Monday, December 31, 2007

Hope you all had a lovely holiday - I did! Here's some stuff I've been working on - it's Mitten Time here at MM!

Poking around Ravelry, I came across two mitten patterns by Kate GIlbert that blew my mind, baby! First, the Wintergreen Mittens:

The pattern calls for worsted weight yarn knit on #1 needles. Cry with me now. Well, I picked out two colors of Cascade 220 and pulled out the old #1 needles, and lo and behold, I was actually able to get gauge. The combination of fat yarn and skinny needles however, makes my arm start screaming after a while, so I bought some Rowan Scottish Tweed 4-Ply at the T-Web and started them over.

It is so much nicer trying to get 7 sts/1" with fingering weight yarn. I'm having a hard time figuring out what color to use on the twisted stitches that make the leaves and have emailed Ms. Gilbert for help. I'll just keep ploughing ahead. In the meantime, I started the following mittens to get a break.

These are the Bird in Hand mittens. I thought I'd try to get the insane 8 sts/1" gauge with thinner yarn this time, so I cast on with some Merino Style dk weight yarn from Knit Picks. Here was the result - GIGANTIC!! And EW.

I pulled that out and decided to forego warmth in favor of being able to use my hands and fingers in the future and acquired some Claudia's Handpaints Fingering Weight from T-Web. Here is the result, which I love love love.

I don't think I've ever knit anything purple before, but this yarn is such a saturated great grapey color I couldn't resist it with the ochre-y yellow yarn.

This enabled me to use my new KnitPicks Harmony needles, which are awesome. I'm ambivalent, to say the least, about using KnitPicks products. Their cutting-out-of-the-middleman makes their prices attractive, and every yarn I've received from them has been very nice. If you compare prices apples to apples, though, their prices are not that much better. $1.99 for Wool of the Andes sounds great, but it's a 50 gm skein, so you'd have to pay $4.50 to get the same 220 yards you'd pay for a skein of Cascade 220, which we retail for $7. And then there's shipping, which brings the price up. It's still less expensive if you buy in bulk, but you lose in not being able to see the colors in person and of course not having a nice yarn store employee to help you.

I'm wild about KnitPicks needles, though. I ordered the Options set last year and immediately sold my Denise set on ebay. The needle points are POINTY! and the cables are very flexible, which is what I like. The tips do come unscrewed occasionally, but not often enough to bother me. With my arm issues, I don't love knitting with metal needles, though, so when I saw they were making an interchangeable wood set, I became very interested. I didn't want to take the plunge and buy the whole set, so I ordered some #2s that I could use for socks. I'm knitting the Bird in Hand mittens with them, and they are really really really really nice. Once I can save up a little money I will definitely be ordering the wood interchangeables.

See you next year!!!


Blogger eyeknit said...

Oh, aren't kidding about the Bird in Hand Mittens. Lovely and fun. I changed color combinations since we spoke, so you'll just have to be surprised! I'm also using my new KnitPicks Harmony US #2 long circular to knit them, and I'm in love. My only knitting gift this holiday season was the Harmony interchangeable set, plus 3 smaller circs. Now, I wish I had the size 3s! It looks like it's mittens all the way here in Philadelphia!

8:59 AM  

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