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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Oh yeah... my blog... and fingerless mitts



I just keep forgetting that I have this blog! 
Well... here's some more mitts to post.  I'm in love with mitts, especially the fingerless mitts, though I'll eventually have to make myself some flip top ones like Mr. Boy's.  
The ones below are a Christmas gift and will have a hat to match (which I will post here if I can manage to remember that I have this blog!) 

 I just love this color! And I really wanted to make myself a sweater or something out of this yarn, but (of course!) I can't seem to find it again in the stores.  It's just plain ole Patons Classic Wool in Natural Heather and I could order it, but there's no way to guarantee I'd get this exact color.  If I were a better photographer you'd be able to see how beautiful this yarn is close up.  All kinds of soft Monet-like colors all spun together to make this dreamy soft pink.  For a craft store yarn, they really pulled out all the stops on this dye lot.  Well, I'll keep my eye out for some more of it.


The above pair are the ones I made for myself because I was just so jealous of the pink ones and I was on a role so I whipped these babies up and they are deliciously warm, if not quite as pretty to look at.  These were also made from Patons Classic Wool, though I don't know the color.  This stuff has just been sitting around in my stash for years and I don't even know what it was originally intended for, but it makes a nice warm pair of mitts- warmer actually than the pink pair because over the years Patons has thinned out their worsted weight yarn considerably... (We SEE you Patons! Not cool!) 

I used this pattern for both mitts. I just adjusted it from full mittens to fingerless mitts.  The cool thing about this pattern is that it uses smaller needles than usual for worsted weight yarn which makes your mittens (or mitts) very dense and wind-proof(ish). 

More details about needles, modifications, yarn etc. here. 

I have all sorts of knitting and crocheting things planned for the next few months. So if I can get my stuff together you will see some of that soon. I'm currently on the hunt for the perfect hat yarn that doesn't itch like the dickens and doesn't stretch out weirdly and is warm and once I find it I plan to make myself a hat in every color offered and as God is my witness I'll never be cold or itchy again!  



Monday, March 26, 2018

I got the mitts!



I am extremely proud of these, my first ever, mittens. This was a big learning curve for me and I've never been what anyone would call an adventurous knitter.  Plus I've always felt super awkward when using double pointed needles so I avoided it whenever I could, but Mr. Boy needed mittens and the cheapo acrylic ones I bought from Target (twice because he lost one somewhere in Kentucky on a road trip for Christmas vacation and it was a complete fiasco!) were not going to cut it.  And I knew he would want flip-top mittens (because the infamous Target ones were flip-tops) and really who wants to take off their entire mitten just to zip up your coat or backpack? Well some people do I guess because there are a ton of super cute regular mitten patterns available, but I don't and neither does Mr. Boy.

The pattern I used for these were actually not fliptop mittens so I had to modify it which is another thing I usually don't do, but this time I did it and pretty successfully, too! I will admit to making a few hilariously ridiculous mistakes (like making the thumb long enough to almost reach the top of the mitten) and having to rip back parts of the first mitten more than once (actually more than twice) which is very scary for me because again, I'm not adventurous, but it worked out in the end and I'm feeling like maybe I've jumped up from intermediate knitter to beginning advanced.

At first I was worried that Mr. Boy would reject these in favor of the Target ones, but he loved them instantly and now won't leave the house without them, even when it's not really mitten weather.  Which makes me so proud I could burst into spontaneous song like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music.

That reminds me that I have to make a back up pair (or two) so we don't have a repeat of the Kentucky Mitten Fiasco.

Mitten stats on Ravelry. 

Friday, February 23, 2018

A "Very Warm Hat" indeed!

Waaaaay back in the day I wrote a post about finally knitting a really good hat which was kind of a big deal because I had some problems with hats from the get go.  I could never seem to knit one that fit properly or that didn't look ridiculous on me and I had pretty much given up the whole hat ghost because I rarely even needed a hat anyway since we lived in Houston.  But one strange winter it got super cold (Houston cold, that is, which means it was below freezing for more than a few hours.) I really needed a hat and so did Mr. Boy so I gave it one last go and it came out fabulous and that was my one hat that I ever needed and the one hat that Mr. Boy needed and I thought I'd probably never need to bother with hats again. 
However, now we live in Chicago and pretty much every day is a hat day (at least for me, so far) so I knew I needed to really master this hat thing and I needed to do it quick!  My old faithful, which by the way is a perfectly lovely hat, was not going to cut it, I quickly found out.  It was fine for a (what Midwesterners call) chilly day, but once that wind started blowing it was laughably inadequate. What I needed was a Very Warm Hat and that's ultimately what I found via Ravely and Elizabeth Zimmerman. 

Seriously thank goodness for Elizabeth Zimmerman and her genius problem solving knitting mastery. 
So this looks like a pretty unimpressively boring hat, right? But there's a secret to it...

It's two hats in one because it's reversible and it's double thickness!
This is really exciting for me for two reasons:
1- It's Very Warm
2- I can use a non-itchy but still very nice, warm yarn for one side of it so that it doesn't itch me like it's made out of fire ants.
That second reason is really a big deal for me because as much as I love the warmness of wool, it just itches me like nothing else in this world.  And dry skin and hair is a serious thing here, y'all.  Day after day of cold windiness means that keeping moisturized is a serious challenge. That's why even though this hat is technically reversible and I could wear the black side or the variegated side, I never do.  It is always worn variegated side showing because the black yarn is silk and bamboo and it never, ever itches me even the slightest bit and that makes me want to do a happy dance whenever I wear this hat and I wear it a lot
Now unfortunately this hat is not a free pattern, which is what I really like to present in my blog, but here's the secret to the hat.  You can really use any hat pattern and do the same thing.  It's as simple as knitting a hat, then picking up stitches around the brim and knitting another hat just like it.  Now you know the secret to Very Warm Hats.
You're welcome. 
This is Mr. Boy modeling the hat for me.  His head is, strangely, only slightly smaller than mine.
Y'all will probably be seeing lots of hats from me because knitting hats is now one of my favorite things to knit (now that I know that my head is actually child sized and every pattern I use must be modified for that fact) and I have loads of scrap yarn to get through. I know for sure I need at least one more like this one, and I'm working on one for Mr. Boy now. 
Details about yarn, needles, etc here