The last couple of days have really felt autumnal – you know the feeling? Students starting to arrive back at university, final course preparation (or training those who teach), the crisp scent of colder air and a feeling that you should really dig out those woollies you made earlier in the year.
These are a couple of things I finished some point in the summer – a pair of toe-up ‘Spring forward’ anklets with a dutch/square heel and a pair of mittens using the same stitch pattern. Both from the same ball of yarn 🙂
Housewise – weeellll, it’s officially dry… Personally, I ain’t convinced. The dehumidifiers had full tanks when they took em away this Monday, but supposedly the meter readings were alright. To be fair, the units didn’t beep lots or do the ‘off the scale’ continuous tone like they did at the start.
Now comes the ‘fun’ part of juggling contractors, insurers, allowing access to the house and oooh a 9 to 5 job where I have to be on site in term time.
Anyone know where I can find a time machine or an infinite source of valium? 😉
At long last! I’ve managed to get into the swing of the opera fingerless mittens. It took two hour long bus journeys where I _had_ to do something to relieve the boredom… They’d been sitting unloved for a good couple of months, but now I’ve completed 3.5 repeats on the arm. Another 6 to 7 to go before thumb shaping. I’ve been tweaking the pattern for length and for a different yarn.
There are two incentives for me to finish them:
My friend’s birthday is the end of the month, and it’d be nice to give them to her then.
I want to use the needles for a pair of lizard ridge socks.
On Monday I had to go for a couple of appointments in the same eye clinic. Thankfully, they were both in the same afternoon, although still two hours apart. For the first time ever, I took knitting with me.
My latest project is a set of arm warmers/gloves for a friend who works from home a lot. I decided to try working with SWTC’s bamboo yarn this time, and once again knitting both at the same time on 2 circulars. Cue the waiting room… I hauled out the seemingly tangled mass of needles and trailing yarn, sorted it out and got going.
A couple of rounds later an older lady came and sat beside me and we started chatting. We swapped stories of what we’d made before, what we make now, and how very fine count needlepoint can be a pain to do. The time passed quickly, and at least two nurses came over and asked what I was making as well. They were surprised to see both gloves on the needles at the same time, saying they’d never seen the technique before. It must have been a bit of a sight, with the needles trying to spring every which way, and me seeming to spend more time moving stitches about than knitting!
I think maybe I’ll take knitting with me more often when I have to wait around for ages somewhere. It certainly breaks the monotony, and you get to chat to interesting people too 🙂
Lookin’ good for a first effort, and the colours in the pic are reasonably close. I’ve put them aside for a friend’s birthday present. She loves purple and really likes how soft these felt when she saw me working on them. (She thinks I made ’em for me.)
- Pattern: Broad Street Mittens by Janice Cortese
- Yarn: 1 x 50g ball, RYC Cashsoft 4-ply, loganberry (00430)
- Needles: 2 x 40cm 3.25 mm circulars – knitting on 2 circulars.
- Finished measurements: slightly smaller than the pattern gauge
- New technique attempted: knitting on 2 circulars – switched to this when the magic loop was a bit of a failure.
I had fun weaving in all the ends. There were so many! I also had to sew up gaps between some of the fingers where I didn’t quite pick up the stitches right. There were a couple of fingers with no gaps, so I must have been getting things right at least part of the time.
Tension – the pattern was 28 stitches per inch, and I ended up with 30 stitches per inch. I do knit too tightly. This was a lucky break, because otherwise the gloves would have been huge. The pattern did say they were a large size, but I didn’t believe it. A large in ladies gloves… well, normally I’ve found that it isn’t!
Mitten-top – yep, I didn’t make it. Didn’t particularly want to, and I used most of the 50g ball making the gloves themselves.
The current pair are too long in the palm section but a perfect width. If I was making them for me from the same yarn, I’d work an extra 5 rows of the rib, then move straight from the increase row to starting the thumb gusset (missing out the knit 4 round even instruction). This would help make the palm section fit better. My hands are a medium to largish size but with very square palms.
Oh yes, I would actually work up a tension square too! Especially if I swapped yarns.
Casting off fingers – I’m quite happy with the way these worked after I found the solution to the uneven finish. I’d like to try an invisible cast-off to see if that makes the edge less obvious.
Definitely pleased with these 🙂
Finally! All the fingers are done.
When I cast off the pinkies, I was not happy with the way a ‘step’ had appeared in that row. Given the way knitting in the round works, I shouldn’t have been surprised. Given my best knitting books are in storage, cue a brief search on the web…
After checking a couple of sites, which described the same solution, I discovered knittingnelly.com. She had posted about just such a problem a few days ago along with a very well explained work-around. The pictures she provided were large and clear, making her instructions the easiest to follow.
Result – the rest of the fingers worked brilliantly. 🙂 Now all I need to do is weave in the 12+ ends that are currently dangling free.
Quite pleased. I managed the thumb gussets and even swapped the cast on implied by the pattern for a provisional one. (The pattern talks about ‘picking up stitches’ for the topside of the thumb gusset, and to me that says ‘normal’ cast on.) There may be a problem with gaps, but I won’t know for definite til later.
When I’ve finished them, I’ll take pictures outside or something, because so far the colours in the photos have been all over the place!
The gloves are working. yay! 🙂
After the mess the first time, I thought about what was happening with the magic loop and being an impatient thing, I switched methods and tried to cast both of them on on 2 circulars instead. Not something I’ve ever done before – it worked first time out. Ok, getting the stitches set up to start with was slightly fiddly and the first few rows were like juggling two snakes and a ball of string, but now it seems to be going smoothly.
I checked for ladders at the joins, even going to the lengths of stretching the cuff over an empty kitchen roll tube. If there are any gappy bits they are very slight. So, now it’s time to push on and do the same amount of cuff again before going onto the thumb insets.
The yarn I’m using is a lovely soft 4ply 57% merino wool – RYC Cashsoft 4 Ply in loganberry. I am finding that it’s getting fluffier in patches as I work. Probably being a little heavy handed.
I’m a little surprised they didn’t work – my first attempt at magic loop stuff turned out great and had no ladders in it. This time… Well, you can see from the picture how bad two of them were. The up side is that at least it was only 2 ladders per cuff instead of the four it would have been if I’d used dpns.
Maybe it was because there were two separate items on the loop? I was making sure that the cables ‘crossed’ where they were supposed to to try and minimise the stress on the joins.
Need to get this right before moving on to more complicated patterns.