Saturday, August 23, 2008

EZ Norwegian Mittens, month of May

080819 mittens

Pattern: Norwegian Mittens from the Knitter's Almanac by Elizabeth Zimmermann
Yarn: Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift
1 ball in navy blue, 1 ball in denim blue
Needles: size 4 (3.5mm), two circulars

Okay, it isn't May, but it's not too late to make mittens for the winter. This is my FO for the Ravelympics challenge. As my Norwegian mittens qualified in more than one event, I "competed" in the Mitten Medley and the Colorwork Cross Country. I cast-on on August 8, 2008 and finished on August 19, 2008. 11 days, not too bad for me. The goal was to finish before the end of the Summer Olympics. I joined the Doctor Who group, Team Tardis, and knit for them. Also, a big thanks to Coach Simon for cheering me on during the competition :)

I really like stranded knitting. A few weeks ago, after I made my Fake Isle Hat, I felt the time was right to try making snowflake mittens. It was not hard at all. Before, I looked at colorwork and thought it was too daunting. I worried it would take some time for me to figure it out, etc. Nope, probably took a few seconds and then I was knitting round and round, forming a picture. Pick up one yarn, knit a few stitches, drop the yarn, pick up another color yarn, knit, drop the yarn, pick up color A again, etc. Easy, right?!

This pattern is from Elizabeth Zimmermann's (EZ) Knitter's Almanac. Mittens for the month of May. I think this is my first project out of the Almanac, actually. Her pithy directions were easy enough to follow, unlike the directions for her other patterns, such as the Baby Surprise Jacket. There isn't a whole lot of shaping involved with the mittens; it's a much more straightforward knit. The Thumb Trick? Very clever idea she "unvented."

Anyway, these mittens just fit my hands. I admit I didn't go for gauge, but it worked out in my favor, luckily. I used fingering weight yarn, which knit up much smaller than the written pattern calculated. I wear extra small gloves, so this isn't a problem for me. However, if I were to knit these for any other adult, I'd use DK or worsted weight yarn to make bigger mittens.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

1 year Blogoversary!

A year ago, I decided to give blogging a try. I wasn't sure how it would go or if I'd like it. But it's been a good experience. It has been so nice receiving comments from friends and knitters all over the world and knowing we have projects in common. At times, knitting can be so universal. Thanks to everyone who has ever left me a comment! You know it makes my day :)

Saturday, August 16, 2008


080810 queenofcups

Pattern: Queen of Cups socks by Nathania Apple
Yarn: Valley Yarns Franklin, Fried Green Tomatoes, used a little more than half a skein
Needles: size 2.75mm

These socks were so fun to make! I loved knitting the goblet lace and twisted rib pattern. I like how the semisolid green color shows off the cups and stems.

I began knitting this project last month, while I was in the knitting blackhole with Clapotis. I needed something to avoid falling into a knitting slump. Something quick, yet interesting and challenging. In came the Queen of Cups to the rescue! And the Fake Isle Hat.

Ravelympics Mitten Medley report. I've completed one mitten and have begun the second one. However, I seem to have bruised my index finger (the one that throws the yarn and pushes the needle/stitches around) and need to take a break from knitting for a day or two to allow for recovery. I'm on the DL. My husband commented that a coach would've noticed if I had been doing something wrong and could've prevented an injury. Since most Olympians have coaches, I need one too! He's been drafted as my coach. Pass the ice, please :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Fake Isle Hat

080806 fakeislehatdetail

Here's my first foray into stranded knitting! I bought some beautiful Noro Kureyon yarn and mixed it with some leftover grey Cascade 220 yarn. Looks so intricate, like real Fair Isle. Except it's the Fake Isle Hat, which takes advantage of the long color stripes in the Noro yarn.

Pattern: Fake Isle Hat by Spunky Eclectic
Yarn: Noro Kureyon (a little less than one skein) and Cascade 220 (less than half a skein probably)
Needle: size 6 (4mm)
Size: Medium/Large, 21.5 inches circumference

080806 fakeislehat

I enjoyed stranded knitting so much that I've jumped straight into knitting Norwegian mittens. I'm in the Ravelympics, the knitting summer olympics, and on Team Tardis, for all the Doctor Who fans. I'm "competing" in the Mitten Medley and Colorwork Cross Country. More updates on that next time.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


080724 clapotis

Here's one of the most popular knitting projects in the world. Clapotis, pronounced Clap-o-tee, as I found out at the yarn store when asked about yarn suggestions for Clap-o-tiss. I've known about this pattern for a long time but never had the urge to knit it until I saw one in person.

I love the finished project but the knitting became monotonous. Took over two months to complete, mainly because I worked on other small projects. It didn't help that my yarn was so thin, sport-weight or heavyweight sock yarn. Using thicker, worsted weight yarn would've made this a faster knit. However, I bought this yarn especially for this project and was not going to give up and re-purpose the yarn. This is seawool which has a bit of seaweed, cellulose, and silver blended in with wool. The idea sounded cool, so I gave it a try. I bought the yarn from the Creatively Dyed Yarn booth at Stitches West this year. I met Dianne, the dyer/owner, and loved all of her handpainted skeins.

080724 clapotis2

Normally, I don't wear much pink, but I chose this colorway because it's different for me. There are flecks of bright turquoise, green, and yellow throughout the shawl. As I'm easily amused, seeing the changing colors as I knit kept me interested. It's sort of like a surprise to see what comes next.

080724 clapotis3

Can't say knitting this was a complete joy. It's one of those projects that you have to suffer through just to get the prize at the end. The knitting was boring, but the yarn was and is fantastic.

Pattern: Clapotis by Kate Gilbert
Yarn: Seawool (70% merino wool, 30% seacell) by Creatively Dyed Yarn, used 2 skeins
Needle: size 5 (3.75mm)

edit: Dianne, thanks so much! I'm glad you like it.