Today for you I have a baby sweater that I knit and gave away more than a month ago: the wee Cria by Ysolda Teague. Some dear friends are expecting their second baby this month, and I wanted to get the sweater to them before…
Tag: Stash Busting
Happy 4th of July! We’ve spent the day relaxing and having fun at a 4th of July picnic, despite being in Nairobi. Part of the festivities was a kids’ bike parade, so I decided last-minute to bling out my son’s bike a little.
Last Christmas I shared that I had completed a Knit Star by Kirsten Hipsky. Last night I dug some mystery yarn purchased in Kenya (mystery in that I know it’s stubby cotton, but that’s about it) that a friend gave to me and knit one star in red and another in blue. Then I whipstitched the two sides together with white yarn and made a loop to hang it. The great thing is that now I also have another Christmas ornament! I tagged this #cij2015jomr, which breaks out to Christmas in July 2015 Just One More Row. Dana and Brittany of the Just One More Row podcast are hosting their Christmas in July KAL again, where you get a jump on making holiday gifts or holiday decorations from July 1 to August 31. WIPs don’t count. There are several prizes up for grabs, including some Kino Knits patterns – so join in the fun!
The other thing I did today is swatch for my two linen tops I have planned. Both will be out of Knit Picks Lindy Chain yarn, which is a cotton/linen blend. However, they call for different gauges. I was really, really good this time and knit a for-real swatch with four different needles sizes, ranging from U.S. 3 to U.S. 6. Each section of the swatch has the appropriate number of yarn overs so I can know which section is which. This is a picture of it before blocking. It’s having a good soak as I write, and then I will lay it flat to dry, then hang it vertically for a few days before I actually do my gauge measurements because I want to know realistically how the yarn will behave as it hangs on my body. This is why those yarn overs are so critical – life is too crazy at the moment for me to be able to remember which section is which without some creative labeling.
If you’re celebrating today, I hope you’re having fun! If not, have a relaxing Saturday!
It’s bitterly cold.
A few days ago, when it was merely chilly but we knew the frigid temperatures were coming, my family went on a hike. My 3-year-old complained his hands were cold and ended up wearing my Bella’s Mittens from 2010, which are designed to come up almost to the elbow on me and came up to his armpits. It was pretty adorable. But it was clear he needed his own. We made a half-hearted attempt to go buy him some gloves or mittens, but nothing fit, and Amazon was going to take two days, and I knew I could knock some out faster. I got Danielle Parde’s Triangle Thumb Toddler Mittens, a $2 Ravelry download, out of my queue and some yarn out of my stash.
The concept behind these is pretty smart: it’s no fun jamming toddler thumbs into tiny knitted thumb holes, so the thumb section is a wide triangle. The cuff is generous so precious wrist skin isn’t exposed to the elements.
I changed up the color pattern a little bit so that my mittens are three colors, not two, including adding a contrasting cast-on round. I used Rowan Pure Wool Worsted in Seville and Buttercup, left over from my Giraffe of last month, and Berroco Vintage in Dungaree, left over from my son’s Log Cabin Afghan from 2011. I used U.S. size 3 (3.25 mm) needles, which, with worsted, makes a pretty tight (and hopefully wind-proof!) fabric. I LOVE the color combo. These mittens remind me of 70’s bowling shoes.
The other modification I made was to actually differentiate between right and left mittens. Now, I know the whole concept is for them to be easy – grab them and stuff your toddler’s hands in them without regard to which mitten is which. But the OCD knitter in me was bothered by the fact that if I made them exactly the same, the stripe color jog would be on the side of the palm for one hand and on the palm for the other. Even if we get the mittens on the “wrong” hands, at least the stripe color jogs will both be on the palms on both hands, if that makes sense. Anyway, I moved the thumb hole from the beginning of the round on the first mitten (as called for in the pattern) to the end of the round for the second mitten. To help my husband differentiate between right and left, I made the cuff of the right mitten navy and the cuff of the left yellow.
I also had to add a little bit of length to the hand, since my son has always has massive hands, which was thoughtfully provided for in the pattern.
Finally, I did a braided cord to connect them – though they didn’t take long to knit, I don’t feel like knitting another mitten if he loses one. I also didn’t feel like knitting miles of I-cord, which is usually what I use to connect baby mittens.
Review of Pattern
I will say, though, that I found the thumb directions a little slapdash. The mitten calls for an afterthought thumb, and since I’ve done several of these, it was no issue. However, if you’ve never done one, I can imagine the thumb directions being confusing. There’s no reference to knitting the thumbs in the round, for example, and I believe the directions could be misleading as to stitch counts. I also changed a couple k2tog decreases to SSK to make my decreases lean the other way, which makes for a more polished triangle.
Overall, I’m extremely pleased. I could have knit him mittens without a pattern, but the concept of the triangle thumbs was so great that I wanted to reward that innovation by paying for the pattern. The pattern itself is just one page to print and pretty straight-forward, if you know what you’re doing with that thumb. My son loves the mittens and didn’t want to take them off yesterday. They’re fairly tight, but that just means he has the dexterity to grab things easily, meaning he’s more likely to keep them on. Besides, they only need to fit him for about a month, because then it’s back to the land of sunny Nairobi, where they’ll get jammed in a closet and not be taken out again.
Finally, I found a Knit-a-long (KAL) that these work for, which was one of my 2015 goals. The Just One More Row podcast is running the Clean Slate Challenge 2015 from January 1 to February 28. Just knit with yarn or spin from fiber that’s been in your stash for at least three months. You get one entry for prizes for every 1500 yards you knit or spin across multiple projects. WIPs that you started before January 1 (but finish before February 28) count. Tag your stuff in Ravelry and Instagram with #CSC2015.
I had my eye on another KAL, but… The My Sister’s Knitter blog is running a Stash Down KAL from January 1 to April 30. Knit with yarn that was stashed before January 1. You get one entry per finished object, but the object has to have at least 150 yards. This means this project, which only took 107 yards, doesn’t count. But I’ve got more knitting to do! WIPs started before January 1 do NOT count for this one. Tag your stuff in Ravelry and Instagram with #MSKstashdownkal.