yesterday, i spent myself almost totally dealing with a christmas knitting emergency (more about that later) and in the evening, instead of blogging about my progress, i headed off to celebrate the season. between the furious knitting of the previous 36 hours, and the worry that i wouldn’t make it, i was thrilled to be let loose to meet my our regular wednesday afternoon class at debby’s home for a knitting holiday party.
we had great food
a toasty fire and a pretty tree.
not to worry; we did not waste any precious knitting time with chatting and stuffing our faces (ok, well maybe a little). we were all crankin’ our needles around the table
we put in a good four hours or more of the most pleasant deadline knitting i’ve ever done.
i finished the first one of these
i couldn’t be happier. sometimes it’s hard to get good stitch definition with a cashmere yarn, but choosing a pattern with a deep texture can help. these are SO cozy—we all want a pair.
the black pearl cashmere is lovely; it’s a nice sport-weight yarn so you get a little extra cush without the weight of a true DK—they will totally work for indoor wear.
i knit these on a needle one size larger than i would for myself because they are actually a gift for a man (stop that laughing—i can see they fit me perfectly well. i know, i have shovels for hands).
i’m so excited about them . . my plan is to spend all of christmas day working on my own pair in my CMF cashmere, which is thinner, and more irregular because it’s handspun.
this is an example of how to play around with subbing yarn and needles to make differently-sized mitts. the final pattern will have two or three sizes, and by choosing different yarn and needles within a small range (say anything from heavy sock weight to light DK), your ability to use stash yarn to make one of the sizes work is pretty well assured.
a good way to make educated guesses when subbing yarn is to use experience. if you know that with a given yarn you will get a well-fitting mitt on 36 sts, then you can use the size in the pattern that comes closest to that number, regardless of whether it is supposed to fit you in the original pattern gauge.
the more i design and knit mitts, the more i find that they are one of the most flexible garments in terms of size. that is, it seems that you can get a decent fit for a variety of hand sizes and shapes by guesstimating. a lot more so than socks, i think, which need to be much more exactly-fitted to be comfortable (or even usable).
therefore, mitts make a great gift when you’re not sure of the right size, and they make a GREAT item to have for gift-switching and last-minute-oops-i-forgot-i needed-something-for-that-person-gifts.
which brings me to my knitting emergency of monday/tuesday.
so i’m driving over to the yarn shop monday morning for classes, thinking that i need to pack the holiday box i am sending to my mom’s, and i realize that i have nothing for the two munchkins on that end of the family (i have stopped asking how this kind of thing happens).
the box has to go out on wednesday at the latest, i know, so what can i do with less than 36 hours to go (keep in mind that i do have a job . . . and i won’t even be home again til late afternoon)?
luckily, i was on my way to the yarn shop, where i know we have mission falls 1824 wool, my favorite kid knitting yarn. i bought two skeins in girl colors and two in boy colors.
i printed out copies of the snug cap for all sizes and the child’s 2-needle mitten patterns, and got out my size 7 (4.5mm) DPNs.
i eliminated the seam stitches in the mitts and knit them in the round instead.
i got these done by the time i went to bed monday night, and i decided to go for hats too. that was a nailbiter, since i knew that i had to be all done by around 3 pm yesterday in order to make the party (and, i do have a job!). but i figured it wouldn’t hurt to go for it.
SCORE! (don’t they look like baci or billiard balls?) i got up early and, still using a size 7 needle had one done by 9am, then worked on the other one over the lunch break. i wove in the last end just before jumping into the shower. after the party, i ran home and packed the box so it could go out with the mail carrier this morning. it should arrive in plenty of time for the holiday. phew.
the good news is that this does wonders for my holiday knitting total
which is now at TEN items. and i have several more in the works.
how many should we dare me to go for by the 31st?