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Tag Archives: Twinset Ellen

just more fingerless mittens

Already old and well-loved in 2010

Already old and well-loved in 2010

You see those pretty blue mitts? They’re knitted with acrylic yarn to Twinset Ellen’s pattern and were originally intended for me. But the pair I’d made for YoungB having stretched so much they were almost too big for Dr B, the blue pair – logically and obviously – went to a worthier home. Cheap and acrylic though the yarn might be, it’s wearing well and still keeping YoungB’s hands warm in Italy.

Modelled by Dr B but now gracing YoungB's smaller hands

Modelled by Dr B but now gracing YoungB’s smaller hands

And that second pair? Ravelled here, for full details. YoungB admired those I was making for Eldest Aunt’s retirement present, so I made a similar pair for him: same yarn, same needle size, same stocking stitch base pattern, though I added a couple of panels of ribbing for his, and same thumb treatment. The larger number of stitches meant that his stripes came closer to matching and I knitted the body of both mitts before doing either of the thumbs to ensure that. YoungB says these are fantastic. He’s a great recipient, always appreciative; which is probably why I didn’t mind giving him the blue pair in the first place 🙂

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Posted by on March 26, 2015 in Knitting

 

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there probably is a time for everything

You might recall I said I’d been doing a reasonable amount of crochet and knitting while my computer was not working. One such item was this pair of fingerless mitts for a work colleague. They started out a couple of years ago as a birthday present for someone else but plans changed – as they so often do – and the mitts languished, awaiting their moment. I’ve often said I don’t frog projects when they come to a grinding halt, just put them away for a while, which sometimes works in my favour if I need something in a hurry.

The building where I work has airconditioning that’s unpredictably crazy, but errs on the side of glacial most of the year. When birthday presents were mentioned, mitts seemed a sensible notion and these fitted the bill in many ways, mostly that they were about 50% done, the colours were right and I had a couple of weekends available for knitting the remainder, weaving in the surprisingly large number of ends and allowing plenty of time for blocking; or so I thought.

just the shot to keep your fingers functioning in a chilly chamber

just the shot to keep your fingers functioning in a chilly chamber

Dr B was good enough to photograph them for me, though you’d probably agree that we need to work on our layout and presentation. 😉 The pattern is one I’ve used many times, knitted using Lincraft Cosy Wool, a pure wool 8 ply yarn, on size UK10/3.25 mm needles. The plain yarn is a navy colourway, the variegated something I thought would play nicely with that (and whose ball bands have long since vanished, so I’m unable to provide detail of either colour or dye lot). As it turned out, they weren’t quite ready for the birthday breakfast – being still damp as they blocked in the spare bedroom – but I was able to hand them over on the following Monday morning at work with the usual accompanying lavender bag. Their time had finally come 🙂

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2015 in Knitting

 

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substitution suggestions?

I could make mitts like these but perhaps it's time for a change

I could make mitts like these but perhaps it’s time for a change

I’ve said before that I don’t make resolutions with and for new years and that I don’t really have defined plans for what I might knit during any year. Of course, there are things I have an idea I’ll get around to doing, anual goals I might achieve such as birthday knitting  – YoungB’s new jumper comes into that category; but he’s having second thoughts about which design he’d like, hence it’s already stalled! – and others that I wouldn’t have foreseen in any planning – cousins with cancer and jungle-themed birthday parties might come into that category in terms of unexpectedness – but which require my doing something. Well, to me they do. Others might do different things but I suppose my response to bad times as well as good tends to be handmade gifts: mitts when Youngest Aunt had a heart attack; a moebius cowl for a friend when her mother died; a cowl and bandanna for the cousin. It’s what I do and I think it’s too late in life to try to change my habits, at least in that respect.

Then there are all those serendipitous little things that happen along – new babies in the family and so on – and other things that you decide on a whim you’ll make. Today’s plea for assistance relates to an item in the whimsical category. One of YoungB’s mates is turning 21 soon. Her party takes place at the same time as the family’s jungle-themed one so YoungB won’t be here. However, he’ll certainly catch up with both birthday girls at some point. I offered to knit some fingerless mitts for the friend. She’s also a scientist and her fingers would get cold in winter, too, and handknitted, woollen, fingerless mitts would be a wonderful, impossible to replicate gift (well, I suppose they might be found somewhere if you knew where to look, but not at prices affordable by an impoverished uni student; as if there’s any other sort).

We’ve decided on the these mitts (another of the many wonderful, free patterns on Ravelry) but not yet the yarn. I’m wondering if Bendigo‘s sock yarn, that blue, self-striping colourway, might be an OK substitute (colourways available in other yarns might be better but aren’t available in 4 ply). What do you think? (I’m not against attempting to find something closer to the specified yarn but I am loath to order from an overseas supplier if I can find anything local that’s remotely similar; and I’m also fairly impoverished, being still unemployed and all that, so there are budget constraints at all levels.) I accept it might not be quite as subtle a result as the yarn specified and, indeed, may well be far too strong for the delicacy of the design, but – well, has anyone used it that I could see made up? Or do I need to just buy some, start knitting and see for myself?? (It would be no hardship at all to do that, of course, because if I thought it wouldn’t work for the mitts, I could use it to make socks.)

Lincraft‘s Hand-Dyed Effect (in either of the Rock Garden or Regal colourways to capitalise on the blue favoured by the birthday girl) might be a good substitute but it’s considerably dearer and its quality unknown even though the fibre composition is similar to the Bendigo yarn. There’s a shop in town that sells Noro yarns so I could pick up some sock yarn when I’m in that vicinity (employment agency interviews and things of that sort invariably happen in town). I love the unexpectedness of Noro’s colourways but suspect they also might be too strong for the subtlety of the Hedgerow pattern. In addition to the financial consideration, there’s a time constraint, too, and it’s quite pressing, so I need to find something suitable immediately if not sooner. Yesterday would have been good!

Or, of course, if this gets all too difficult and headache-inducing, I could use a different mitt pattern. There’s no shortage of those, I know, or I could stick to this designer’s work that I keep coming back to (and of which I’ve made a goodly number of pairs and they’re all lovely). But the Hedgerow one is lovely, too, in a different way; and a 21st birthday is a special occasion. So if you have any yarn substitution suggestions, I’d be forever grateful. Thank you.

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2014 in Knitting

 

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logically, what you would do on a stinking hot day

Because today has been hot here (next week is going to be hotter), I’ve ventured outside to do laundry tasks and not a lot else. Yes, I like the heat but I’m not stupid. There might be some discussion around that claim if I admit that, well, being confined indoors somewhat, I occupied myself by doing some knitting! No, not large items that would certainly be too hot to hold but small things that don’t need to be held in your lap.

As a result, the Maine morning mitts are finished and waiting to be photographed (albeit unblocked as yet). Next? The first of another pair of fingerless mitts (a different pattern) is already on the needles and making good progress. This pair might be for me, since I’m still in possession of only one old, falling to bits, cheap and nasty (but better than nothing when you’re desperate) lot of fingerless gloves. I prefer fingerless mitts when I have to do a lot of typing, because you don’t get quite so much constriction around your fingers. These are important considerations! And clearly, I can’t type if I’m wearing mittens, so much as I’m still planning on knitting the Ursula mittens, they’re not being whizzed up the queue at all. They’re a very long-term project.

Have you been occupied logically or illogically doing much knitting today? If so, I hope you’ve managed to bowl over a project or two.

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2014 in Knitting

 

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misleadingly spotted

I have to say the weather forecast was misleading. 21 degrees? Nowhere near me!

Spotted just lurking on the bedside table

Spotted this morning atop Dr B’s bedside table pile of books were these keep-you-warm items. He hasn’t had to rug up quite this much in yonks. You will tell me, I know, that they’re not spotted at all but stripey and you’re right; but it was good to see clear evidence that Dr B actually uses something I made for him. That would be the balaclava, which is the colourful number. It dates back a very long time indeed (and was made using my favourite Patons balaclava pattern and any bit of wool I could second to the purpose, hence the fairly wild colour scheme. The job brief was to knit something warm and what it looked like didn’t matter).

I made the fingerless mitts for YoungB (an early experiment with Twinset Ellen’s wonderful pattern) but owing to my less than ideal yarn choice, they stretched significantly. That’s never really a problem because Dr B has very large hands and he’s always happy to have extra bits of covering to keep them warm. The mitts turned out to be a perfect size for him. What happened then was that YoungB appropriated the pair I’d made for myself. Eventually, I made another pair for myself. Then Nonno ended up with those. I still don’t have any!

And as that warmer weather doesn’t seem to be forthcoming, I might need to do something about that sartorial lacuna. What do you reckon, if I start knitting some fingerless mitts for me will the weather take a turn for the warmer?

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2012 in Knitting

 

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keeping the mystery

Today I complimented a woman on the pretty scarf she was wearing and asked if she’d made it. She responded that she wasn’t clever enough for that and that it had been a lovely gift. I’d agree about the lovely gift. But the scarf was made from one of those feathery, silly yarns that do all the work in terms of looking fabulous and require only garter stitch. In other words, not difficult knitting. But I didnt say any such thing!

Why not let her think someone laboured over it for long hours – and for all I know to the contrary, perhaps someone did if it was that knitter’s first project or one undertaken by a knitter with a disability of some sort; I don’t mean to be dismissive – and that she, nicely dressed in a smart suit with coordinating accessories and subtle, tasteful make-up that she’d applied in the short time that I was otherwise occupied, was certainly not smart enough to do anything of the sort?

We need to maintain the mystique. If people want to think what we do is really hard work, we should let them believe so, because it’s often the case that things that really are hard don’t seem to be. Cables look very impressive and very difficult and complex designs certainly can be. Simple cables, however, are not. They are, as one of my aunts used to say, a quick and easy way of fancying up a plain jumper; dead easy or she wouldn’t have incorporated so many into her knitting.

To a non-knitter, circular knitting can seem wildly skilled and difficult. It’s not using a circular needle or set of needles that creates any difficulty, but the design being undertaken. I have also had comments about how difficult knitting is when it’s being done on long, straight needles. It was a very simple stocking stitch (stockinette) fabric and not at all difficult. It’s just that there were a lot of stitches. Perceptions are strange things.

Nowadays when such remarks come my way, I just keep knitting and being mysterious about it all. If people want to think I’m clever, then that’s all right with me. Or do you think we should give away all our secrets?

They’re really very simple but don’t they look difficult?

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2012 in Knitting, Musing

 

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beanie, blue beanie

In the hope of capitalising on my bus trip this morning, I tried to gather up the necessities required for making the blue beanie (yes, it’s going to be blue, dark blue). I had the yarn (it is actually wool). I had the pattern (thanks, Yarn Harlot). But could I find appropriate needles? What that means is that they’re in use on mittens or something. Gosh, I need to finish a few things before starting any more.

And fingerless mitts for Nonno? Dr B had no idea where his were (as I’d suspected would be the case). I donated mine. Mine are pretty and purple, not at all tough and manly. Did Nonno care? Not a whit. I’m told he loved them (my guess is that he loved the warmth, if we’re being picky about this). So now I need to make some more for myself before winter strikes, because I will certainly need them.

To do list? Fingerless mitts for colleague, fingerless mitts for Youngest Uncle, beanie for Eldest Nephew, fingerless mitts for me and, oh yes, a bit of sewing too: sweater for Boy, top and skirt for me, a pile more lavender bags for Nonna and some to top up our dwindling supply.

Dr B. delivered the shawl to Nonna today for her birthday, with a couple of lavender bags. I haven’t yet heard how well it was received but it’s such a pretty colour that I hope she didn’t think we were wishing her dead and buried, which is how she treated the last shawl we gave her. If for some reason it raised her ire, I’ll use it myself and perhaps a beanie would be good for her too, do you think? But perhaps not a blue one because it seems her point of view is that dark blue is for old people. She likes bright colours, whether or not they suit her.

I’d hoped to post a photo of the purple fingerless mitts. Sorry, can’t be done. While some of my iPhoto library is in working order, most of the craft photos are in the bits that aren’t.

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2012 in Knitting, Sewing

 

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