Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens

Well, not really copper kettles.  A shiny copper kettle would use up a shocking amount of yarn money and we mostly use the microwave anyway. Isabel thinks tea kettles are marvelously romantic and she stopped speaking to me for at least an hour when I threw out our old enamel kettle. Its paint was flaking and the inside was gummy, but she still felt it was a terrible waste of such fine cookware.   She's over it now, but I still don't like to mention kettles around her.

Long lost kettles aside, the temperature has been dropping and we are all frantically searching for our warm woolen mittens/hats/scarves. Some of us are even claiming that, despite the excessive amount of yarn in the house, we have no warm woolen mittens/hats/scarves, or at least none that are sufficiently large/fashionable/free of holes to be worn in public. Plus, yesterday there were even some packages which relate to warm woolen mittens, although they came in grey bubble wrap mailers with not a scrap of brown paper or string in sight.  If you couple all of this with the inescapable fact that today is Wednesday (also known as WIP -- or Work in Progress-- Wednesday in some circles), you will no doubt come to the conclusion, as I have, that this as good a day as any to catch up with the woollies.

Exhibit A:


A pair of gloves for Nate, using the blueprint pattern from Ann Budd's book.  The yarn should look very familiar; it is left over from my Rhinebeck sweater. I am knitting the gloves on size 4 needles for added density, durability,  and warmth and in doing so, I may have created some issues over whether Nate's fingers (which are somewhat square and broad, in the grand old tradition of his male ancestors) will fit comfortably inside the gloves.  I'm going to add a stitch or two to each finger in the second glove and otherwise, I'm really hoping the first glove will s-t-r-e-t-c-h, because I might have a seizure if I have to knit 12 fingers for two gloves.

Exhibit B:
A grey plastic package without any string arrived in my mailbox yesterday.  It contained this book:


I bought the book (second hand, through Alibris.  I really like them. So much so that I ordered three other books to keep this one company) because it contains a pattern for a brioche stitch hat, but the book also contains my favorite quick mitten project.  I worked off a bootleg copy of this pattern (please do not turn me in to the intellectual property police; I promise that I have mended my evil ways) for years, but my original mittens are starting to loose some of their woolly-ness and when my hands got cold and I started yearning for a simple pattern, I cast on these:


I didn't get too far, because I started them about 5 minutes before bed time last night, but the yarn, which I got from a Dizzy Sheep yarn swap last spring, looks just right to me. I may even line them with something soft, if I am feeling ambitious, which means that I probably won't.

Exhibit C:
A second package in my mailbox contained this book.


I checked it out of the library last year, read it cover to cover, and fell madly in love with it.  It has patterns in it, but I bought it because I loved the stories and pictures of sheep (and other fibery animals) farms across the country.  El Husbando, who has visions of us owning sheep, alpacas, and possibly even a cow (although I'm lobbying for a very, very small cow), might even want to read it. In fact, I really bought the book for him.  Yeah, that's right.   I'll just keep it with my books because I don't think he has room on his bookshelf. Yeah.

Exhibit D:

This is not a new book, but the yarn is from my pilgrimage to Green Mountain Spinnery and I am finally starting the hat that I promised Isabel.


Here is the beginning of it.  When I worked the swatch, I used double pointed needles and I was so ham-fisted while working the braided edge--which is totally new to me and which I got totally wrong on the first try--that I thought I was going to poke my eye out.  I switched to a small circular and learned (1) that I don't hate all 16" circular needles, just the super slippery ones from Knit Picks, which is weird because I love most of my other Knit Picks needles and (2) the braid is much easier on my Inox circulars that it ever will be on any DPNs in the whole entire world.


I have now proven to myself for the second day in a row that it would have been much less time consuming to knit a few rounds on a sweater than it is to write a blog post.  Score one for NaKniSweMo over NaBloPoMo.  Also, even though I finished my work yesterday, I was gently chastised for turning it in too early.  To prevent this from happening again, I have decided to waste as much time as possible before starting the next project. That'll show them.

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