Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Blast From The Past Projects

If I were to ask you my fellow knitters/spinners what your oldest work-in-progress project is ~ would you know?  LOL...I certainly didn't know what mine was until I went rummaging through some spinning fibers looking for something and coming across a nearly completed pair of mittens!
One mitten was complete, the lining for the second was all knit and the yarn for the second was spun and waiting to finish the outer mitten.  Well, for goodness sake, I was shocked!  Even the needles and pattern notes were right there in the bag with the rest of the Icelandic-Mohair roving.  I got right to work and what a joy...I actually think my spinning might have been better than it is now.  The plying certainly was (my plying skills really stink lately)  If memory serves, this was also some of my early attempts at spinning Angora bunny which is what the lining is made from.  Not spun from roving but from sheared French angora, held lightly in the hand and spun with more twist than you might think it needs to keep it together!

The pattern is from Spin-Off, Winter 2003 and its called Double Mittens.  The liner is knit first, starting with a provisional cast on.  I spun to a slightly finer gauge and knit them on a smaller needle.  Then the cast on is unzipped, stitches are picked up with the more rugged Icelandic-Mohair blend yarn and the outer shell is knit.  I think I like knitting the lining first.  One problem with the finished mittens is that my thumb making skills have improved over time so the second mitten is a better fit than the first.  I've got more yarn, so I think I'll take the thumb out and redo it.

One thing's for certain, they feel absolutely divine on the hands!!!  I've been on an angora kick lately and you know I'm thinking that a pair of bunny lined socks or slippers would sure be nice...

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Pom or No Pom?

Recently I was searching Ravelry for hat patterns that knit up quickly in big bulky yarn.  There are dozens of cute ones (though many are for children) but  the one that caught my eye was this one, Anthropologie Inspired Pom-Pom Hat by Jessica Parsons-Taylor.  She has a seriously cool blog that you really should check out, even if you don't knit (and she shares the link to the original Anthropologie hat that inspired her design)!

Anyway, I didn't have quite the right super bulky yarn that the project called but I took some of our Serenity Farms Millspun Corriedale-Alpaca, held it triple and whipped up the hat in a very short amount of time (just garter stitch and knit flat, how easy/fast is that?)  The giant Pom-Pom took me nearly as long to make as the hat did to knit!  Then I couldn't decide - do I like the hat with the Pom (as above) or without (as below)?

So far the vote has been to add the Pom.  I mean it really does make a plain 'ol garter stitch hat "pop" doesn't it?  But it is a seriously big Pom-Pom - which still needs some trimming/rounding - it actually could pull the hat off a small childs head!
What do you think?   Leave a comment and let me know!  And if you're so inclined be sure to check out the sweet pattern.  I'll be casting on for more, too!

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Welcome In

Finishing mittens by the fire, New Years Day 2013

Happy New Year to you, from us!