March 3, 2008

Weekend FOs and a Change of Heart

I made these little mittens for our youngest neice, who celebrated her second birthday last week and whose birthday party we attended yesterday. There were so many presents that our little package was nearly lost in the shuffle--but the mittens captured her attention anyway. She put them on immediately, and began wheeling around her baby and carriage (another gift). Completely adorable.I used the "Classic Mitten" pattern in Folk Mittens and then Ann Budd's Handy Book of Patterns for help with sizing. Yarn is Lion Brand Wool-Ease, not one of my favs, but I figured these will probably need to be washed after a bit of wear. Because these are teensy and because I've made quite a few mittens in the past year, this was a fast project until I got to the finger-knitted cord, which I had to practice a few times in order to get the hang of the technique. Not that it's hard--once you understand, it goes fast--probably faster with two colors since it's obvious where to go for the next loop--but initially for whatever reason, my brain wasn't processing the instructions.
Also finished--well, nearly finished--this weekend was Ela's Favorite Hat from OS Wonders. I've been looking at patterns for a while now in search of something I could wear for early morning dog walks. I queued a bunch of things on Ravelry, and then remembered there were some patterns in OS Wonders that I'd liked. I also had a skein of Malabrigo (Vaa) left over from Christmas knitting that I thought would be good for a hat. I love LOVE how this turned out. I still need to add the i-cord decoration at the top. But this hat is warm and totally cute and, if I can say, the Malabrigo was an excellent choice for this pattern. I was a little worried that the pattern wouldn't look as good in such a soft yarn, but that didn't turn out to be an issue. Plus, the pearl rows nicely bring out the subtle color changes of the yarn. I did have to CO an extra 10 stitches to accomodate my huge head, and consequenty I was a little worried the extra stitches would ruin the proportions. But in the end, these mods didn't seem to matter.

And, last but not least, I've been working on a pair of garter rib socks (based on the 4-stitch pattern in Sensational Knitted Socks), on and off, since mid-January.

I started this project because I needed portable travel-knitting and because I wanted to try a Magic Loop sock. Since it was my first ML effort, I decided to use a yarn I wasn't that fond of (like, in case I made mistakes and had to rip, I didn't want to be doing that with an expensive hand-dyed yarn). So I CO in this Knit Picks Essential tweed (Flint), which I'd purchased last year shortly after I learned to knit socks and before I was confident enough in my sock knitting abilities to be spending a lot of money on yarn. Unknit, this yarn looks kind of... well... blah. And a little fuzzy--like it's going to pill easily. But the more I knit with it, the more I'm liking it. I've used KP Essential before, but on 2.75mm, and the results were okay, but nothing special. But on smaller needles (2.5mm), the yarn looks a lot better, and the little tweedy bits? Very hand-made-y looking. In a good way. I knit down to the toe on the sock pictured above. Its mate is knit to the bottom of the leg. (I usually knit two socks at once--i.e., cuff/cuff, leg/leg, etc.) There are nothing fancy--just your basic sock--but as basic socks go, I'm thinking these will be among my favs.


Anonymous said...

Beauteous projects, B! cmr.

Rima said...

Very cute mittens!
PS: I have mentioned you on my today's blog post because...