Saturday, December 18, 2010

Snow day

I got up early (early for me for a weekend, anyway) for a driving lesson, but when I looked outside, it looked like this:

So The Limey and I went out for a quick walk instead to play in the snow, me in my Knotty gloves.

I actually finished knitting these ages ago, when the colour of the yarn (herbstfarben) was much more appropriate to the season. But the weaving in of ends and tightening of picked-up stitches defeated me and I continued to wear my old, thin, pilly M&S gloves until I mercifully lost one.

Knotty Gloves
Yarn: Wollmeise Twin "We're different" in herbstfarben, just over half the skein for the pair, I think.
Needles: 2.0mm bamboo dpns
Pattern: Knotty Gloves, by Julia Mueller

Notes: I did these in a tighter gauge than the pattern called for, therefore killing two birds with one stone: I have small hands and I wanted a warm, hard-wearing fabric. This yarn is nearly perfect for gloves. Tightly-spun and many-plied, it should stand up to wear very well- and gloves, of course, take a lot of abuse.

I don't know why it took so long to knit myself a pair of gloves: store-bought gloves are always ill-fitting, with the fingers almost always longer than mine, so there's often a few millimetres of fabric extending beyond my fingers, making movement even more awkward than a gloved hand normally is.

The Knotty gloves are great- just knit 'til the fingers fit! (Having said that, I did get impatient with one and had to frog and re-knit the fingers to be longer.)

I mostly followed the directions, except for a few points:

1. I made the cuff shorter- personal preference.
2. I used short rows to shape the palm before starting the fingers, because my index finger doesn't start on my hand at the same distance from the thumb that my pinky does, if that makes sense. In the picture below, I've drawn black lines to show the wedge made with short rows.

3. I decreased gradually to taper the fingers, rather than wait 'til the very end.

I've been wearing these gloves for a couple of weeks, in the crazy weather we've been having, and they have kept my hands nicely toasty. Amazing. I'm paranoid that I'm going to lose one, though. ('Cause you always loose a glove, don't you?) However, there is more than enough yarn left over to knit another one, if needed.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

The Limey was working in London last week, and it seems ages since I'd last been, so I took Friday off and went straight down after work on Thursday.

As is usual, the visit was filled with food and yarn: had Vietnamese food on Thursday night and Lebanese food on Friday. (We brought back some of the Lebanese desserts...I'm going to be so sad when we finish the little pastries filled with dates, walnuts and figs. I find a lot of middle Eastern desserts to be too sickly sweet, but these are just lovely.)

I also took the opportunity to visit Loop's new premises in Islington. I resisted the urge to buy yarn, and was really mostly interested in books. I was hoping they'd have one of Margaret Stove's lace books, but no.

I did buy the Winter issue of Interweave Knits and ye gods, I am absolutely enamoured of the Thandie Funnel Neck pullover by Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark.

(Photo from Interweave.)

I love everything about it: the colours, the buttoned-up raglan, the funnel/cowl neck, the brioche stitch, the shape, its amazing wearability...

I really want to knit this, but there are so many hurdles before this can be mine, all mine. 1) I have so much other stuff I have to knit; 2) I've never done brioche stitch before; 3) I have no suitable yarns, so would actually have to buy more yarn.

But the main hurdle is that the notes about stretchiness of brioche stitch, the different yarn weights, the gauge measured "slightly stretched" all come together into a possible nightmare of fit issues. I will cry if I don't get this sweater. And I will cry and throw things if I knit the sweater and still don't get it.

What to do? What to do?