December 31, 2017

End year Knitting

Dec 31st  2017 – Last day of a another busy year. I don’t make new year’s  resolutions . It is not something I gave much thought about as I have always had a list of things to do and it doesn’t matter what time of year it is things do need to be done. But a number of years ago I got in to the habit of cleaning up on the Dec 31st . The tree would come down, things would get sorted of what to keep and what go out the door (donations). I adopted the philosophy that if I was busy and productive on the 31st going in the New Year then it would reflex on the future months. Bit superstitions but it seems to work for me. This year the tree came down on the 28th.......
December was a busy month with a number of Life distractions and to keep my mind focused I started to knit a pair of red and grey socks – 

One leg is done with heel turned yet to go in to the gusset. I haven’t decided yet if it should be solid red or a strip- I’m using wool yarn that was given to me so trying to make it work. I call them Barn Boot Socks something for the recipient to wear in her barn boots. I have been knitting sock for just about 5 years now and have lost counted on how many pair I have made.A number of pair were done tops down with turned heels then I taught myself “toes up with afterthought heels”. I also taught myself the same method to knit 2 at a time but didn’t find it any faster only that they came out the same size. This month I also knitted a toque in a very bulky yarn and a beautiful lace scarf which I dyed the yarn using marigolds (frozen from this summer). But before the month was over I decided I needed a pair of mittens. My fingers wear frozen before I got half way to coop in my “expensive -?? type gloves”. This morning my fingers were nice and toasty at -22 with wind chill of -31 in my hand knitted mitts knitted with Legacy Lane yarn of 75% alpaca, 15% merino, and 10% bamboo yarn.

This is the 3rd pair of mitts for me and the first that I followed direction. I don’t follow directions well so reading knitting patterns can be a major challenge. This pattern was a freebie on line by a Ellen Mason I don’t recall what web site I got it from but they were called “Fried Chicken Mittens”.  The mittens were designed to have a gusset thumb and after knitting these up I can’t see every going back to another way. The pattern called for bulky yarn and a #8 or 5mm needle. From experience I know my tension is looser then most and I always have to go down a size or 2.

 I did a swatch (saves a lot of problems) using both a 3.5mm and a 3mm. The 3 mm was going to give me a tight fabric which I wanted. Harder on the hands to knit but love the results.

 The pattern also called for the use of circular needles which I did not have in 3mm. Lots of sets in the 3.5 and I have discovered it is the most common size I use. But I like working with the short dps so I made it work.

I casted on using a long tail twist – one I have been using recently and like the edge it makes- I did make a couple changes from the pattern the first being knit, purl rib for the cuff and went 4’’, only 3 rows of knit after the purl row which I think I may leave out on the next pair.

 I did make a few errors on both the thumb and tip on the decreasing but now understand what the purpose of the “k2tog” in making a design was for. Over all very happy with them and plan on knitting a couple pair more for just incase. I’m not a fast knitter but it took just over 10 hours to knit the pair. Considering it took me 4 weeks and 4 restarts on a pair of socks 5 years ago I know I am getting better.

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