Monday, January 28, 2008

Cool! It's Warm!

One of the first knitting books I checked out upon my return to the US was Amy Singer's No Sheep For You. I was deeply into my Arietta and the photos of Bacardi I was catching online made this a must see. (Barbara Gregory is a color genius, IMHO.) So I checked it out from the library and when it met my three pattern minimum (must like at least three patterns in order to purchase) I bought it. Eh, who am I kidding, I bought it for Bacardi. But I did really like Cables and O's and Morrigan spoke to me in a totally sadomasochist way. So incredibly complex, so incredibly tempting, yet so out to turn me insane. Of course, there were patterns which didn't appeal at all. There always are. And then there was the pattern that didn't register much at all. Mittens, what for? All those fluffy bits, huh?

Then I moved to New Jersey. And everyone told me how cold it was going to be. And people were blogging about thrums and, Whoa Nelly, I just had to have me a pair. So after much soul searching and much net surfing I decided a heretical act was called for. I couldn't find any silk or even bamboo (as Grumperina used) that appealed to me. I did find some beautiful hand dyed WOOL roving. Yes I've used Amy Swenson's wool free pattern with wool. I hope lightening doesn't strike!

Isn't it gorgeous!

This was my first Etsy purchase, from CJ Kopec. I just love it! But what yarn to use? Due to a finance imposed yarn diet, I hunted through my stash for the right thing. I thought a dark chocolate brown would be good. Nope, none. What about gray? I have plenty on hand, thanks to H-J J's fear of color. Deep charcoal gray? I'm afraid there isn't enough. I settled for the dark gray and cast on. Before I got too far though, I started preparing my thrums. Gently tugging away tufts and getting them smooth and ready to be knit into the mittens. If you are interested in making your own, here is a good tutorial from Hello Yarn.

Some prepared thrums

After preparing several, but not nearly enough, thrums I continued on my merry, knitting way. When I got to a thrum stitch, I twisted the thrum, placed it on the needle and knit. I read somewhere that on the next row to knit the thrummed stitch through the back loop. I found it help keep the thrum nicely in place.

Twisted before placing on the needle

Thrum and stitch knit together

Close up of the inside of mitten

Completed mitten, inside

Completed mitten, outside

In other mitten related news, there is the long since, practically completed Flower Power mittens. I haven't blogged about them for a while, even though I had finished knitting them. There are a few technicalities that are still to be worked out. Being my first pair of mittens, I did experience some difficulties. I based them on the Ann Budd's Knitter's Book of Handy Patterns, and inspired by an article about Kristin Nichols, I personalized them. They are a bit big (I did wear them last Shabbos and had to keep jamming them back down.) I think that can be remedied by adding a piece of elastic into the inner reverse stocking ring. Also the yarn I used wasn't the greatest. Stash burning from some Teddy Wool Superwash.I had from Israel. The store owner wouldn't take it back, even when the black started bleeding into the white on an earlier, frogged project. Did I mention this is superwash? Anyway, it was fine for these gloves, and the black doesn't run too much, but it was a bit splitty and the embroidery was not acceptable. So I removed it all and knit the second mitten. All that remains is to find a suitable yarn for the embroidery.

original embroidery

finished mittens awaiting embroidery


amy said...

Mittens seem so popular right now, I am loving your thrums! Sorry to hear about the bleeding black yarn, did your needles turn ebony?

funfairiegirl said...

I was gifted some CJ Kopec last summer and it spun BEAUTIFULLY! and so I have recommended it to others and they have loved it! Glad you enjoyed it too!!! That is a beautiful colorway and now I want those mittens for my move to MO!!!