Two by two, hands of blue

Apologies to any Firefly fans who are now slightly freaking out from reading the title of the post, but really, what else could I call it, given that I have been making these?

These are the Vintage Buttons Gloves by Ysolda Teague.

Since the photo, I have completed the other three fingers, with 2 yards of yarn left in the ball for the thumb. No worries: I have another 3 (or possibly 4) balls, ready to make some sort of neck-warming device to go with the gloves and the hat.

I love the pattern for these gloves, except that the fingers are really quite chunky. I could easily take out half a dozen stitches and they would still fit fine. I’m not bothered enough about it to reknit them though: there are only so many fiddly, finnicky fingers that one can bear to knit within a certain time.

I’ll finish these today, so I can show them off tomorrow.

What’s happening tomorrow, I hear you ask?

Tomorrow, I am going down to Little Hounsdales Knits for a whole day knitting workshop with Woolly Wormhead. I will be learning about hat design, possibly figuring out what I need to do to make a hat that is flattering for all the weird head-shapes in this family (my own included), and knitting or talking about knitting ALL DAY. This pleases me.

Multitasking

I have reached a personal epiphany this evening.

The one regret I have about having taken up knitting is that my reading time has been so severely cut down. I used to have a book habit the way I now have a yarn habit. (Let’s be honest, I still have a book habit, it’s just that a lot of the books have ‘sock’ or ‘yarn’ in the title.)

This evening I am working on a very boring scarf, using straight needles and fairly thick yarn. There are 28 stitches to a row, just stocking stitch all the way and it needs to be 70cm long. While I am eager for this scarf to be finished, I have not been eager to invest the time in knitting it. I would rather be reading, specifically reading the archives of Yarn Harlot which I am doing for no apparent reasons other than I really like her blog, I’ve read a lot of her books recently and I haven’t done a re-read since 2009, when I lost a week and a half and nearly screwed up an essay by reading it from the beginning.

Turns out that I can read and knit if the knitting is simple enough and the reading held still (in this case, laptop balanced on chair arm). Woohoo! Life is going to get more interesting.

I’ve just reached February 2006 in the archives. Who wants a garter stitch scarf for Christmas?

On beaded socks

You remember my lovely beaded socks? The ones from Tour de Sock. These ones:

When I first mentioned them, some people were sceptical about how practical they would be. I knit them anyway. I can now tell you that they are practical, as long as your outer footwear in no way covers any of the parts of the sock with beads attached. On Saturday I wore them for the day. My slip-on mules were fine for wandering around the village in the course of my work, until the socks slip down into the foot, then it is a little uncomfortable. Wellies, for a walk through the woods to the beach, were a really bad idea. On the plus side, they were very uncomfortable but did not result in blisters. The other thing that is a really bad idea is kneeling on the floor and sitting on your feet. That hurts quite substantially.

I now have wool socks that are too hot for the time of year when I would be wearing appropriate footwear. My next plan is to wait until it is cold enough to be wearing two pairs of socks and try again.

Next time I play with beads, they are going on a scarf, or perhaps only on the cuff of a sock.

Gloves

Progress has been made with the gloves and I have learned two things:

  • When the pattern tells you how many stitches there should be, maybe count and check this is the number you have, don’t just go merrily on your way knitting for another 2 inches and a whole finger.
  • READ THE PATTERN

I should be considerably further on with the glove by now, but I put an extra six stitches in the hand by mistake and ripped back substantially to fix it.

To look on the bright side, Millamia wool is so lovely to work with that it was an absolute breeze to pick up the stitches and get going again.

Open Sock Surgery

It’s official: I’m not knitting any socks at the moment.

Be aware that this post contains images that knitters may find disturbing.

The final sock on my list of socks in progress was one for a friend that I custom-designed/tweaked to her specifications. It is in the most gorgeous purple yarn from Violet Green and I completed the first sock back in May. All was going well, when I spotted a cable that didn’t quite look right.

The only way I could get it to show well enough was to turn the flash off, hence the weird colours. Definitely a mis-crossed cable of some sort.

The choices? Rip it back (too annoying), leave it in as a feature (not when it is a present for someone else), or drop just the cable stitches down and knit them back up (quite stressful).

I got the blocking mat and pins and set to work. The mistake was only about 7 rows back, so it could have been a lot worse.

I can’t remember where I saw this technique for fixing knitting, but it works a treat, although it would be better on a flat piece. As you unravel the stitches on each row, you pin the loose yarn in order so you know you are using the right length as you knit back up.

After many deep breaths and not a little swearing, it all came back together.

Ah, the beauty of symmetry!

It’s all done now & I’ve started the Ysolda Teague gloves. Pictures anon.

In other news, I submitted an assignment yesterday consisting of a reflection on how knitting has influenced my spirituality. I love my job!