Sunday, November 13, 2011

Preparations

I realized yesterday that I haven't wound up a cake of yarn in rather a long time. My September SSP socks are still sort of stalled out, so there's been no sock yarn winding going on. When I started my current sweater, I went on a blitz and wound up everything I had for it, so I haven't been winding that either. My sister's mawata mittens required no winding, and my most recent handwarmers were made using leftovers from another project, so they were all wound and ready to go. I made a hat for Someone Else, and I wound up some yarn for a shawlette for my sister, but that was probably at least a month ago - the hat's done, and the shawlette is nearly done.

I noticed this because I actually found I missed winding yarn.

So I remedied the situation.



This handsome cake is destined for a little self-challenge that I shall be detailing more soon. Once this other thing for my sister is done, and maybe once I've wrapped up one of my current sweaters. It's gonna be fun.

I'm ready. Boo yah.

Friday, November 11, 2011

K'done: Commuter Mitts

'Tis the season for things to keep hands warm.



Pattern: Commuter Fingerless Mittens, by Stephanie Sun
Yarn: Knit Picks Gloss HW, in Mahogany
Needles: 4 mm / US 6



These were a fun, quick little knit - the pair took me only four days from start to finish! While some Canadians might mock me for making these since they don't really keep fingers very warm, I would argue that they are quite good at keeping my hands warm - they make for a nice layer between me and the cold steering wheel of my car, and they also keep me from having to touch all the door handles I come across as I trek from my car to my office - plus I still have full tactile sensation and mobility of my fingers, which I value quite highly. My usual solution is to just skip hand coverings altogether so that I can use my fingers the way I want to. Fingerless mitts seem a better option.

Plus, they're cute!



I shortened the wrist portion, as I don't like super long hand coverings since they start to interfere with my coat sleeves, so I omitted one repeat of the cable. Possibly I could have omitted two, as they still get pushed up a bit by my sleeves, but it's okay. They are a bit baggy around the wrists - I think I would prefer a sleeker fit at the wrist with some thumb gusset increases. Before anyone points to my needle size as the culprit for baggier mitts, I would like to state that my gauge on 4 mm needles is typically around 24 sts/4". Since this yarn is a heavy worsted/aran yarn, I may have been getting closer to 22 sts/4" - an informal check with my thumb suggests that I was getting something closer to 5.5 sts/inch. My gauge was still denser than the one listed on the pattern. Also, the sample shots all involve baggy wrists too. The mitts were designed that way.

I also didn't bother with the smaller buttons to close the mitts over the fingers, figuring the odds of me doing that are pretty slim. If need be, I can add them later.

All in all, I am happy with the outcome, and my hands are warmer than they would be otherwise.