Ready for a little holiday knitting?

I’m working on finishing touches for a pattern…hoping to get it out in time for post-Turkey relaxation knitting.

It’s a quick pair of lined baby mittens, knit all in one piece, perfect for holiday gift-giving and personal stash-busting. I’ve made a half dozen prototypes and passed them out to friends, who report that the mittens are super warm and don’t fall off. YEAH!
Untitled

Breaking Dawn giftset

I have not yet watched or read the Twilight series, although this writeup on npr.org kinda made me want to: “Breaking Dawn is where the Twilight series goes straight-up cuckoopants.” Cuckoopants? What a great word. Sounds like the perfect choice for a heckler movie night with friends. And wine.

If you do have a Twilight fan on your gift list, or you just want a quick-knit present, I recommend a mitten/scarf set inspired by Bella’s movie wardrobe.

This set is first in a short list of commissioned Christmas projects. My friend in Ohio will give these to her mom. I don’t know that friend’s mom is a Twilight fan…we just picked these out because she liked the cables….but I do know her mom is not a foxflat subscriber, so I can safely post.

The yarn is malabrigo worsted, which I chose because ravelry users said it was soft and there weren’t many complaints about pilling. For the first time ever, I bought it directly from another ravelry knitter using the “stash” filter. Have you ever bought yarn this way? A few days after sending my paypal payment, the yarn was at my door. Best thing ever.

Project Details
Mittens: Bella’s Mittens by Subliminal Rabbit
Used: Size 8 dpns & <1 skein of Malabrigo worsted in red mohogany
Mods: started pattern at row 24 for a shorter cuff, added 5 stitches of width after cuff, and added length to both thumb and hand.

Scarf: Bella’s Cable Scarf by Georgina Carr
Used: Size 8 dpns & 2 skeins of Malabrigo worsted in red mohogany
Mods: None.

Ravelry Project Pages: Mittens and Scarf

Herringbone Mittens for a knit-appreciating friend

Our first snowfall of the season is predicted for late this Saturday night. I’d say I finished the herringbone mittens for the snowfall, but in fact I will probably mail them to Rachel C. for her 30th birthday. She’s received a series of Katie knits since 2004. Even in the beginning, when the items were super simple and/or wonky, she was very appreciative (or pretended well enough that I was convinced).

When I was just graduating from “scarf land,” it was encouraging to have friends like Rachel who gladly accepted knit gifts. Who’s been in your knitting fan club from the beginning?

Rachel, I hope these mittens help make up for the weird scrap-yarn hat I sent you that one time in 2007. They’re warm…I tried them out on my walk this morning to get an egg & cheese bagel.


More Mitten

Technology and humans were both going haywire this week at work. It was bonkerstown. Did you experience this too? I thought it was a full moon thing, but a check of the lunar calendar ruled that out. I passed out Thursday night and woke up 8 hours later in exactly the same position in bed. That’s when you know you’re exhausted.

In between all the turmoil I kept knitting my stranded herringbone mittens.


And look! One is done. I’ve been blocking it on my hand so that it will take shape as the right-handed mitten.


One other piece of happiness is that our friends got a puppy. This puppy was part of a litter that showed up on her parents’ doorstep in North Carolina. They drove down a few weeks ago to get her, and Sam is smitten. In about two weeks the puppy will be bigger than Sam, at which point he might not be so fond of her. We’ll see if the love lasts. But how cute are they?

Stranded herringbone mittens

I’m charting new waters with my knitting and trying…dun dun dun…stranded color work. With the fall season of Castle and Community starting next week, I’ll also need to cast on a mindless television project that I can switch to. Following this teeny chart is an all-consuming task.

What new knitting skill have you tried lately? Was it a pleasant experience?

I’m making these two color Herringbone Mittens without Poms. My knitting friend Christine (who just had a great opening week with her yarn-dyeing business – skeinnydipping – which I had to give a shoutout because how freakin awesome is that?! ) was my encouragement in giving stranded work a try. However much of a game changer the internet becomes, there is still something special about someone sitting next to you on their couch and cheering you through a new knitting skill.

I am about five rows into the chart.

Christine’s advice was that I work the mitten with the right side facing in (opposite of how it appears in the photo below). This way there’s less chance of pulling the strands too tight. Over-pulled strands make for an uneven surface, even after blocking.

If I become a stranded colorwork master I can make all kinds of pretty picture mittens for people. Here are some of my favorites from ravelry…

(left to right, top to bottom)

Mittens to Order
Spatz
Smaragdi Mittens
Deep in the Forest Mittens
Chrysanthemums
Ix Mitts

Quiz

Q. What do you call sitting in a hot spring in the rainy forest surrounded by naked people, listening to one of them play a didgeridoo?

A. an uncomfortable situation

B. the opening scene of a horror flick

C. a relaxing Saturday afternoon

 

Trick question! The answer is D: a mix of all of the above.

Okay just kidding about the horror flick part. I have to stick up for Oregonians there, because although I’ve witnessed  philosophical rants, strange musical performances, and a whole lotta PDA at the hot springs, I’ve never felt unsafe. Maybe a little grossed out (picture PDA the likes of the “lover” hot tub skit on SNL…only nude), but all in all, everyone is very respectful.

On Saturday morning my friend and her fiance drove out to Cougar Hot Springs and were kind enough to take me along. If we didn’t work 8-to-5 jobs we would’ve gone on a weekday – that’s your best insurance for having the place to yourself. But hey, if there’s gonna be a crowd at least let it be an interesting one. And the didgeridoo player had that covered. On a whim we stopped by a roadside BBQ place on the way back to town. The Wagon Yard was AWESOME. Great prices, cute atmosphere, and one of the best pulled pork sandwiches I’ve ever had. 

In knitting news, I finished my sockyarn mittens and gave them a test drive on the bike commute to work. The best part is that I recently upgraded to a new red rain shell, and the mittens’ stripes look even better next to the red coat. Three cheers for unexpected accessory coordination!

sockyarn mittens...finished!