Mittens that bite

Again, those that prefer their eyes to remain unsullied by the likes of knitted profanity, please avert your eyes. For the rest of us, forge ahead!

The How Cold Is It mittens by Drunk Girl Knits. I love them! They’re so cozy, especially with the leftover Lotus Mimi since it is mink fiber. I combined that glorious red Mimi with some Colinette Jitterbug in Elephant’s Daydream. I still have to weigh my leftovers to say how much yardage I used exactly on the project page. I had 150 yards left of the Mimi before this project, and I still have about 15 yards left I’d guess. coldasfuck

I made three modification to the pattern. I thought I would be more comfortable with a thumb gusset, so on row 15 of each mitten I made one stitch on the palm where the thumb would be located and put markers on either side. On each following round I mirrored M1R and M1L increases on the outside of this grouping of stitches, alternating red and turquoise for a striped thumb. I kept increasing until I reached 25 stitches between the markers, then I separated them on the next round and held them on waste yarn until the rest of the mitten was finished. When I went back to the thumb, I picked up an additional 3 stitches along the inner gap for a total of 28 stitches. coldasfuck-2

Another modification was to add a little bit of length to the top of the mitten. I probably could have started the thumb gusset a little bit lower on the palm and I wouldn’t have had to add length, but I don’t mind the longer length. For each mitten I knit the chart until I finished row 56, then I knit 8 rows, freeform (putting dots or mini snowflakes wherever I pleased), then I continued the mitten pattern at row 57. My final mod was to reverse the striping pattern on the second mitten so that they would mirror each other.

My mittens didn’t grow much with blocking, but the blocking smoothed out most of the waviness of the Fair Isle work. I love the fit and they’re hella warm, so I’m pleased.

So, Ravellenics… I couldn’t bring myself to start a new greyish sweater with quite a bit of the blue-grey Pensacola sweater left. I think my goals are going to be to focus on finishing and follow-through during these Olympic games. I will definitely finish the Pensacola Sweater, since it has a deadline. I will also finish these socks and make the baby version of these Prufrock socks, since that’s been on my knitting agenda for awhile. After those tasks, I think I’d like to make new fingerless gloves for me, some for Zooey, and some for Matt. I have these in mind for myself and these for Matt. I’ll just wing something small and fingerless for Z. Most mittens for kiddos her age don’t have a thumb. I’d like her hands to have some warmth, but using fingers is very important too. I’m a little sad that I’m not taking on a whole sweater or something equally daunting, but I want to enjoy myself and I think a few small projects in place of a large one, while simultaneously using stash for everything will make me feel accomplished as well. How are your Ravellenic projects going if you’re doing them?

March of the elephants

I love these little elephants, or Ellybobs, as they are called in the pattern. It’s nice to have some contrast color making an entrance because I was getting a little bored with just the dark Velvet Olive Jitterbug. The Shibui Sock elephants make a nice little pop of color.

ellybob

According to the label, the color number for the Shibui Sock is 5677, but I can’t find this color number associated with any of their current colors. It looks nearly identical to the Wasabi colorway (7495). I’m guessing the color I have was discontinued. I purchased it back in 2007 at ImagiKnit in San Francisco.

ellybob-3

After re-learning how to weave the floats and getting comfortable with the tension, the Ellybobs have gone pretty smoothly. I’ve made little arrows on the charts to help me remember which direction I’m going for each row. Anything that takes some of the thinking out of the chart is fine by me. Fair Isle is so fun when you get going.

This is my first time doing Fair Isle on a knit and a purl side. I’ve only done it in the round prior to this. It’s not so bad on the purl rows. It’s definitely slower, as purling is for me, and I have to pay more attention to my tension. That has been my primary concern, but I think weaving the floats in helps me pay attention to this. If you want to know more about weaving in floats when working Fair Isle patterns, I put together a little tutorial to help. I first learned about weaving floats from this post, but that post only addressed Fair Isle when knitting. For the Ellybob Cardigan you need to weave floats on both the knit and purl side.

Back to the knitting!

Weaving those floats!

I am back to the Ellybob Cardigan and I’m to the fun part…the Fair Isle! This is my first time working Fair Isle on a purl side. For this project it is necessary to weave in some of the long stranded floats when you are working the other color. The pattern suggests this, but doesn’t explain exactly how to do it. I thought I would share this process with some pictures. I usually weave in a strand about every 4 stitches or so.

This post shows you how to weave in floats in Fair Isle if you are knitting with one strand in each hand. I knit Continental style most of the time, so I keep my main color (MC), the dark green in this example, in my left hand. The contrast color (CC) stays in my right hand. I tried to write these instructions so that it doesn’t matter which way you normally knit, as long as you know how to do both. This post is not meant to teach you how to knit in either Continental or English style or how to knit Fair Isle. There are great videos on YouTube and KnittingHelp for each of those methods.

This first set shows how to weave your left-hand yarn (dark green here) when you are working Fair Isle on the knit sidek-weaving left color_-2Insert your needle into the stitch as you would normally. Lay the left-hand yarn (dark green here) across the needle inserted into the stitch from right to left as shown above.

k-weaving left color_-3Wrap your right-hand yarn (light green here) around the right needle as you would when knitting English style.

k-weaving left color_-4Finish knitting the stitch. The left-hand yarn float has been woven.

The next set shows how to weave the right-hand yarn (light green) when knitting.

k-weaving right color_-2Insert the right needle into your stitch. Wrap the right-hand yarn (light green here) around the needle in a counter-clockwise fashion.

photo sub

Lay the left-hand (dark green here) yarn from left to right across the needle as you would when knitting Continental style. This might be more like a “picking” action involving a spiral action of the right hand needle around the yarn when knitting Continental style.

k-weaving right color_-4Lift the right-hand yarn (light green here) and

k-weaving right color_-5

swoop it under the right needle, crossing the left-hand (dark green) yarn.

k-weaving right color_-6Finish knitting the stitch.

The next set shows how to weave the left-hand strand while purling in Fair Isle.

p-weaving left color_Insert your needle into the stitch as if to purl.

p-weaving left color_-2Lay the left-hand yarn across the stitches on your right hand needle and place behind the tip of the right needle as shown above.

p-weaving left color_-3Wrap your right-hand yarn (light green here) around the right needle in a counter-clockwise move as you would purl in English style.

p-weaving left color_-4Finish purling the stitch.

The next set shows how to weave the right-hand yarn when purling in Fair Isle.

p-weaving right color_

Insert your right needle into the stitch to purl.

p-weaving right color_-2Wrap the right-hand yarn (light green here) counter-clockwise around the right needle.

p-weaving right color_-3Wrap the left-hand yarn as you normally would when purling Continental style, counterclockwise, closer to the tip of the right needle, above the right-hand yarn.

p-weaving right color_-4Lift the right-hand yarn (light green here) and move it toward the tip of the right needle as shown above.

p-weaving right color_-5

Swing it behind the tip of the right needle as shown above.

p-weaving right color_-6Finish purling the stitch.

I hope this helps with a visual for weaving in floats. I am definitely being careful with my tension since I’m knitting and purling for Fair Isle. It’s not so bad. I just have to stay on my toes, but these little elephants might be kind of addictive.

Zooey


Meet Zooey.  Named for the J.D. Salinger character, Zooey Glass. I don’t know if he would have actually worn this hat, but I like to think that he would’ve enjoyed some Fair Isle.  I’m working on some Franny mittens. I’m about halfway through the first one.  The design will be similar, with some variety on the palm.  I hope to have a preview of these up by next week.

The pdf can be found here:  Zooey-Final.  It is available in small, medium, and large sizes with dimensions of those sizes described in the pattern.

Please inform me of any errors you find. I tested all of the sizes myself, but I am human, and well, humans make some errors.

Edited to add: I was told that the links on the pdf are not working. The Italian Tubular Cast On was found here and the Fair Isle weaving technique is here.

Oy. The Ravelympics. I was planning on completing the Minimalist Cardigan, but the Olympics snuck up on me quicker than I imagined.  I might refine my goal to include finishing the Franny mittens, writing, and posting the pattern by the end of the Olympics.  There is too much other stuff going on at the moment to dedicate all my knitting energy to a sweater, and I feel like I’m on a roll with these patterns, so I want to keep the momentum going.

Other stuff that’s happening:

If you live in the Fayetteville, AR area, you should come to this album release party.  Some friends of mine have been working on this album for months, and this party will be the result of all their collaboration and delicate labor.  I will also be playing the flute on one song.  I’m terrified.  I haven’t played the flute in about 14 years with any regularity.  It will be an adventure.

Feeling Fairly Fair Isle…

This is a preview of a fair isle hat I designed. It will be available in three sizes for FREE on this blog once I finish writing up the pattern and test knitting all the sizes.

It is modeled here by the lovely Miss Lindsay Smallwood in the small size. I haven’t settled on a name, but I’m thinking of calling it Zooey. Any other ideas? I’m hoping to have this up by Valentine’s Day, since there isn’t that much cold weather in the season (hopefully). Maybe I’ll make some matching mittens or arm warmers and call them Franny… haha.

Parade of old FOs

Lazy blogger that I am I have neglected to show these as finished objects, only in process. I’m totally absorbed in The Lost Room right now and I don’t feel like coming up for air. It’s crazy. I greatly admire the imaginative mind behind it. Right now I’m working on the adorable Give a Hoot mittens in Mission Falls 1824 Wool for a gift exchange coming up next weekend. I’m hoping people fight for them. I’m very grateful to Kelbourne Woolens and Kate from Zeitgeist Yarns for providing the pattern. So begins the parade:

Here is one of my second pair of Endpaper Mitts:

endpaper-mitts

I swear they’re both done. I just felt bad for making Drew take a million pics until I was satisfied, so I photographed this one myself. I can’t remember the yarns exactly. I’ll try to post more accurately on my ravelry page soon.

This is the finished Clapotis. Still unblocked. Yes, I’m a bad girl. The color is a little more green than this photo. It’s Malabrigo worsted in Water Green. Soft as butter and oh so warm. It’s a bit fuzzy now, but I don’t mind.

clapotis

I added 2-3 repeats to the length, but otherwise followed the pattern fairly precisely.

Last but not least, the Mustard Hat from Rebecca 32 in a very un-mustard color. This is Manos in a Stone color. I can’t remember the exact name, but it’s a delightful grey green with a bit of reddish hue now and then.

un-mustard-hat

It’s also getting a bit fuzzy, but it’s nice and cozy. It’s done in Fisherman’s Rib and was a bit weird at first, but this is the fourth Mustard Hat I’ve made, so there must be something I like about it.

I probably won’t be posting for awhile because I’ve got end of the semester projects and a final to study for. Wish me luck! I’m sure I’ll still be reading blogs and commenting. I can’t seem to take a break from that. It’s my go-to procrastination move.

Endpaper mitts, the terrible twos

I’m definitely dragging a bit on the second version of this pattern. I ended up giving the first pair to my brother’s girlfriend because they fit her better than me and she really liked them. They just moved back to Minnesota, so I know they’ll be put to good use. The colors in this version are really growing on me. I wasn’t a huge fan at first. I have eighteen rows until the ribbing! But who’s counting?

This weekend in Fayetteville is Bikes, Blues, and Barbeque. If you never experience it, lucky you, in my opinion. Fayetteville has been taken over by bikers. Thousands of them from Wednesday to Sunday. I have nothing against bikers, but this town is a madhouse right now. I don’t think it would be nearly so bad if I didn’t live so close to downtown with all the action (constant bike noise) and have to compete for parking because the apt manager sells spots in our lot. It’s not worth going out of the house. Knitting time.