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A two-fer this time! Two knits for the price of one post! I knit the set as part of a WWFY swap.

Pattern: Kitty Hawk, which is sadly no longer available to purchase (used to be through Sanguine Gryphon)
Yarn: Corgi Hill Farm hand dyes (I think on Polwarth)
Needles: US 2 and 4
Mods: Shortened the mitts by a LOT. Hat was as written.

khmitts

You may recall I have knit this pattern before. It was easier this time around, mostly because I magic looped the mitts instead of fumbling around with dpns. And because I cut a ton of rows out of the mitts (otherwise they’d have gone all the way to the elbow).

kwhat

The hat was just as speedy as before. I still really like the shape of it. Maybe one of these days I’ll make one. At the very least, I might make the hat band and wear it as a headband. Or I could pick up from the hat band and make a proper round hat. If I do make the hat as written, I might figure out how I can knit it in the round. Maybe with a purl stitch for faux seams… I don’t mind making the panels separately, but they are a bit of a PITA to sew up. Or something. It’s rare I knit something without editing the pattern in some way. It’s just how I roll.

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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:

Sooo since it’s been a little while, here’s a brief update for those wondering how Katsu went: We got a foot of snow Wednesday night, and it was COMPLETELY TERRIBLE. I had to dig my car out, and neither Joe nor I owns a snow shovel, so that was a mess. I had to use a plastic bowl. At least until one of my (super nice neighbors) lent me their shovel. Ugh. I did make it to Katsu on time though. I had a ton of fun, although some sleep/health issues prevented me from staying as long as I might have liked. But I didn’t get stranded, so that was good. I once again failed to take any pictures because I’m terrible like that, but one of these days, I’ll show off the parts of one of the cosplays I put together.

Today though, there’s a shawl. A big-ass shawl as part of my ongoing swap with AnnaMarie. Ravelry tells me I actually finished this shawl on February 2, almost a month ago. Needless to say, I’m a bit behind in my posting. Anyway.

Pattern: A Sensible Shawl from the fall 2012 Jane Austen Knits
Yarn: JulieSpins MCN 180 Aran, two skeins in Silver Sugarplum, two in Silver Cherry Blossom, and one in Cinder.
Needles: US 8/5mm
Mods: None, knit as written

Let me tell y’all, when I say I used five skeins of yarn, I mean I used EVERY INCH of five skeins of yarn. It took some careful finagling, but it worked out perfectly. The shawl is knit sideways, end to end, so I had to find the middle of the grey skein, knit the increases exactly to that point, and then begin decreases. It was a little hairy, especially at the end, when I mysteriously ran out of yarn and had to rip back a couple of inches at the cast on icord and tab and knit the beginning and the end simultaneously to get enough length. It was a process.

The FO came out really nice though. The yarn is SUPER squishy and dense and soft, so that helps. Plus it’s HUGE. It’s basically a blanket, which made it nice and toasty warm to knit on. Let’s be real–I’m not going to knit another one, probably. But I WANT ONE. Which means I might knit something similar. In a less nice yarn, probably, because my budget is such that lovely JulieSpins MCN is SO WAY OUT OF IT, but I do have some nice stuff.

I have something like six FOs to show off in the next couple of weeks. One of these days I swear I’ll catch up and post something other than a constant FO train. I promise. Well, I promise to try at any rate.

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.

The final FO in this particular batch of things for AnnaMarie (for whom I knit everything and I don’t ever care cause I get to use the loveliest of yarns).

Pattern: Spatterdash from a recent Knitty
Yarn: Cephalopod Skinny Bugga in Flash Art Butterfly
Needles: US 1 KP fixed and a Kollage Square
Mods: None, knit as written

Now, you can probably tell by the above picture why this are only “kinda” an FO. They do not have buttons. AnnaMarie said she wanted to pick them out and would sew them on herself, so I just did the knitting. Which was totally fine by me. I don’t like sewing on buttons at the best of times, never mind when there’s a frillion of them. I’m cool just knitting.

The buttons are, by the way, the reason I probably won’t make these again for me. The knitting was fine if sometimes a little fiddly and okay, the method of doing feather and fan was different from what I’m used to, but in general, the knitting was perfectly lovely. But the buttons. I’m not sure I can handle sewing on all those buttons, much as I might want the finished object. If I did make these again, I would probably just sew the flap down and skip the whole business.

Anyway, it turns out I lied last time about the number of finished objects remaining (I forgot about some socks). I have two (probably three by the time this post goes up, let’s be honest here), so the FO train rolls on. And on.

Part two of my vacation knitting! These are also for AnnaMarie.


(The oh-so-willing model is my brother, whom I roped in to helping me with pictures)

Pattern: Endpaper Mitts
Yarn: Cephalopod Skinny Bugga in Punchinello Butterfly and Bronze Moth
Needles: US 2s or 3s; I can’t remember
Mods: None, knit as written

Y’all, this pattern gave me fits. I have made it before with great success (until I accidentally felted them in the washing machine), but this time… I don’t even know. I made a total of three mitts, each completely finished and ends woven in, and I almost made a fourth. The first one came out fine. A little snug but fine. The second one had an extra repeat before the thumb that I some how failed to notice. The third came out way too big, though strangely in line with the second minus the extra repeat. Apparently after I finished knitting the first mitt, my knitting loosened WAY UP. Like WAY UP. At the point I finished the third mitt, I was COMPLETELY OVER THEM and wanted to knit ANYTHING ELSE, but I figured if Anna-Marie wanted me to redo them or one of them, I would. Fortunately, she said it was fine, which is good because there might have been bloodshed at that point.

You can’t really tell the size difference when the mitts are on. You can kind of see it in the above picture, but I stretched the smaller one a bit to make them appear to be the same size in the pictures. But they are definitely different sizes. I had wanted to knit some colorwork mittens, but this experience is giving me pause. Not a tremendous amount of pause, mind, since you know I tend to just jump right in to craft things. But still, pause.

When I was knitting these, I kept thinking the colors reminded me of ketchup and mustard. Neither of which I eat, but the colors are distinct. The pattern is pretty subtle, but still nice.

I have one more FO to show off and by the time I get there on the blog (since I delay the posts when I have a bunch of things to show off at once), I’ll probably have finished a sweater (worsted weight; started a sleeve yesterday) or seventeen sharks (okay, I only have three open orders, but still). Oh, I also have a weaving thing I need to finish up and maybe post about. So I guess it’ll be two more FOs (well, one is still a WIP but the weaving is all done). And then maybe I’ll try to get back on a regular posting schedule.

Look, y’all. In my defense, I was out of town for two of the four weeks I didn’t post anything. Internet was spotty and time to post was even spottier (my mother, with whom I went on the trip, along with my younger brother, is sort of a nut about planning and doing things on our biannual trips to Florida to visit the grandparents). I did do a fair amount of knitting (what else are you going to do in an hour wait for Space Mountain?), which I can post over the next week or so. Today’s post is a shawl I finished on December 15 and apparently never got around posting about. Anyway.

Pattern: Catkin
Yarn: Cephalopod Skinny Bugga in Hermit Crab and Crown of Thorns Starfish
Needles: US 4/3.5 Knit Picks Options circular
Mods: None, knit as written

I made this for AnnaMarie as part of a swap. Ravelry tells me it took over a month to knit, but I’m sure I was working on other things besides. Although, to be fair, it does use almost two entire skeins of fingering weight yarn as it is (apparently) a square shawl with a neck hole in the middle. You can tell that it’s supposed to be square shaped by looking at people’s blocking pictures (or when you block the one you made, I guess). Maybe you can tell from the other pictures too, but spatial awareness and reasoning has never really been my strong suit.

I am highly doubtful I’ll knit this pattern again for myself, but it is quite lovely and I would like to have one. There are a whole host of two- or three-color shawls I’d like to have/make (Faberge, Catkin, Color Affection), but who knows when I would get to them. I certainly have plenty of shawls and scarves at the moment. (We won’t talk about how I just put up a WWFY post for a couple of big circular shawls.)

Catkin was pretty fun to make though. The different sections break it up so you never get bored, and once you get the hang of them, each section is pretty intuitive. Bugga, skinny or otherwise, was a delight to work with, as always. Such excellent colors that get in those yarns. And so soft.

If I ever do make one for myself, I’ll probably wear it delightfully sideways as in the picture above. It’s a little quirky, like me. I would like to knit another cape of some sort though as my other one gets plenty of wear. I’m pretty sure “cape” and “capelet” are just nicer ways of saying “poncho” for people who were scarred by the 70s, but that’s okay. They’re warm and comfortable and they stay where you bloody put them (I’m looking at you, shawls).

Let’s see. In fandom watching news, I have finished watching Fullmetal Alchemist (original and Brotherhood), and I’m pretty sure I never told you I’d started. I’m planning to do a sort of anime binge watch before Katsucon in February so I can get a lot more things. Previously I went to anime conventions cause they’re a fun excuse to dress up in costume (from any genre, really; I’ve seen cosplayers do everything from Anastasia to Star Trek to the Ancient Aliens guy) and be a big nerd in a group of big nerds. But I’m gonna watch some anime this go round so I get the full anime con experience. Next up on the list is Cowboy Bebop, which used to be on Cartoon Network all the time when I was in high school but I have never actually seen. Feel free to leave suggestions for others to add to the list. So far I’ve got Cowboy Bebop, Black Butler, Attack on Titan, and Inuyasha. And maybe Gundam Wing.

Anyway, in other news, I am still apartment hunting. I finally finished reading I Jedi, so Joe and I are going to move on to the Hand of Thrawn books soon. Oh, and you should all go check out the Harry Potter Medicinal Re-Read, wherein a bunch of people are re-reading the Harry Potter books and posting about their thoughts and feelings. My friend Kevin (of Made-of-Fail, for the curious) is a part, and I’ve done some editing for his posts. It’s a super fun project and a lovely, thought-provoking, and nostalgic read.

Sooo I think we can safely say posting every day isn’t for me. Anyway. No new finished objects today, but I do have a bunch of stuff on the needles! Here’s a smattering:

Socks! I’m almost through the gusset decreases on the first one. The yarn is Wild Hare Pinnacle Sock in “Peacock”, and it is absolutely stunning. The colors are SO PRETTY. Unfortunately, the sock is kind of on the back burner thanks to everything else.

Big blue triangle shawl! The yarn is Berroco Ultra Alpaca. I got two skeins of it from Joe for my birthday last year, and I think it’ll be perfect as a gigantic triangle shawl. I’m not getting to work on it as much as I’d like though.

Catkin! I’m a bit further along than this, although not much. It’s in Skinny Bugga and it’s for AnnaMarie as part of a WWFY swap. I actually really enjoy working on this when I get the chance.

Alas, the thing that’s sucking up the majority of my knitting time is something I don’t have pictures of: shark mittens. There ARE pictures of shark mittens (on my patterns page and up in the header, and that’s just on the blog). I have to do teeth on a pair of adult smalls I just finished and I’m about a centimeter past the thumb divide (working two-at-a-time) on a pair of adult larges. And then I have a pair of child smalls to do. I need the money, especially with my upcoming move, but still. Sharks forever.

So moving: I’m doing it. Ideally in January (I say ideally, but what I mean is I’m pretty sure I’ll be evicted from my current place then soooo). I don’t have a place picked out yet (there are some issues), but I have been looking. There’s a place that I think would work out really well, but I have to discuss it with Joe. I tell you, apartment hunting is soul-sucking. Not as much as job hunting (which I’ve been doing as well), but still. Being an adult sucks, you guys. It really sucks.

Remember when I said that the first day I missed, Nov 3, might be the only one? Yeah. Hah. Anyway.

Pattern: Battle Gauntlets
Yarn: Verdant Gryphon Mondegreen (blue) and a bit of AnnaMarie’s handspun for the braid
Needles: US 4/3.75mm
Mods: Plug and play, kids. Plug and play.

These are another pairs of mitts for AnnaMarie as part of our ongoing WWFY swap. I think they came out rather well, which is surprising given all the trouble I had knitting them. I had to restart them like three times. The first two times I screwed up the braid. The third try came out WAY too big. The forth time (cause I REstarted three times) finally worked. The cuff actually came out a bit snugger than anticipated, but not so much so that they’re impossible to wear.

The cuff makes a nice, sturdy fabric–perfect for gauntlets. I was worried the hand would come out too big, but I fixed it with a somewhat unconventional thumb. Instead of shifting just the increased stitches to waste yarn for the thumb, I borrowed a couple from the rest of the thumb. Perfect fit.

The yarn was a dream to work with. Very soft, not at all splitty, great depth of color. Not that I would expect any less from someone who used to be half of Sanguine Gryphon. Super lovely.

In fandom news, I finished the first Rogue Squadron book (named, of course, Rogue Squadron) and will start Wedge’s Gamble tomorrow. I’m all caught up on Once Upon and Time (and in Wonderland) and OH MAN it’s so good. I was a little concerned when (spoiler) at the end of season one, and season two was a little weaker, but season three is right on form. The stuff about Henry and Peter is super good and I was the rest of the season now. So I’m not currently binging on anything, but I might start Star Trek: Enterprise. Joe watched some of it and said it was pretty good. And I want to get back to Voyager but the first season was just so terrible. For now, I’ll just keep up with the shows I watch that are currently on (QI, Once, Castle, Shield, Arrow (omg Arrow is so good), the Daily Show, and the Colbert Report). Lots of good knitting time.