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Archive for December, 2007

christmas wrap-up…so to speak…

All the knitted Christmas gifts were a success! Everything fit and everyone liked (or did a really good job of pretending to like) their handknit items. My sisters were surprised by their slouchy hats, even though I thought Flickr might have ruined it, my brother-in-law has already worn his Utopia hat out in public, my dad has been raving about his java jackets, and his thrummed mittens did fit, although he refuses to wear them to snowblow the driveway, as I suggested. The Lucy in the Sky Cardigan should see some action after New Year’s Resolutions kick into high gear. Apparently it does fit, but not exactly the way the recipient would like. Meh. You know how chicks are.

I finished my grandmother’s cabled gloves in the nick of time. This pattern was from Vogue Knitting, Fall 2007, and I used Rowan Cashsoft DK in misty gray. Although, she also expressed concern over actually wearing them, after she noticed that they contained something like 10% cashmere. She’s old skool. 🙂
All the sitting around doing nothing except watching Seasons 1 and 2 of Lost over Christmas vacation gave me a good head start on my first big project of 2008, but that’s another post for another time.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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thrummed mittens

The thrummed mittens are done and (I think) a success. Of course, I won’t really know if they fit my dad until Christmas morning, but I have a better feeling about these than I did about the sweater last year…and the hat the year before…and the other hat the year before that…yeesh

I used one skein of Patons Classic Merino Wool on size 3 and 6 needles, alpaca top that I purchased at the Finger Lakes Fiber Festival over a year ago, and a combination of several free patterns: the Yarn Harlot’s recipe, the Yarn Forward pattern, and Hello Yarn’s instructions for knitting the thrums and her staggered placement thrum chart.

I’ve been wanting to try thrummed mittens for along time, and I’m glad I finally did. These things are so soft and squishy and warm that I would absolutely knit them again! You don’t have a lot of dexterity while wearing them, but that’s hardly the point.

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thrum, thrumming, thrummed

Is it really called “thrumming,” or am I just knitting thrums into my thrummed mittens? Is it a verb or a noun or an adjective or all three? At any rate, I used the term “thrum” fairly indiscriminately during my long car ride this weekend, since I did a lot of griping about thrumming. The car ride was not as productive as it should have been since I kept messing up. My first mistake was making the thrums ridiculously long, so I had to re-thrum the thrums before I could carry on. My sister generously offered to thrum along with me, so that made the thrums add up much quicker. The rest of the messing up involved trying to guess what size my dad’s hand are while knitting. I kept worrying aloud that the weren’t going to fit…to which my sister helpfully responded, “…but don’t you always knit Dad something that doesn’t fit?” As if I wanted to keep THAT tradition alive. But now that I have the first mitten figured out, I’m flying through the second. And the alpaca thrums that I thrummed into these thrummed mittens are soooo soft.

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i’ll try to keep it short…

Recently, a couple of my knitter friends and I were discussing how we like reading short blog posts…with nice pictures. So you might want to start skimming now, because here comes a longish post…with terrible late-winter-afternoon-and-there’s-really-no-light photos and also some too-lazy-to-get-up-from-my-desk-to-take-a-photo photos. The reason for the long post is that I have so many finished projects to show! I didn’t think I would be saying this on December 5th, but I have most of my Christmas presents done! I expected to be knitting furiously through the night on December 24th, but things are in good shape right now. Sooo…maybe some of them aren’t masterpieces…but I think they’re things that the recipient will like and appreciate and actually use.

Most importantly, the Lucy in the Sky Cardigan is finished. It blocked beautifully and I found a tailored shirt with just the right purple stripe to accompany it. I used Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran and size 7 needles. The only modification I made was to knit the neckband right into the sweater as I went, rather than knitting it separately and seaming it. Grafting the end was a little wack, but I got it. I’m pretty excited to give this gift!

The Trinity Stitch hat is finished. Kim lent me her size 10.5 16″ circs, which made knitting the stupid trinity stitch go much smoother, especially with that stupid scratchy Lopi (2 skeins, but I wouldn’t recommend it for this stitch!). But as much as I hated this stitch, the hat came out really cute and I think my sister will really like it. Unfortunately, I kinda want one for myself now. I don’t normally model gifts I’ve knit for other people, but this hat really didn’t look like much without a noggin inside.

I whipped up some Super Mittens this week. I had almost forgotten how much I love this pattern from Weekend Knitting. And I definitely forgot how fast they knit up! I threw a cable in there just to spice things up and these were done in no time. I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease. It’s the “wheat” colorway and I have to say that I do like the way this particular yarn looks. And now they’re washable and perfect for snow blowing the driveway or whatever.
So, I also knit some Java Jackets. I always thought these kinds of patterns were kinda…er…dumb…? I didn’t think anyone would actually use them. True, as soon as I saw this pattern I thought it was so ding-dang cute that I added it right to my Ravelry queue without a second thought, but I never expected to actually knit it for someone. Then my dad came up with an “idea.” He thought it would just be the cat’s pajamas if someone knit up some kind of sleeve for a coffee cup because the place where he buys coffee to go doesn’t have the cardboard ones anymore and he’s always burning his hands. So guess who’s getting one smocked java jacket and one cabled java jacket for Christmas? I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease for these, too (worsted weight this time) for the machine-washable factor. I cast on 56 st. Knit in the round, in pattern, for about 3.5-4″ and bound off. Done and done.

Now I have just a few fingers to finish on my grandmother’s cabled gloves and I’m also going to knit a pair of thrummed mittens for my dad. And I have a car trip this weekend, so that should be enough to finish the gloves and put a major dent in the mittens! Bring on the eight tiny reindeer, the sugar plum fairies, and all the rest of it!

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