revelry, knittah style

Posted on Posted in book reviews/events, projects

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?

40 thoughts on “revelry, knittah style

  1. Just how many hands do you have?? HOW can you knit so fast? You never sleep, do you? UNreal! The loves are outstanding! I have to make them. Love them. The little mittens are adorable. You need to relax a little! By the way, the party pictures are so fun. What a great group.

  2. 73. I double dog dare you. (Aren’t I helpful?)

    The hats are awfully cute, however. I’m glad you added them. Amazing what happens when you aren’t knitting on size 2 needles, eh?

  3. The mittens and the hats are SO cute – the munchkins will love them.
    I love the mitts too! I still have my Snow on Cedars package waiting patiently for the week after Christmas…

  4. You are amazing !
    The mitts and hats look very cute, I’m sure they will them. I’m on some deadline knitting myself too, but i’m not nearly as fast as you are 🙂

  5. How about giving us a photo sometime of your hands when you are knitting? It’s okay, of course,if the photo comes out a little blurry! 😀

  6. It seems you are counting the mittens and socks as 1 each set? — I would think each one should count as one and a pair as 2 in the Knitting Wars! I know they’re 10 gifts….but….

  7. Great to see what the end product was. The mitten yarn really works! Great pick. Cannot believe how fast you are!

  8. Anne, one of these days we need a video of you knitting, cause it might just break the sound barrier…My Christmas pile is up to a pair of socks and almost 2 hats, and I still have 2 more hats to go, and I’m not sure I’ll finish! Interested in some contract knitting? 😉

  9. Anne, Anne, Anne….I am tired just thinking about all the knitting you have managed to get done. I think you have earned that party dinner and more!

  10. The hats are too cute! The two-tone while being so simple, really looks great! Wish Santa would bring me some cashmere mitts, but I do have an odd ball or two in stash…

  11. anne…ihave to say you do seize to amaze! I just finished some mitts which i must say i finished in record time but the pattern i chose (not one of yours) was awful!why do i try anything but yours…i want the green cashmere ones!!!! have a nice holiday

  12. I love your cashmere mitts! I can’t wait for the pattern to come out.

    I’m glad that you said mitts are some of the most flexible garments. I’m working on changing a sock pattern to a mitt pattern, and while a lot of people write tutorials on how to do that, I haven’t found one that was what I really wanted. So I’m using all of them, a book, and some of your patterns as references. So far it’s working, but I haven’t past the wrist yet. I’m nervous that something I didn’t account for is going to bite me.

    Congrats on getting so much Christmas knitting done!

  13. The hat and mitten sets are great! There’s no way I’d have managed anything but maybe one hat in 36 hours though. Maybe it is the practice that makes you so fast. If so there’s hope for me when I’m about 100 I think.

    I love the green cashmere mitts. They are beautiful. I;ve been eyeing the various colors at one planet and can’t make up my mind which to try. ‘Course if I wait for the pattern I’ll have a better idea of the yardage required too won’t I?

  14. You must be a lightning fast knitter to get all that done. I’m a stay at home mom and can’t get that much knitting done.

    Yumm those cashmere mitts look so nice!

  15. your knitting exhausts me. marathon sessions like that are the reason i don’t do knit gifts. i’m terrible with deadlines (as in i like ’em so much i never get anything done until right before the deadline) and nothing can drive me to hate something like forced marathon sessions. (and no, i never learn.) all this to say i do admire your dedication and knits!

  16. Beautiful green mitts!

    It looks like I’m making my little guy a purple hat, but I hadn’t thought of the mitts! I bought purple Malabrigo and had already decided on (and bought) your snug cap pattern. I made him a green “Nottingham” hat out of alpaca, and he likes it, but he’s informed me that he’s really feeling the purple (such are the whims of a three-year-old). Somehow the little child mitts escaped my attention when I was browsing the patterns, so now he gets those, too – probably after Christmas, but at least while it’s still winter. Too cute!

  17. Anne, you’re a wizard! I swear you can weave magic with needles and yarn once your fingers hit them 😉 BTW, I love how the mittens and hats are exact opposites in color combos from each other. Remarkable!!

  18. I am out of breath thinking about the deadline you gave yourself. As you know I am not good at meeting knitting deadlines. Told you you would make more than 10 things.
    glad you had a fun knitting/christmas party.

  19. What a blast! A 4 hour knitting party? I wish I had some other knitters nearby, it would make the knitting fly along.
    Are you a needle under the arm knitter? My grandmother was, and she just flew through her knitting.
    Nice mitts, I love the texture.
    How is the sweater doing?

  20. You are a knitting machine!! The last minute hats and mittens are just the cutest – sure to be loved by the kids getting them! Keep knittin’. Go, Anne, Go.

  21. WHAT do you teach? I was a high school British Lit teacher, but now I’m in the library. I can’t tell if you’re a knitting teacher or a professor of something mysterious and lofty! ^_^

  22. I need that mitt pattern and can’t find it, is it one of yours? Can I buy it? What is it called? I don’t know why, but I love it unreasonably.

  23. My husband loves the new design. I look forward to purchasing it and making him a set.

    I am currently making his a set of the Hot Waffles. He saw them and actually asked me to make a pair of them. He loved the design.

    I will admit that I snuck two other designs into the purchase. I rationalize it in that I am helping to foster the arts with my patronage.

    I await more of your lovely goodies with eager anticipation.

  24. I love those mitts and matching hats. They are very cute. I might have to get that pattern for next Christmas. Perhaps for my own sweet nephew.

    The pattern for the cashmere mitts are just spectacular too.

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