Finished Mitts

The fingerless mitts are finished.
There were a number of false starts before finally settling on a pattern that shows off their beautiful color.
Pattern: Amanda’s Christmas Wristlets  with several modifications, including adding 3 ss rows and 2 ribbed on the thumbs; extending the length at the wrist and hand; changing from US6 / 4mm to US 5 / 3.75mm needles for the ribbing at the fingers.

Once the pattern and yarn began getting along nicely they knit up quicker than I’d hoped. I just might cast on for another pair. Or two.

Yarn spun out of  Picperfic  fiber titled Wylie a delicious blend of 60% Polwarth, 20% Yak, 20% Mulberry Silk. Colourway: Doris
Chain-plyed to keep the colors together.
(If you missed reading what I wrote about spinning the yarn and want to know more details here’s the post.)

With only 6 days left in November I’d best get cracking on what to spin for the YarnTools Ravelry December Challenge. If you love spinning with one of our Jenkins spindles and you haven’t joined the forum please do! We’d love to have you.

Our three year old cat approves of the mitts.
Grateful for:
– a pleasant, busy work day
– encouragement from friends
– the slant of the sun against glowing yellow and red leaves
– the ability to bring a bit of joy into a life of someone who’s life turned upside-down.
– good health!


Back to the Beginning

Four more rounds were knit.
The gusset was well started when I knew…Still too big.

The generous positive ease doesn’t show up in the picture but it was there. My daughter likes her fingerless gloves snug.

The other factor was how the straight stockinette showed off the colors which were muted in the waves.

They’ve been frogged. I’ll use lace weight yarn with less color changes to make her some gloves to use at work.

I really like this yarn and am keen to make something before November is over. I better figure out what hat to knit.

Strong winds and rains have been blowing about since last night with numerous short breaks. My neighbor JG and I were thrilled when to have calmer weather at our regular walking time. We didn’t get quite to the top of the hill before the gusts came back whipping the firs, oaks and maples lining the road. Some smaller branches flew through the air causing us to rethink continuing up through those trees as the wind is always stronger up there.

I was astonished that all day long the helicopter assisting in the Christmas tree harvesting continued its circling round and round gathering bundles of trees then dropping them off at the staging lot next to the road.  A very skilled, and fearless pilot must have been at the controls.

Here’s a better picture of the wolfhound, Seana, taken today.

A little knitting

Made a bit of headway on the mitts today. Yesterday I decided to start the second mitt when I reached the gusset increases while at the party. I didn’t think I’d get as much knitting done and hadn’t taken the pattern. Grabbing a round, straight handled spatula from my daughter’s counter I rewound the ball to free up the yarn end that was trapped in the middle.

I was too tired this afternoon / evening to accomplish much knitting. Only managed to complete the seven round chart of the pattern on the new one plus a couple of rounds of the gusset increases on the first one. It’s far enough along that once again it appears they still might be too big for my slender daughter’s arms.
(That mess of loose yarn going up the center? Keeping track of chart repeats.)
The yarn is my handspun from the Sept/Oct Yarn Tools Ravelry forum challenge.
Fiber: Picperfic  Wylie: 60% Polwarth, 20% Yak, 20% Mulberry Silk. Colourway: Doris 107 grams, approx. 150 yards

These colors have been speaking to my heart since I first saw the picture of the fibre on Picperfic’s website. If the fingerless mitts do end up too sloppy for my daughter I just might frog them and make a hat for myself.

Here’s a shot from last night’s birthday party. The three best friends were having a blast playing dress up. Little brothers wanted to be included.
The girl with the purple sweater is our granddaughter. 🙂 Such a cutie!

Patterns and a Designer

Sunday I went through all my patterns for hats, scarves and fingerless gloves noting those that could be done with less than 140 yards. The list was weeded down to two: Selah’s Zig Zag Hat, by Susan Black, and  Amanda’s Christmas Wristlets. I had thought one of these would at least be cast on and a good start made today.

This morning an email notifying of a “Like” by Nothingbutknit2. A link to one of her post titles caught me attention so I clicked on Sunday Suggestion.

Am I glad I did! Blog author, Karen had written about a knitter/designer/spinner, Jenjoyce who’d lost her house, and everything, escaping with only her husband, dog and a few possessions, in the horrific firestorm that swept through Santa Rosa and the mountains of that area in N. California.

It’s hard to know how to help when these types of disasters happen. We can give to responsible, reputable organizations that are already in place but it seems more personal when we can directly help someone, even a little bit. Friends had reached out to Jen to ask what they could do, how they could help.  I encourage you to read for yourself Jen’s posts about the fire; see the pictures of the land she called home, her knitting/walking trails, the house that she and her husband built. They built, themselves over years of weekends and vacations.

The answer? Support her by buying one (or many!) of Jenjoyce Design patterns.

Jen has designed many lovely patterns to choose from! Jen has designed mittens, socks, cowls, scarves, leg warmers, hats, cardigans, sweaters, t-shirts, vests…I did use some restraint.
Tomorrow I’ll cast on for the first one, either the Altitude Mitts – Lace, or the Altitude Mitts – Ridges. These aren’t the only patterns I fell in love with and purchased. I hope numerous people will step up, buy some patterns; to give her a measure of hope for the future.

Mystery Blanket

One morning my walking partner and I were both low on energy so when we decided to turn off just before the road turns to gravel for the last long stretch of the uphill route we often take.

Coming to the last house before the road bends around a corner I suddenly stopped. A blanket airing out on the porch railing had caught my attention. The bright, cheerful colors called me to come closer.

As I approached astonishment and admiration grew. It drew me nearer. Was it really what it appeared to be?

The sun skimming around the side of the house cast a halo around it, dazzling me even more.

Throwing some caution to the wind I had to see it up close, never mind if someone inside was watching via a security camera!

Do you see those squares? The details? It had to be a hand knit blanket! In complete awe of this masterpiece I threw all caution to the wind and mounted the porch steps determined to ring the doorbell and get information. Had it been made by a resident knitter?

Aside from the monthly spinning group, and the Aurora Colony Handspinners Guild meetings in a different town it’s rare that I get together with other spinners or knitters. I’ve thought about trying to start a weekly or even bi-weekly knitting / spinning group here in town but have been reluctant at the idea of adding another weekly obligation to my schedule. I’d love a casual, local group that I didn’t have to be in charge of or anyone have the expectation that I’d always be there.

Two dogs ferociously barked behind the closed door. To no avail. The door stayed closed between us. I turned to admire the blanket, longing to hold it so I could really examine the stitches and patterns.
In the end I resisted out of respect for the people of the house. The blanket hasn’t been hung over the railing on the days that we’ve walked by since that late September day.

Someday I might feel bold enough to knock at the door again to have a chat about a knitted blanket that captured my admiration.

A Sweater for Gus

So much for posting often in May. Here it is the last day in May but the first post.

Tomorrow is our grandson, Gus’s 9th birthday. He’s such a terrific, sweet kid that I really wanted to give him a knitted sweater – one he requested months ago. Remember the the EZ Child’s Surprise Jacket I posted about began for him in January? It didn’t happen.

Twelve inches along, just past a section of an elaborate designed striping with alternating colors in a pattern – not easy in garter – I finally admitted the orange and blue strips looked wrong for this sweater. It was ripped back to remove those colors, only 3″ from the beginning. Doggedly knitting it up to the point where the arms and shoulders are complete and it’s time to dive down the long stretch of garter stitching back and forth, I could no longer ignore the niggling feeling that it just wasn’t right. I have no idea what caused the disenchantment with the sweater, I really wanted to keep going so it’d be finished and mailed to him before winter was over. Instead it went into a long time-out.

Before heading to a Pastor’s Retreat at the coast in April I pulled the sweater out of the bag, took one look and stuffed it back in. Combing through boys’ cardigans in Ravelry I found a pattern, (petit) Marcel by Emilie Luis that I thought Gus would like, printed it out, grabbed a couple balls of the yarn and packed them for knitting time during the retreat.

The back and fronts are finished (clever design!) I’m only now working on the first arm but once again have had to do lots of tinking for various fiddly reasons.

I’m hopeful that once I’ve figured out how to neatly pick up the stitches and do the German Short Rows for the sleeve cap the rest of that sleeve and the next one will go relatively quick, then only the button band/ collar will be left to do.

The poor boy will outgrow the sweater before he’s even had a chance to wear it. Please tell me that a size 10 sweater will fit a 9 year old next winter!

Once again I can’t leave well enough alone with a pattern. Since Gus requested green and yellow I decided to put in some color work in this sweater. The ribbing at the bottom as well as the broken rib at the top are green knit, yellow purl.

Working on the broken rib on a shoulder.The bottom ribbing shows in the background below.
Gus should like this green and yellow sweater, someday in the not too distant future.

I hope your projects are working up much quicker than mine do!