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2014 is turning into a banner year for non-shark mittens. I’m sure that will change as the weather warms up, but for now, here’s another pair of mittens, named with a rather unoriginal pun. Whee!

Pattern: My own, made up as I went
Yarn: Corgi Hill Farm handspun, merino and silk
Needles: US 1/2.25mm Addi Sock Rockets

The patterning for these mittens was the result of wanting some sort of cable pattern to add interest and not wanting to do any purling whatsoever. Result: cables in the middle of some stockinette. It worked out exactly as intended. The cable is pretty simple too, which helped. I think it does a good job of showing off AnnaMarie’s super lovely handspun, which was sort of the goal.

I actually might do this same pattern again for me, which is something I don’t usually do. It’s only sort of a pattern–I mean, they’re mittens, and I do need some more mittens. They’re mostly plain mittens, with some cables for interest. So it’s not really like knitting a pattern over again. Plus also, I might actually write these up. The ones I make for myself will have a totally different gauge, but I think the pattern might be nice for something akin to Knitty’s Knitty Spin patterns–ie, intended specifically for hand spun. I might make mine in the brown yarn from the fleece. But with a lining, since that handspun is a bit rough. At a tight enough gauge, though, they’ll be practically water proof.

Anyway (which is a word I use ENTIRELY too often, I realize. I got shut down in the middle of a presentation in kindergarten for overuse of the word, which should give you some idea of how often I use it; anyway–), the mittens came out super pretty, and the pattern did exactly what it was supposed to do. Yay.

Mittens, generally speaking, are a pretty quick project, even in fingering weight yarn. Especially when you have super tiny hands, like apparently I do. The mittens I’m about to show you, however, are not a quick project. I mean, if you look at the dates on its Ravelry page, you might think, “Hey! They only took you like a week! That’s fast!” And if I only had the time to knit in the evening or was working on a bunch of different projects, you might be right. But there are several days in there where I spent ALL DAY (like, eight hours) working on these buggers. So in actual number of hours, they took FOREVER for mittens.

Don’t get me wrong, they’re completely adorable, and I love the finished object (though sadly, they’re not for me). But do you see those quills? Each of those quills has about nine stitches in it. Nine fiddly stitches. And they cover the back of the hand.

Pattern: Hedgehog Mitts
Yarn: Recycled wool/acrylic/alpaca
Needles: US 4/3.5mm
Mods: They’re mittens, so you know I mostly just did my own thing and threw in the stitch pattern

Like I said, I love how they came out, and I think they’re really cute. There are several patters out there for Hedgie mittens, and to be perfectly honest, I think I’d recommend you try a different one. This one was pretty hard to follow. For one thing, the directions are written in paragraphs instead of line by line, like most knitting paragraphs, so it’s hard to find your place. For another, there are no finished measurements, so there’s no way to tell how big the sizes are until you’re halfway through knitting them. I wasn’t about to swatch a quill pattern, so I cast on the adult small/child large (it’s the same size, which is another problem), and hoped for the best. I wasn’t sure how the quills would react (I thought they might pull in a bit), but they ended up being a bit large. I decreased a bit and knit a longer cuff to compensate, but that was a step I wouldn’t have had to take if there had been finished dimensions.

See, I think I’ve probably knit about 200 pairs of mittens, fingerless mitts, and gloves over my knitting career. (Most of them were sharks.) I’m pretty familiar with the measurements I need to make them fit given a particular size of hand. I’m also pretty familiar with my gauge in various yarn weights as related to hand size. So I have no idea what my stitch or row gauge is for a dk yarn on size four needles, but I know that I need to cast on 40 stitches and increase two stitches every three rounds until I get 15 stitches for the thumb in order to get mitts that fit my hands. I can compensate for different sizes in a pattern based on my gauge and the given dimensions. I only cast on 40 stitches for my Northanger Abbey mittens because that’s how many I need for dk yarn and size four needles, even though the pattern said to cast on like 56 or something ridiculous (and the finished dimensions listed in the pattern supported my idea that they would come out WAY too big; I usually cast on 36 for mittens in the yarn and needle size called for in pattern). I’ve gotten very good at modifying mitten patterns to fit my little hands.

All that to say: I really need finished dimensions on patterns so I can modify. I’m not about to swatch to get the gauge you think I should; I much prefer to use my gauge modify on the fly. It’s a system that has served me well for many, many knitting projects. But I guess if you take the time to swatch and like math, you could probably figure out the estimated finished dimensions of a pattern based on cast on numbers and gauge. I don’t do math though, so that’s not for me.

Anyway, have some more pictures:

I made some mittens! Because apparently mittens (sharks or otherwise) is like 90% of what I knit. These are for AnnaMarie, as part of the ongoing swap saga.

Pattern: Northanger Abbey from the Fall 2012 Jane Austen Knits
Yarn: Fleece Artist Merino 3/6, about half a skein in Capri
Needles: US 4/3.5mm
Mods: I went down in needle and yarn size since that’s what I had, and I basically just threw the chart onto my usual plain mitten pattern.

I actually bought the magazine this pattern is in–the physical pattern, ordered from Interweave. It was on sale for like $4, so obviously a bargain, but then shipping was like $6. FOR A MAGAZINE, UGH. I bought it anyway, since the digital download is like $15, so even with the shipping, the magazine was cheaper. And for two patterns I was DEFINITELY going to knit (this one, and a shawl I’ll show you next time), it was still worth it.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to take pictures of your own hands? Anyway, the mittens were super easy to make, and I think they came out pretty cute. And they were super fast (I mean, they’re mittens). I think I might knit some for myself–in the same yarn even, maybe, since I have a skein I got in payment for knitting the mittens.

I just love the way this yarn knit up. There’s a great depth of color, and the finished mittens are soft and pretty squishy. It’s a nice, round yarn, and I’m looking forward to working with it again.

In life news: This post was scheduled on Monday, so I don’t know what the weather’s doing. I’m still hoping for no snow. Fingers crossed, people.

Project Number One in the latest batch of things for AnnaMarie: Thrummed mittens!

Pattern: Thrummed Mittens, Stuffed Mittens … or Fluffies
Yarn: CorgiHillFarm hand dyed DK Polworth
Fiber: Falkland (I’m pretty sure it’s Ashland Bay)
Needle: US 6/4mm dpns
Mods: I used the pattern as more of a guideline. I increased after the ribbing (because I wanted the cuff to fit securely and with my gauge, there was no way 36 stitches was going to be big enough), I did my own thing for the thumb and the top decreases.

THEY’RE SO FLUFFY I’M GONNA DIE.

It absolutely does not get cold enough here to justify making and wearing thrummed mittens for myself, but after making and trying on these ones, I am definitely making a pair. The Falkland makes them super soft inside and they’re hella warm, and I love them. I need them. NEED.

As mentioned above, I did some heavy modifying to the pattern. I mostly just used the thrumming chart, to be honest. I was a little disappointed the pattern did not contain instructions for making thrums, but I guess it calls for a commercial pencil roving, so you don’t really need one. I found this explanation by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee really helpful, though I think I made mind a bit longer as I was worried they would slip out of the knitting. All in all, though, the knitting and thrumming was super simple, and they kept me entertained the whole time I was working on them.

In life news: I am moving this Saturday, OMG. Signing the lease Friday afternoon. Y’all, I am SO, SO ready for this. Well, I’m not, I actually have a ton more packing to do plus I have to reserve a UHaul in order to move my bed/desks/bookshelves plus I have to buy internet (oh my god, cable companies are such a racket and internet is way more expensive than it should be). But still. It’s totally happening. EXCITE.

Day five, four posts, and four FOs. Aww yeah. Why yes, I have been knittin up a storm. I guess the logical thing to do would be to save some of these FOs so I’d have something to post if I run out of things to post near the end of November, but planning ahead has never really been my strong suit. Anyway.

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Pattern: My own Jurassic Mittens, the allosaur and the triceratops.
Yarn: Recycled. All recycled. Wool.
Needles: US 8/5 mm
Mods: None? I mean, it’s my pattern. It sorely needs an update.

I made these for an Etsy customer. It was nice to knit something other than sharks for Etsy, but then again, the sharks have fewer parts to be sewn on and I can make the teeth out of felt. And the base mitten pattern is exactly the same. Anyway.

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There isn’t a tremendous amount of stuff to say about these mittens, so here’s another picture.

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Annnnd now, in fandom news: I am rereading Rogue Squadron (I say rereading–the first time it was read to me aloud, so I’m sort of reading it for the first time). It’s the best thing ever and I’m completely in love with it. Wedge is one of my favorite Star Wars characters (after Mara Jade obviously because Mara). I also started watching Once Upon a Time. OH MY GOD THIS SHOW. I completely adore it, OMG. It’s so good. I’m completely hooked on the plot. It doesn’t hurt that everyone is completely gorgeous (wow, how many times can I use the word “completely” in one paragraph?). And Emma and Mary Margaret have some really sweet knitted hats. Some of which, I’m sure, I will attempt to replicate. Anyway, I’m almost through season one and it’s SO GOOD. Netflix, ilu.

I’ve got a couple of things on the needles and in the works currently. I haven’t done much knitting in the last few days as I’ve been kind of busy. Working, halloween, random get-together at a friend’s. So yeah. But here’s what I’m working on:

There’s a Carousel sock in Red Heart Heart and Sole:

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I’ve got deadline knitting preventing me from working on these too much, which is too bad because I love them and I need more socks.

There’s a pair of dinosaur mittens for Etsy:

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These are much further along now. I will try my hardest to snap a picture before I send them off. I usually forget.

I’m also working on a test knit of a sweater pattern.

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I’m a bit further along on this too. The deadline is November 14 I believe and I should be able to have it done by then. It’s a short sleeve top and I’m almost to the underbust.

Hopefully more interesting craft things to report soon. In fandom news, I am almost through reading the Courtship of Princess Leia with the boy and it is cracktastically awesome except for the purple prose and occasional lack of continuity. In life news, Tuesday is election day for Americans, so get out and vote. I don’t think it’s any secret that I’m hella liberal, so, y’know, go ‘Bama. But seriously though? VOTE.

So my boyfriend has a 13-year-old cousin who is, as is typical, really into guns. As sort of a joint design effort between him and his mother, they requested mittens that look like finger guns. Six months went by and he still really wanted them, so I went ahead and made them:

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Pattern: None. I might write it up but it involves intarsia in the round.
Yarn: A recycled wool (tan) and a recycled wool/acrylic (black). I’d have liked to use acrylic for a teenaged boy but I didn’t have any in a flesh color.
Needles: US 6/4 mm

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They were sort of a pain in the ass what with the intarsia and whatall, but I still think they came out pretty well. The triggers are only on one side but I knit the thumbs so each glove can go on either side. The trigger and trigger guard are just a bit of embroidery.

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I might still add a band of orange around the tip of each finger/barrel (since these are clearly not actual firearms and law requires toy guns have that stripe) but I’m calling them done for now. I hope they fit. I think they should. I based the sizing on my own hand but made the fingers longer. So they should fit at some point.

In any case, it’ll probably be at least a couple of weeks before they make it to their recipient.

So remember when I said I was done making shark mittens for the season? Yeah, me neither.

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Pattern: Deep Blue Sea (linked on my patterns page)
Yarn: Recycled hand dyed grey and recycled red
Needles: US 8/5 mm

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They’re little! They took no time at all! I made some money for them! Whoo!

Posts coming up will be a bit more exciting because I’m finishing up my package for a Futurama swap on Craftster. I finished a big thing yesterday and it’s completely awesome (for a sneak preview, check out my Ravelry page. Not you, partner!)

DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS IS?

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THIS IS THE LAST PAIR OF SHARK MITTENS FOR THIS SEASON.

I AM SO EXCITED. I GET TO KNIT THINGS FOR ME NOW.

Except not really because I am knitting a mohair wrap sweater for a swap. But more on that later. Anyway. Sharks.

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They’re done. These ones are knit in Feza Yarns Zarone, which I dyed with RIT dye to get black. The red is from a GIGANTIC recycled JCrew sweater. I have never been more excited to be done with a series of things. OMG.

Anyway, yeah. More on the sweater later.

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RAH!

News first! After weeks of staring at the WP ad above my dashboard, I finally caved and purchased my very own domain name! I am now located at stitchbrinnstitch.com (though it might take a day or so to load), though you can still find me at the WordPress link. Yay! Now it’ll be much easier to pass out my website.

Now a finished thing that isn’t sharks or spats! It is, however, mittens.

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Pattern: Jurassic Mittens
Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride in Kiwi and some recycled sweater yarn for the mouth.
Needles: US 8/4mm
Mods: None, they’re my damn pattern.

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The dinos were a nice change from the sharks I’ve been knitting as of late. I love Lamb’s Pride (it’s squooshy and soft) and I ought to get some for myself (not that I need any more yarn).

On my plate at the moment, I have another pair of dinos and two pairs of sharks. And then there’s that mohair pullover. And all the things I want to make for me. Later this week I’ll have another non-shark FO, so you can look forward to that.

Good luck to people knitting for Christmas. I’m not knitting for anyone this year, even my completely knit-worthy boyfriend. I bought his birthday present this year (albeit a couple weeks late since we’re celebrating in January). I’ll probably knit it next year, but this year I simply didn’t have the time between my Etsy store and my actual real job (which is completely awesome. I love teaching).