Wednesday, November 07, 2007

where's the cat when you need one?

it snowed.

i had a small tragedy this weekend. spicy and i went hiking and i asked him to hold my mittens, and then he lost one. i have many single mittens and a couple of worn-through gloves, so i am in severe need of warm handwear. and my track record with knitting mittens is not good--4 years to finish one pair, nearly a year to finish another. so i was a little nervous, but need is a great driving force. especially when it's snowing outside.

we interrupt this regularly scheduled blog entry to report that apparently there's a mouse loose in my building. we had to call environmental health and safety. it was last seen in room 233. sorry i'm typing the secretary's words verbatim b/c they are just too funny. oh i guess it's been found. now the secretary wants us to flush it down the toilet. or throw it in the river. oh now it's loose again. ahh, work drama.

anyway, back to the mittens. i used my second skein of faux malabrigo handspun and #10 denise circs, one at a time using magic loop.
handspun mittens
there aren't enough patterns in this world that knit mittens top-down, so i made up my own. i cast on 16 st and made my regular wedge "toe" to 28 st and knit straight until the mitten just touched the base of my thumb (on the forefinger side) then knit 4 stitches with waste yarn for the left and the last 4 stitches in waste yarn for the right and then plain rounds until my wrist. then i finished it off with 2x2 mock cable rib cuffs. i picked up the 8 waste stitches plus an additional stitch at each corner and knit the thumb as a round "toe." it was very easy to do it this way b/c i could try it on as i knit. also, b/c my handspun was inconsistent, the two mittens are slightly different sizes even though they have the same number of rows. i haven't washed them yet, but i'm sure i can block them to size.

i set the twist on my llama handspun. i have about 430 yds total of a heavy worsted/chunky weight. i'm planning to make another hat/mitten set for my pink winter coat. this will be my mother-of-all-cold-days winter gear. i haven't picked a pattern yet but i have some things in mind.

i am seriously debating buying some queensland kathmandu aran in navy to make spicy a cobblestone pullover. it's on sale at webs and i think i'm ready to scoff at the curse. but the boy is the world's pickiest person about clothes so i'm not sure if i should take the plunge. you would think that cobblestone is basic enough that he wouldn't find room to complain, but you weren't at the local yarn store when spicy pointed out a very simple pullover with a cable panel down the front and said he didn't like it b/c it was too fancy. then i pointed out a drop sleeve crew neck pullover with plain 2x2 ribbing (think jcrew), and said, "that's probably more your speed, right?" and he replied, "i don't know. what's all that stuff at the neck? it's too much." um, really? 2x2 ribbing at the collar is "too much"? and then of course he picks out the most boring-to-knit allover ribbed zipper jacket as the style he likes. but i think i may have the upper hand here--apparently he thought his shedir was too fancy at first but then it grew on him. i know that as long as the handmade item is functional he stops caring so much about how it looks. i'm planning to spin my remaining llama fiber for his ribbed jacket but i'm sure it will take me forever to even spin the yarn, since i was thinking of doing a 3ply, so it might be easier to start on something simple. and if cobblestone is too much i can make him a seamless hybrid. and nobody in full possession of their faculties could possibly say that the seamless hybrid is "too fancy." right?

hope they catch the mouse soon.


  1. Good luck knitting for the guy! I waver between wishing my husband cared more (How can you not have an opinion about solid versus heathered green!?) and wishing that he weren't so particular (Why is ribbing on the hem too plain and a rolled hem is too casual? And that sketch of a tank is way too complicated to turn into an intarsia design!)

    I hope he likes whatever you pick for him. :)

  2. Makes me glad that Jason refuses to wear sweaters entirely.

    The mouse thing is hilarious. One time at work we got an email from the building guy telling us not to "plop down on the toilets" because they are fragile and separating from the wall. Then he got frantic emails from ladies thinking the toilets were going to break off in use, so he had to send a follow up email assuring us that it was safe. Those of us with a sense of humor gave him a lot of shit for it. Good times.

  3. Ah see, now here's the plan - you knit the Cobblestone for him, but in a yarn you love. That way, if he deems it too "fancy", you get a nice boyfriend-size sweater to curl up in!

  4. Nice original mittens!

    I cannot guide you in the boyfriend sweater business. That's a decision every woman has to make for herself.
    Also, by ducking the questions I avoid all blame in the end. ;)

  5. My fiance on the cobblestone pullover: "Yeah, I *do* like that. Well... maybe without all that stuff (points to garter yoke). But I like the color." Sigh.

    I don't know what's wrong with me, I seem to be mis-reading words more and more. I spent about three minutes wondering how in the hell a moose could have gotten into your building, and what/where your job could possibly be that that's even conceivable.

    Love the mittens. Have you thought about connecting them with a string?



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