway i wanted to knit with.

the pattern was elizabeth heath-heckmans, "the boy hat".  a wonderful pattern;   another quick and easy knit.  the only thing was it came out a bit short.  since the big guy isn't living in the girl house, i was unable to measure the hat on his head while it was being knitted.  and though i measured the big guys head numerous ways to ensure i would get the beanie length correct, it was much shorter than i anticipated.  a case of should have trusted the pattern instructions.  he likes and wears it, but it does need to be longer.

after the holiday celebrations, i decided i needed a pair of fingerless mitts.  i had long lusted over the maine morning mitts in claire parks "book of yarn".  my plan was to use some rowan cashsoft aran in a very delicate pink.  got the right gauge and off i went.  for a little while.  after knitting with the bulky yarn and seeing how soft and wonderful it was, i wanted something like it.  so i frogged what i knit, added a cashsoft dk in a very delicate lavender to the mix, got the right gauge and off i went.  i was in love.  i was concerned they would be a little stiff since two strands of yarn were being used and hoped they would soften up with wear/use.  they were and they did.  i love them.  i wear them all the time.  i did not bind off in pattern so i have a ridge at the top.  i sort of like it, though in the future i will probably bind off in pattern.

it was nice to knit things in time for holiday gift giving.  the recipients really appreciated it.  still could use a job though!

(oh, and btw, i only have one sister. just in case you thought i was playing favorites!)