Saturday, November 14, 2009

I've been remiss

But I'm back. Today: Christmas knitting! Which is pretty much all I've been doing lately.

Double-knitted mittens for BIL#2
I ended up not using Cascade 220 after all. I just wasn't happy with the colour combinations I was able to come up with. I should hasten to add that this doesn't mean my LYS doesn't have a good selection of Cascade 220 colours - quite the contrary - it's just that no two of them put together were quite what I was looking for. So instead I went with some Diamond Tempo. It's still worsted weight, still with wool content, and the shop had two colours that were perfect for what I wanted, and it's machine washable and dryable to boot, so that's a bonus.

These ended up taking way longer than I thought they would because, frankly, I kept screwing up. Especially on the 2x2 ribbing. Normally, with stocking stitch double knitting, it doesn't matter if the strands twist a bit as you go. But when you're doing double-knitted ribbing (which incidentally I was really proud of myself for figuring out how to do), any twisting shows up in the work - which I discovered, again and again and frickin' AGAIN, to my great displeasure. I lost count of the number of times I had to rip my work out.

However, knitting frustration aside, it all worked out quite well. Here's the first mitten just started:
In progress, 2009-10-11

Here's the first mitten completed with all the ends still hanging out:
In progress, 2009-10-17

And here's the finished product, from both sides:
Completed, grey cuffs

Completed, black cuffs

I'm quite happy. I think they're very handsome.

However, if you're looking at these shots and thinking maybe one mitten looks larger than the other? Sadly, you're right. Most of the first mitten was done with both yarns being worked continentally. But I was having such a devil of a time with yarns twisting at the cuff of the second mitten, so I finally switched to one-yarn-in-each-hand to eliminate the problem, and never looked back. Unfortunately, this had a side effect of a tighter gauge on the second mitten, and it's slightly smaller. Oh, well. It's not hugely noticeable, especially once they're being worn.

And speaking of being worn...they're freakin' huge. Even the smaller one. However, my reasoning is that the guy lives in Ottawa, where winters are very, very cold. Big mittens will be an advantage, as he can wear them over other mittens. Yes. That was the plan all along, doncha know.

(Oh, crap. I just noticed a pattern error on the right-hand mitt on the black-cuff side. #$@*@(#!%.)

Scarf for BIL#1
A few weeks ago, BIL#1 started hinting very strongly that he lost his long scarf last winter, and he loved that scarf, and wouldn't it be nice if he had another one, nudge, nudge.

Now, I knit for people when the spirit moves me, and don't generally appreciate or respond to such overt "gimme" requests. However, it occurred to me that DD1 has recently gotten very enthusiastic about knitting, and to have an actual project to do would probably really help her out and give her a great sense of accomplishment. So I asked her if she was keen on knitting her uncle a scarf. She was indeed, as long as I was willing to help (I am), so I picked up three balls of Bernat Roving (which in hindsight was an incredibly dumb move since a loosely spun yarn is not an easy task for any new knitter, let alone a six-year-old) in a really nice cobalt colour, and right now we're working on the cast-on.

I suspect I'll be doing most of the work here. But with 7mm needles and a bulky weight yarn, I probably won't mind too much.

I've also nixed some of the projects I was thinking about for this Christmas:

  • Barbie wardrobe for DD1: DH ended up really wanting to get her something particular for Christmas, which means I will be giving her the present he was going to give her, which means this planned gift is now unnecessary. Given my workload between now and Christmas, it's also kind of nice that I don't have to worry about this. I'll probably save it for her birthday.

  • Ragna sweater for my brother: I'm never going to get this finished in time anyway, and we found some really awesome gifts for him this year, so the pressure's off to make the sweater.

Next task: Find purple cotton fingering weight yarn for DD1's teacher's challah cover! So far I've had no luck at my LYS or Zellers, so I might try Michaels. Failing that, I'll see what I can find at Lettuce Knit, which I'm hoping to get to this Wednesday evening.


Anonymous said...

Those mittens are AWESOME. My hands are warmer just looking at them!

Keja said...

Hey Z.

Looking at those mittens makes me think of a pair of socks I want to try, but I've been unsure how much I'd need to modify a basic pattern if I was using 2 colours (I wasn't originally thinking of making them reversable but I might yet). Do you think they would feel substantially thicker in shoes?


TracyKM said...

I never clued in you're Canadian until you mention Zeller's! LOL. Fingering weight cotton is really hard to find. You might have luck with and look in the weaving section. There's mercerized and unmercerized. Loads of colours!

Carrie K said...

The mittens are fabulous.

How's DD1's scarf for her uncle coming along? That sounds like a fabulous Christmas present.

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