A spinner I am not.

So, after some involved and self-centered calculus, I have determined that the answer to one small problem of mine (namely, freeeezing hands in the morning as I'm trying to make my car legally drivable) is: Fingerless Thrummed Mittens.

Stay with me here.

My Hurry Up Spring armwarmers are the right shape - long enough over the hand to protect from snow, short enough to offer dexterity required for car scraping, key using, and putting on the second mitt - but wind cuts right through them. Also the right one tends to stretch out of shape pretty quickly. Also Noro Kureyon doesn't belong right next to skin.

Clearly, the answer is something more substantial. While I love the idea of mitts in sock yarn, I can't imagine that sock yarn is thick enough to really block out the cold. I also have a very nice pair of fleece mittens that, due to the elastic around the wrist, will never be put-on-able enough to be comfortable. And I haven't ever met a pair of straight-up gloves that were warm enough.

Enter Fleece Artist Thrummed Mitten Kit in Wildflower:

My reasoning is that ridiculously warm mittens - tops = warm enough fingerless mitts.

I'm not a spinner, and though I know the words that go along with spinning, like fleece, and top, and roving, and carding, and spinning wheel, and drop spindle, and ply, and etc, I do not really have a true understanding of what those things mean. I smile and nod politely and even admire the beautiful colors of all the objects that fall under the aforementioned words for pre-yarn, but really I'm just waiting for the conversation to turn back to knitting.

Though I've contemplated buying some of the stuff before, this is my first time dealing with roving at all, and I started off being a bit suspicious of it. It seemed so delicate at first. Then, following the Yarn Harlot's FAQ, I tried to simply pull a bit off. Hahaha. If this is the strength it will take to make thrums, screw the thrummed fingerless mitts, I'll just carry my car to work, I thought.

Then I remembered that adage (or is it more like a law of physics?) that it's easier to break single sticks ten times than it is to break ten sticks all together. So I kind of spread the roving out and completely stopped caring how much came off at a time. Much better.

So, my tentative plan for the pattern for these (by which I mean, barring a better idea) is to do about 2" of ribbing instead of an open cuff at the bottom, because I'll be able to put them on easily. Then I'll knit and place thrums up until I reach about the top of my pinky finger. I'm not sure yet how I'll finish the tops up; right now I'm considering a flap of sock yarn on the inside to prevent the thrums from spilling out over the fingers. Not sure how/if to tack that down yet.

I'm off of work tomorrow and they're predicting 20 degree highs for the next week, so I will be working hard on these.


wo0t, 100 posts!

I hope your midwinter gift-exchange holiday was as frickin sweet as mine was.


yarn yarn a thousand times yarn

It's been awhile since I've written about a specific instance in which I was an idiot, and hey - the topic happens to have presented itself again, so what the heck.

About a year ago (I think - I can't find it again), I was reading KnitSpot and saw the red stocking cap that she'd knit out of her own handspun, and it immediately went into my queue, the pre-Ravelry one in my head. If anything could make me take up handspinning, it would be seeing things like that. She mentioned (maybe in the next post) that it was being test-knit and would go into her pattern shop. I bought yarn for it oh, nine months ago and have been waiting oh-so-patiently to buy the pattern. About once a month I'd consider e-mailing her to ask when it was going to go up, and with the glut of Christmas knitting my future project planning is going full blast, so I decided I wanted to cast on for it right when I finished all this other stuff.

(I basically only have one hat. It's black (coronet in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino aran) and I really like it, but really, a knitter should have more than one hat.)

So, finally I got around to finding her e-mail address and composing the inquiry, when I came across the link to her pattern shop. Where I immediately found the the pattern for the stocking cap.

So I guess whenever Knitty publishes Shedir and Elizabeth Zimmerman comes out with Ganomy, I'll be ready to go.


knit knit knit blah blah blah

Unoriginal hat is done and given:

I did the old bait 'n switch when I gave it to her - she knows I'm making the house beret for her (she requested it, picked out the colors, and approved the yarn), and was expecting that to be her birthday gift. I had to explain what the colorway was (see "bonus matching accessories," below) but the color does look a bit different in the chunky yarn. We immediately marched upstairs and did a preliminary try-on with her scarf, and it matches well enough to wear them together.

So I'm counting that one a success. My Mom is the world's single best receiver of knit objects and other handcrafted gifts - she wore it for most of the day.


Oh hai

With application season in full swing, classes (well, class) winding down, and knitting deadlines looming and then passing unmet, the knitblogging has fallen by the wayside. But it's not all panic attacks and final projects at chez orooni; there has been some knitting, too.

There have been FOs:

Hoofle Foofle Uptown Boot Socks - I didn't run out of yarn, yay!

Dragonfly Seasilk Montego Bay Scarf - ready to block and give by the slightly modified deadline of tomorrow. (ETA: is now blocking.) I'd suspected when I finished the first one that I hate making braided fringe. This confirms it. However, I love how it looks, so there's likely more braided fringe in my future, grumble grumble.

Can I also say how much I love the combination of pattern and yarn? The seasilk doesn't roll past the 3 or 4 stitch stockinette edges at all. Whereas regular fingering-weight is all like AAAHHHH why am I shaped this way?!?!, seasilk just lounges on the chaise, all like Dahling, I don't want to move to the verahnda... let's just stay here, shaaall we?. And then collapses in a faint.

There have been Started Os:

House Beret in Ravenclaw colors - a Christmas gift for my Mom. She requested it and approved the yarn (by which I mean I practically had to do that thing where you pry each finger off the skein individually to get it back - it's Malabrigo worsted weight), but she won't see it again until its been fully hatified.

Unoriginal Hat in Titania, a birthday gift for my Mom. This will be a surprise -- she's making a chevron scarf in Titania and Midsummer's Night, and she's working really hard on it and it's gorgeous. Nothin says happy birthday like bonus matching accessories, right?

And, finally, there have been knitting fugues:

which is to say, I have no idea where this 60 stitch 3x1 rib cuff in MW Corvid STR came from. Uh, or the identical one on bamboo needles, either. With all the mandatory deadline knitting going on, I could not possibly have cast on a mindless no-deadline project for myself. Bizarre.