FO: handspun mittens.

See? They’ve already found a home in my basket o’ warm stuff near the door. These are mittens out of Paradise Fibers oatmeal bfl and local undyed jacob, initially intended for my brother, but due to inexplicable (or, more likely, subconscious) sizing issues, it looks like I’ll have to keep them. (Life is really tough sometimes.)

I used the Alex’s Mittens pattern, and modified for gauge/size. I cast on 36 st, increased to 42 st after the ribbing, followed the thumb gusset instructions but only up to 15 st for thumb, and did one more uniform increase row (up to 48 st) on the last thumb gusset increase row. I followed the pattern for the decreases at the top and for the thumb.

I love these: they are rustic, cozy, and wide enough that I can probably wear these as an outer layer over close-fitting mittens or fingerless mitts.

Now that I’ve freed up these needles, I can cast on a pair for my brother — for real this time. (Unless he fails to email me his hand measurements. If I don’t get them soon, he’s getting a hat!)

twentyten.

I made my list of things to remember to do or think about this semester and tacked it up on the fridge, and then I snapped a picture of the snow falling outside.

My knitterly goals for 2010? Not goals so much as ideas and possibilities: handspun socks, something cabled, spinning for a sweater, a nice balance of knitting that calms me and knitting that challenges me. I also plan to keep working on my spinning — which will allow me to keep something handspun on the needles all (or most of) the time.

And with that, how about some knitting and spinning progress to kick off the new year?

This stuff is awesome. 155 yards of about 3.5 oz of Crown Mountain Farms superwash merino in Albatross, destined to be mittens for my brother.

You know, because I’m keeping these:

Boh is so ready for 2010. (Or dinner.) Happy New Year!

albatross.

Let’s be honest: I’m probably keeping those handspun mittens I started for my brother for myself. After all, that lumpy, bumpy stuff is my first ever wheelspun. I can’t give that away, right? Besides, the first mitten wouldn’t even fit his hand, because it just happens to fit mine perfectly.

Enter this awesome CMF superwash merino in the albatross colorway. Deep blues, pale yellows — masculine enough for my brother, and super soft. I separated about 3.5 oz from the 8 oz that I have, and began spinning for a squishy 2-ply. I’m going to call my brother for a hand measurement later so that I don’t accidentally make these in my size as well…

Here’s the cuff of the second mitten.

And here’s my silly dog in the background.

Boh and I have plans to ring in the New Year quietly, and perhaps a little bit early, with delicious farm food and an evening of knitting and spinning. (We’ll also take a walk in the snow before it gets dark.)

Whatever your plans may be this evening, Boh and I hope that you are able to ring in the new year with people/pets/crafts that bring you joy.

monday mitten.

Two pictures, one mitten. This is the first mitten that I am ostensibly knitting for my brother. This is my first wheelspun yarn, oatmeal bfl from paradise fibers, and while I had to cast on about 5 times to get a cuff that seemed snug enough with my lumpy bumpy yarn (note to self: 36 st), I am in love with this mitten. The thing is, this mitten is probably not long enough to fit my brother with a bit of ease, despite my constant measuring and re-measuring against my mom’s hand (bigger than mine).

I think the decreases occurred much faster than I was anticipating (I mistakenly expected that the decrease rows would occur every other row), but it is possible that my subconscious wanted me to knit these to fit MY hands instead. I finished this first mitten (well, sans thumb) before Christmas, but I haven’t decided whether to rip back and make this bigger and knit another, or to finish the pair and keep them, and knit a new pair for my brother. What a dilemma, right?

Also, last night I cast on a lacy baktus in my handspun AVFKW merino/silk in A King’s Ransom colorway. Believe the hype: this pattern is addicting.

Today, Boh and I are doing laundry, cleaning the house, frolicking in the snow, organizing the closets — and eating this delicious traditional Czechoslovakian bread called hoaska that my dad makes every year for Christmas. (Boh is not eating the bread. Or helping with the rest of these tasks.)

Yum. I can’t believe they let me leave with almost a third of a loaf! It might be time for another piece…

still knitting…

First off, the boy seemed quite pleased with the socks and mittens. He tried everything on immediately on Friday night, and was showing off the mittens at the Saturday farmers’ market. He’s a bit camera shy, so I have no modeled pictures to share. Onto holiday knitting:

side-square2

There’s a wireless signal in my bedroom at my parents’ house. I’m not sure if this is good or bad for my holiday knitting. Either way, it is good for blogging. Today, about twenty minutes before my brother arrived, I finished Turn A Square, and to echo everyone who has already made one (or twenty), I love this pattern. I want one, and I will definitely be making a bunch more. What a nice hat to add to the knits-for-boys arsenal. Take a look:

square-blurry

flat-square

Also, I started another pair of Cruiser mittens for my mom, in Blue Sky Alpacas Organic Cotton. (My mom has a wool sensitivity/allergy, which makes knitting for her tough.) I’m giving her a Namaste bag for Christmas, but I wanted to tuck something warm and handknit inside, so I’m hoping I can squeak two mittens out of one skein…

cruiser-2

I’m making the smallest size, because this yarn is a bit thicker than the Malabrigo I used on the first pair, and because it is cotton, and I want the cuff to be snug.

I’ll leave you with a winter shot of a cardinal at the feeder in my parents’ yard. I’ll be back when I have more progress to report!

cardinal

too ambitious?

blocking-mittens

Maybe not. Yesterday I managed to knit mitten number two, and now the pair is blocking. The outsides are dry, but the insides may still be a bit damp when I gift these later today. I have them on the heater, and if they magically dry in the next few hours, they will be immediately useful.

I wanted to post a picture I snapped two minutes ago of the snow falling outside, but wordpress says I can’t upload any images at this moment. I guess that means the other project I started yesterday will also remain a mystery for now…

Back to knitting!

cruisering.

That’s right. The act of knitting cruiser.

first-mitten-dark

first-mitten-2

I knit this mitten 1.5 times because I misread the pattern and put the thumb at a weird place, and even with the extra knitting, I started this mitten on Tuesday night and knit the thumb Wedneday night after hosting an impromptu dinner party. Cruiser is the right name for these mittens! (Details: Malabrigo in Olive, size 6 dpns.) I’m hoping these will also be for the boy, particularly becuase I’m not sure how well the socks will wear, and these will definitely do some solid warming work this winter. I’m knitting the largest size, but as I don’t have any hand measurements to go on, and these fit me pretty well, I’m worried. I’m going to block them aggressively once I knit mitten numbah 2, and see what happens. I do think I’m due for some malabrigo mittens…

How about more food pictures from week #2 of paper-writing?

food-mill-in-action

Food mill in action.

applesauce

Tada! Smooth applesauce!

sushi

Tofu, avocado and brown rice sushi. Delicious.

Alright, time to go cast on for the second mitten! I imagine I’ll be posting more about my holiday knitting decisions soon, mostly because I’m still deciding…