Sunday, December 17, 2006

Screaming Red Mitts and Ice Cream Sundae Socks

Christmas Knitting. Check.
Christmas Beading. Check.
Christmas Shopping. Check.
Christmas Laundry (we travel). Check.
We fly Thursday! Must leave home by 5:30 a.m. to make flight! Ack!


M cut out a few of my Christmas beading gifts as too much (they were for his relatives). M's mom did not need handknit socks and beaded jewelry. He also suggested one piece for his sister for Christmas and the other I had designed for her March birthday. So, we did a little shopping at amazon for her. But now I am back to knitting and beading just for pleasure. No longer worrying about foot sizes vs sock sizes. No longer fretting that an elderly grandmother will find a necklace too heavy or not be able to manage a clasp. Now it's just deciding which sock yarn I want to knit first and how long I want to make a scarf.

In anticipation of flying and wanting small things to knit, as M is 6'4" tall and broad shouldered and I am invariably a little squished in my seat, I started a few small projects. First, my hands have been freezing, and the mitts I made earlier from chunky alpaca are too thick for other than reading (and sleeping!). I love Eunny's Endpaper Mitts, and I nearly swooned when I saw the lovely green/cream color combo that Diana of Streets and Yos knit up. However, I have never done stranded work before, and my hands are cold now. So, I went over to Knitspot and ordered Anne's pattern for Fine Cabled Mitts. I'll save the Endpaper Mitts for 2007 (my neighbor knits and has offered to teach me how to do stranded knitting, yay!). Unlike Anne, I did not have any cashmere sock yarn lying around, but I did have enough left over Wildfoote sock yarn in Jazz Time, or screaming red, as I like to think of it. I am almost done with the first mitt.
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The pattern is pretty easy to follow and I really like how Anne designed the thumb gusset. I did make my usual cabling error of doing the second cable one row too early (cabling one row of a 6 row repeat means cabling every 7th row, not every 6th), but here it turns out to be fortuitous, as I have short fingers. There is no way I can do all 10 repeats of the cable pattern and not turn the mitt into a mitten (I had to do less repeats in the chunky alpaca mitts too), so cabling every 6th row instead of 7th lets me get more cables in. The nice thing about the Wildfoote is that it is machine washable. My gauge is looser than the pattern calls for (also contributing to needing a shorter mitt) by a little bit, but my hand width was just over the size max for the smaller mitt size, and the mitt seems to fit as great as it can with dpns sticking out all over.

I also started a new pair of socks, which I now think of as my ice cream sundae socks. The yarn is Fleece Artist Merino in the colorway dyed specifically for Simply Sock Yarn Company's first anniversary last June. The colors look to me like rich vanilla ice cream with hot fudge and raspberry sauce.
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Looks tasty but a little dry.

The pattern is garter rib. I tried a few others that were more complicated, but they were too much with the huge color contrasts in the yarn. BTW, the sock is leaning up against my favorite mineral from my collection of minerals, which has long, cylindrical, hexagonal aquamarine crystals in it. That's a long non-gem quality aquamarine crystal to the left of the sock. This sock is so proud; I usually don't lean them up against something so pretty and valuable.

Last week while using an old scarf, I realized that I don't like to wrap a scarf all around my neck so both ends hang in the front. So I tried on the Grapevine scarf to see if I had knit enough if I didn't plan to do so much scarf wrapping, and I have. Tomorrow I hope to block! Photos will follow.

Now I have to go debate which sock yarns from my stash to take over our trip. We fly 2300 miles each way, and then we also have two 450 mile car trips between our parents' homes. I used to drive that and let M be passenger (let's just say he refers to me when he is driving as his "onboard navigation system" I'm a horrible backseat driver), but last year I had learned to knit socks, so M got to drive while I knit (which nicely cut down on the "navigation"). I think it's a wonderful tradition. I want to make a pair of Jaywalkers, as I am the only knitter on the planet who hasn't and I have some striping Trekking XXL, and Cookie's Monkey socks, which look fantastic. Now, which yarn for those...

1 comment:

La said...

The pattern on those cabled mitts is beautiful, and what a great color!

BTW, I added you to my CA knitting page, I hope you don't mind.