On the Needles: Thermal Mittens and a Cowl

On the Needles: Thermal Mittens and a Cowl

I’ve decided to add a knitting-related category~ (I contemplated starting a different blog, but that seems both excessive and something I’m unlikely to keep up with.) I’m so excited to have found a craft that I’m passably decent at. Plus, it’s so simple to bring my projects with me. (I suppose I would feel differently if I were knitting giant sweaters or blankets, but the projects I’ve been choosing are quite portable.) I carry my knitting in a totebag and knit when I’m commuting, waiting in line, or any time that I have a few minutes with nothing else to do.

For this year’s Christmas I knit several gifts–wrist warmers for my two sisters-in-law, a scarf for my mother-in-law, a scarf for my mother, a scarf for my Nana, wrist warmers for my stepmother, and mittens for my stepsister. That looks like a lot of scarves, but each one used very different yarns and patterns, so it wasn’t boring in the least. The mittens were a major challenge for me, and I’m quite proud of how they turned out~ ♥ I had never knit using a circular needle before. (And honestly, my only previous experience knitting in the round was for a bonnet that I didn’t really follow a pattern for. I plan on sharing pictures and notes about the bonnet–it felt like a very “lolita fashion-ish” project!)

Red Cabled Mittens
Cabled mittens, knit for my stepsister in beautiful “tart” Tosh Vintage from Madelinetosh.

A lot of time and heartache went into these mittens. I must have unraveled and restarted them at least five times; I kept making small mistakes that I didn’t notice at first but that would have been unbearably obvious on the finished item. The bought the yarn on a whim, because the colour was pretty. (I tried asking my stepsister for her favourite colour. She sent me a list that included virtually every colour in existence, so I just picked one.)

I am ~so~ happy that I decided to try this yarn. It is possibly my favourite yarn ever. The colours are gorgeous, the yarn is soooooooooo soft, the stitch definition is very clean, and it was a dream to knit with. Even though I kept pulling it out and restarting, the yarn survived and wasn’t much worse for the wear. The twist started to look a bit odd, but when it was knit again there was no difference. I could wax poetic about this yarn. It’s taking a lot of self-control to not spend the little Christmas money I have on yarn.

I didn’t trust the amount of yarn needled that was written on the mitten pattern (a free pattern inspired by mittens worn in the movie Twilight), so I bought much more yarn that I would up using. I’ve decided to use the rest to make my stepsister a matching cowl with the honey cowl pattern.

One of my Christmas presents from my father was a trip to the local bookstore and any book that I wanted. I decided that I wanted a book of knitting patterns. Free patterns are very nice, and there are so many available online, but there are some really lovely patterns that need to be purchased, and I don’t mind paying people for their time and effort. After all, I don’t think I have what it takes to be a designer~ A few days later my mother and I went to the craft store, and she bought me some yarn (taking advantage of the after-Christmas sale). I chose some yarn in unusual hues to try out one of the new patterns.

Honeycomb Mittens-in-Progress
Thermal-patterned mittens, destined for some mysterious recipient, knit in “gold” Wool-Ease by Lion Brand Yarn.

This kind of mustard yellow isn’t a colour I normally like, but I thought it was interesting enough to try out. I’ve seen some really nice examples of other people’s knitting in this kind of hue. Even though it seems very “retro” to me, I’m sure there must be someone I know who likes this colour~ I also have a soft spot for Wool-Ease, mostly because it’s easy to find, not terribly expensive, and comes in many colours.

These mittens are a great “take everywhere” project. It’s very easy to tuck everything into a bag, and the pattern doesn’t need a lot of consulting. (This means I don’t have to try to read patterns on the bus.) I was actually able to count the rows by counting the “bumps,” because they formed every two rows.

I like that knitting enables me to make things I wouldn’t normally wear but might find interesting, at least in some passing degree, because I can give the finished object to someone else who will appreciate it. I do plan to make a few things for me, but it’s so much fun to knit for others~ ♥

Is anyone else working on anything interesting~? I hope this type of post isn’t too boring!