Sunday, October 25, 2009

New Mittens for Dad

The first sweater I made back in 2005 was a deep purple raglan. It was made in pieces requiring seaming. I was lucky enough to discover Elizabeth Zimmerman's books within the first six months of knitting, but not in time for my first sweater. I knit the sweater back and forth on long straight needles. I didn't know yet the benefit of working on circulars for both flat knitting and knitting in the round. But the sweater turned out beautifully - my seams turned out really wonderfully. I used Vogue Knitting for reference. Constantly. And as a consequence, I don't mind seaming at all. That sweater was made from Lamb's Pride Worsted - and holy cow, is it a warm sweater.

I made these mittens for my dad from Lamb's Pride. It might be the first time I've used it since my first sweater. I don't know why I haven't used it more - it's easy to work with, has a great little bit of fuzziness to it from mohair, and is sooo warm. This is the first project I have made for my dad.

Needles: size 6 Clover bamboo dpns
Yarn: Lamb's Pride Worsted in Charcoal

The are mittens from Knitting New Mittens and Gloves by Robin Melanson. They just need a button for the flip top and they're done. I adjusted the length on these three times. For some reason, I made these very, very long. They needed a lot of shortening. The book is wonderful - great ideas for interesting, yet useful designs, and a smattering of patterns that could easily become stand-bys. Knitting New Mittens and Gloves is a great. I will be adding that to my shopping cart at Knit Picks. Knit picks is currently running their 40% books sale and I think I am going to pick up a few items before the sale ends on November 2. Definitely on the list is Alice Starmore's Book of Fair Isle Knitting. I've borrowed that from my library several times and now with its new publication, I can own my own. It is a great reference book, loaded with technique and tips, and enough info to design your own sweater.

I have been thinking of some new ways to occupy myself this winter that aren't working or thinking about working - either at my job or on my house. I'd also like to meet a few people. I've been looking into some book clubs at my area libraries. There are several to choose from - a mystery book club, a knit lit book club, and many that don't have a theme. Second on my potential new activities is a sewing class at Craft Planet, a LYS a few blocks from my house. I am still taking real classes for my grad program, so I don't want to overdo it. That said, I am confident there's more time for fun in a day.

I sold my scooter and bought a sew guitar and amp with some of the proceeds. Oy is loud in here. But fun, so who cares! I am tapping my feet and bobbin' my head.

Gentleman's Plain Winter Socks

Sometimes projects feel like they finish themselves. I wonder if that's because with some persistence, it is inevitable that things will come to an end. Projects seem to be finishing themselves while sitting in my knitting bag. I've recently finished mittens, socks, a sweater, cutting my pile of unfinished projects by over half. Here is another pair of socks. These are the Gentleman's Winter Socks from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush.

Wool: Sock Ease by Lion Brand
Needles: size 0 Addi circs (magic loop method)

These were originally being made for a gentleman, but he said something about adult men not wearing striped socks. He may have also said something about a cheshire cat. So, I made them to fit a ladies size 8 and they fit perfectly! Adjustments include a sturdy slip stitch heel and that's about it. I've also picked up some Lana Grossa Meilenweit Tweed in a great tweedy brown and some Plymouth Yarns Happy Feet for yes, more socks.

October in Minnesota is really beautiful. I work on the Mississippi River - right on the river. I walk on a foot bridge over the river most days of the year. I also see a wild turkey in the work parking lot nearly every single day. (One day I nearly drive over him, but that's another story) And October is usually beautiful. Walks over my lunch hour make me hanker for apple cider, homemade breads and stews. But this year....

Please take note...there are green leaves and snow in the same picture. The leaves hadn't really begun to change. And then the green leaves froze and dropped to the ground. It going to be a long winter.

Next posting...newly finished mittens for my dad from Knitting New Mittens and Gloves.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Mittens for dad and minimalist cardigan

You might think I am getting a good start on Christmas presents for this upcoming Christmas. But these are actually mittens I 'gave' two years ago. I think. In my defense, I did make some flip top mittens for my dad before, but they were horrible. Really floppy and I needed a good pattern.

So, here are some mittens out of Knitting New Mittens and Gloves/ The cable on the top is a staghorn cable. I might need to shorten these just a bit, but that should be fairly easy. Oh yes, and I need to make the other mitten. I am not usually afflicted with disinterest in a second sock or mitten, so I am not worried about that.


And a good shot of the flip top:

And that's me and the husband in the background at our wedding - 11 years ago.

Needles: Size 6 Clover Bamboo dpns
Yarn: Lambs Pride Worsted in Charcoal

And here's a whole mess of moss stitch (Minimalist Cardigan from Interweave Knits - Fall 2007). I must admit to getting a little tired of this stitch, but I think I will be really pleased with the results.

And I will have to give the full story on 'after thought arms' from Wendy Bernards' Custom Knits book. The Minimalist Cardigan pattern had you making the sleeves separately, but I am not very good with seaming and was intrigued by her instructions on how to pick up arms, make custom sleeve caps, and knit the sleeves down. One arm down and one to go.

Hopefully I will have some finished projects soon - I have a number of things in the works.