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on mittens

December 31, 2007

When I did the color workshop with Brandon Mably, one of the things he insisted on was manageable lengths of yarn. If he was choosing a color, he would unwind a length of yarn between his outstretched hands and rip it from the ball without even using scissors. Since we were knitting small sections of color, that one- or two-yard length was enough. When it ran out then it was time to change colors.

With this new project I’m working on, I keep repeating it over and over in my head: manageable lengths of yarn, manageable lengths of yarn

manageable lenghts of yarn?

manageable lengths of yarn. The idea is actually helping me and I would have thrown in the towel on this project from the start without the mantra playing continuously in my head. Despite the mess above, the yarn is not tangled, it is manageable, and I’m enjoying the challenge.

My Dad requested a hat that would look like the old Buffalo Bills helmets. I found this web page that has served as my guide. I’ve been thinking about it in my head for some time now, and with my Dad visiting I finally found the motivation to cast on. At the moment the whole thing looks like crap.

To distract you (and me!) from the mess above, I’ve decided to show you some mittens.

handspun mittens

Pattern: Family Mittens by Lucy Rogers from Homespun Handknit (Ravelry project page*).
Yarn: My own handspun, from Ashland Bay merino top purchased at a local fiber festival in the Fall.
Start: Nov. 30, 2007.
Finish: Dec. 2, 2007.
For: Maggie.

handspun mittens

These were the first mittens I ever made! I liked that the pattern had you use one strand of yarn for the ribbing then double yarn for the hand. Very warm mittens.

The next pair I made were given to Jerry for Christmas, and photographed at the park a few days later.

pirate mittens

Pattern: Mittens for Children and Adults from Sandy’s Needle Nook (free online, Ravelry link).  I drew the skull chart myself.
Yarn: Cascade 220 in black and white, knit very tightly on size 3 needles.
Start: Dec. 19, 2007.
Finish: Dec. 23, 2007.

I love how these came out, and they fit Jerry perfectly.  There are long floats on the inside that he gets caught in when putting the mittens on, but it’s not a big deal.  The big deal is that we have no snow and it’s barely cold.  Mittens see little action around here.

But that’s not really the point.  The point is that I can knit nice things.  While I work on the Bills hat and it looks really, really bad, it’s okay to look back on little mittens to remind myself that I am a good knitter, remember to breath calmly, and repeat my mantra: manageable lengths of yarn

*I’m going to link to Ravelry because I’m guessing most folks have an account now. If you don’t – Noreen! Mom! Anyone else living under a rock! – you should get on the waiting list. You won’t be disappointed.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. December 31, 2007 4:22 pm

    OK, I’m snickering so hard, I just sent coffee out the nose. I’d just gotten done watching the buffalo shawl on the video site: Let’s knit 2gehter. So when I saw the link for a buffalo helmet, I was impressed that so much bison is being knit up. Imagine the shock when I followed your link. Oh well, time for another cup of coffee!!

    Btw, I really love you photography style. Tres Chiche!!

  2. katie permalink
    December 31, 2007 4:55 pm

    You are a super knitter. If you ever have doubts again, just email me for a dose of reality check. And the mittens are great, esp. the pirate ones! Davis would LOVE some like that. But today he asked for a camouflage pair. Hmmm.

    I have a question about wheels. What kind do you have? I have a sudden nagging desire to learn to spin. Curses on the blogging world.

  3. December 31, 2007 6:13 pm

    Great mittens! I just love the picture of Maggie, too cute.

  4. wishiwerebuffy permalink
    December 31, 2007 6:57 pm

    Cute mittens and cute Maggie. 🙂

    I like your blog – I just stumbled across it.

  5. December 31, 2007 7:46 pm

    Ooh such cute mittens. I think perhaps I should knit some this year, although we never have snow we do have a few colder months where they would come in very handy.

  6. hspoth permalink
    December 31, 2007 8:51 pm

    I think that it ROCKS that someone with the username wishiwerebuffy stumbled across your blog.

  7. January 1, 2008 1:27 am

    Your mittens look great. I love the skull ones especially. Okay, I must be living under a rock. I just signed up to get on ravelry. Nobody could convince me until I saw the neat patterns you referenced today. Are you happy? Happy New Year! Kristy

  8. carpoolknitter permalink
    January 2, 2008 5:08 am

    Is that Maggie’s cutest picture yet? And great skull chart on Jerry’s. Keep on inspiring budding ravelers and spinners. Like me.

  9. January 2, 2008 6:58 am

    Cute mittens and cute kiddies!! Love them all!

    Happy new year and all the best for 2008!

  10. January 2, 2008 2:15 pm

    i wonder how you get all those things done along with children and everything. the mittens are indeed lovely and now we are looking forward to see maggie wearing the lovely owl cardigan soon.
    yes she is cute and it is amazing that the tomten still fits her. garterstitch for you.

  11. January 3, 2008 1:28 am

    What sweet pics! Happy New Year!

  12. crimsonpurl permalink
    January 3, 2008 8:29 am

    Love the mitts!!
    I so need to try colorwork this year and I will remember your mantra! :o) Can’t wait for the Bills hat. Keep going!!

    Happy New Year!

  13. January 7, 2008 2:59 am

    Wow. I am now frightened of learning intarsia.

    The mittens look cozy and fantastic. I like the idea of the double stranded hands, clever idea. Your spinning looks great!

    Happy new year!

  14. January 26, 2008 11:03 pm

    CUTE CUTE mittens. And cute cute Mags of course, too. And the Tomten – still looking fabulous!


  1. tangled and sweating « zigzag stitch

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