I woke up at 2:30 am last night unable to sleep. My brain was racing and I was tossing and turning for what seemed like forever. All the thoughts and to-do lists that I have been pushing out of my head during the last few days come flooding back in full force. I wanted to reach into my head, grab my brain and shake it into submission. STFU and go back to sleep, stupid brain! So smart, you’re stupid. I hate you!
But seeing as it’s mostly physically impossible to remove my own brain from my skull and perform any tasks at that point, I reluctantly turned on the light, grabbed a notebook and an orange marker and started writing down all the things that were racing through my head and keeping me awake…
It’s mostly a bunch of life planning stuff, if you couldn’t figure it out by that first line there. I filled out at least 5 pages with orange nonsense. I especially like the lines that end in “?!”. Clearly, I have some things to work out still. I was half tempted to start working on several line items last night, but I instead thought of Scarlett O’Hara’s favorite way to deal with things: I’ll think about that tomorrow…. I threw the book across the room, turned off the lights and tried to go back to sleep. I woke up again at 6am remembering about 10 other things that I should write down, but the notebook was all the way over there…
I glanced through it this morning and surprisingly, there weren’t a lot of knitting related things on there except to write up that cowl pattern and to finish these mitts. I haven’t even started writing up that cowl pattern, but I am making excellent progress on the mitts! I decided last night that I really wanted to line them. There are a lot of really long floats in this pattern and as much as I love how the wrong side of colorwork knitting looks, I want to ensure that I’m not snagging those floats every time I put them on. As chance would have it, I already owned the perfect yarn (the same I used for the cuff lining in my Peerie Flooer Mittens) for the lining. I’m at the point in the mitts where I’m going to rib the top opening, so before I start that, I placed those stitches onto spare needles so I can join the lining with it later. I picked up stitches on the inside of the mitten right after the ribbed cuff and just started knitting in the round. Can I just say how thrilled I am that I had the foresight a year ago to buy this yarn in a nice neutral tan color? I couldn’t have asked for a perfect match.
PS. Have you noticed that I didn’t tell you what type of yarn it is? That’s because I didn’t note it down when I recorded my PF Mittens on ravelry or my blog, and I lost the label somewhere in the mountain of yarn that I own. I should add “look for missing label” to the list. Maybe tomorrow…
PPS. Bonus points to you if you got my title reference. I’m reading Gone With the Wind right now and Ashley is super annoying. If you had the choice between Rhett and Ashley, who would you pick?
You know what cures sweater knitting? Mitting (mitten knitting). If it’s not a word, it should really be one. Mitting. You’re welcome.
I had to give up my job at the yarn store recently. It was a sad day for all of us (me especially, since I just gave up the best thing an obsessed knitter could ever have: an employee discount at their favorite LYS), but it was just one of things that had to be done. Before I left, they graciously let me go on one last shopping spree with my discount (which basically means I worked for free that day). And hoo boy! Did I ever go on a spree. I bought some Fibre Company in Canopy Fingering, which is splendidly soft and I want it all over my face and hands. I bought all the things that I’ve been wanting but never got before. Believe it or not, my self-control is rather strong and most days I come home after a hard day of yarn fluffing with no yarn for myself. I just don’t talk about those days. Probably because I’m in a dark needy mood for not having purchased yarn and also most likely because those stories aren’t any fun for anyone.
Wanna know what is fun?! Mitting. Mitting llamas! Llamas all in their neat little rows! Llamas laughing and prancing. Big llamas, little llamas, left llamas, right llamas! I’m crazy about llamas!!
Best thing ever about mitting: throw caution to the wind and forget your swatch! Ya I said it. The thing is if it works out, then perfect! You now have a mitten! If it doesn’t, well then sorry, but you’ll have to unravel that mitten cuff. But it’s tiny, so who cares?! Yes, this is seriously the delusional speech that I gave to myself when I started this project. No, I don’t regret my decision. I started mitting the left one, then I figured out what I really wanted and started the one on the right. Soon, there will be a row of big llamas over the little llamas and they will dance and sing together on my hands while I wave frantically at random people so they will be forced to look at my llamas.
Ask me if I’m also crazy enough to start knitting my second mitten from the same yarn balls as the first but from the opposite end because I didn’t want to break the yarn but I still wanted to see my big llamas. If you’re afraid of the answer, I will just reassure you and let you know that I got this. It’s going to be ok. The llamas said so.
Have you knit any llamas recently? If you had a llama, what would you name it? I would name mine Dolly. Haha, get it? Dolly Llama. We’d be best friends.
Linking with Tami and other WIPers.
I don’t even care that it’s Spring. Weather in the Pacific Northwest is predictably unpredictable with cold mornings and rainy days. I have a feeling I’ll get some use out of these mittens before next Fall.
I wouldn’t recommend peeling oranges while wearing these mittens. Just FYI.
Pattern: Peerie Flooers by Kate Davies
Yarn: Rowan Fine Tweed, in Arncliffe, Muker, Hubberholme, Bainbridge, Nappa, Richmond, and Leyburn (less than 1 ball each)
Needles: US 2 for cuffs and lining, US 1 for mitten body
Modifications: Knit two less bands of flower repeats and added two additional rows at top of mitten to achieve correct mitten length. Used smaller size needles to obtain correct gauge.
Notes: Cast on using Invisible Cast-On, which normally works great for straight projects but it was messy trying to join in the round. In the future I will go back to my tried and true method of provisional crochet cast on using waste yarn. Used Make One Left (M1L) stitch to create increase stitches right after the cuff. For the thumb gusset, I increased by knitting through the front and back loop to avoid the stitches from puckering. Used kitchener’s stitch to close top of mittens. The pattern doesn’t specify, so I did a 3-stitch I-cord for the cuff edge.
Recommend to a Friend:Yes (even though weaving in the ends was a pain in the arse). This fair isle project is perfect because the pattern repeat is simple enough to remember and the yarn is great to work with. Always remember to swatch and pay close attention to your row gauge!
Sometimes when I tell people that I ripped out a whole mitten/sweater/scarf/etc and started over again, people look at me like I’m crazy. Like what I did was the hardest thing every imaginable in the world of knitting. I guess it’s a hard decision to make, but in reality all you have to do is grab one end and pull. Easy peasy lemon something.
No, the hardest part about knitting (I think) is the part right after you stitched your last stitch and right before you adorn yourself with your newest creation. Before you wear anything handknit, you have to take on the mundane tasks of weaving in ends and blocking. Sometimes these tasks aren’t too bad. Sometimes they seem like hell on earth. For instance, this mess of yarn ends…
I love a lot of things about knitting, like detangling yarn, winding center-pull balls, and seaming to name a few… But if there is one thing that I absolutely despise doing, it’s weaving in ends. And, as you can see, these mittens are not without an overabundance of loose ends.
What do you have on your needles? What’s your least (or most, if you really don’t dislike anything, in which case, I think you’re a weirdo) favorite part about knitting? Also, I’m joining other knitters at Tami’s blog for WIP Wednesdays. Head over to see what other knitters have in the works!
Can we talk about shopping for jeans? I don’t look forward to shopping for jeans. It’s really a lot of work, huffing and puffing in the dressing room as you pull on these “skinny jeans”. What the hell are those about anyway? I can never find the perfect pair of jeans that fit my awkwardly shaped body. Jeans have a way of looking good on either my waist, my butt, or my thighs. Never all three at the same time. And they’re always, always, too long. I recognize my unique build and that’s why I hate going shopping for jeans.
Knitting on the other hand lets you control the fit. You make the decisions on how a garment fits you. And when all is said and done, you have a perfectly fitting garment. Well, that’s how it’s supposed to work. Right now, with these mittens, I feel a little bit like Goldilocks.
This one is just a tad too long…
And this one is just a tad too short….
Why the difference in size, you ask? I read many tales on ravelry of these mittens being notoriously long. So, I adjusted accordingly by knitting one less band of flowers. But it just didn’t seem like it was enough. So the second mitten was made with two less bands of flowers (you know, so I could compare). However, as evidenced by the above photo, that just isn’t going to cut it. I have to decide if I should add a couple of rows to the second mitten and adjust the decreases or repeat the first mitten and deal with the mittens being a little bit too long. It’s just that there’s nothing I can’t stand more than a mitten that’s too long. Well, except maybe jean shopping.
PS. If you look carefully, both top bands have only a single flower. You won’t get that if you just omit a single band of flowers from the pattern. I achieved that by shifting all the flowers over by half a patterns worth of stitches (ie 3 stitches). I really just wanted the lone flower at the top of the mitten, because I like symmetry… and unnecessary complications in life.