Right, so, I made the inner gloves in a grayish green yarn for a pair of Fleeps (flip-top glove/mittens, for those of you who are new here) that will be warmer than my usual single-layer ones... and then I decided that the grayish green looked awful against the coal and teal I'd picked for the outer mittens. So I started over, and knit a new pair of inner gloves in the dark gray. They took almost exactly one skein (50g/144 yards) of Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light, a 50/50 wool/alpaca blend.

Two gloves with a set of DPNs and a tiny ball of leftover yarn between them. The gloves are handknit in a dark charcoal gray yarn. They have partial fingers for the thumb, index, and middle fingers. The ringfinger and pinkie are fully covered.

Once I had the inner gloves finished, I could put them on and measure over them to figure out how many stitches I'd need for the outer mittens, which are knit in Berroco Ultra Alpaca (slightly thicker yarn at 100g/219 yards, same 50/50 blend). In Excel, because it's perfectly cromulent graph paper, I charted out a stitch pattern for the palm and back of the hand and got started with a zig-zag for the back and checkerboard for the palm.

The back of a mitten in progress, modeled on a hand. The thumb stitches are held on waste yarn and the mitten part still has needles in it. The cuff is dark charcoal gray and the stitch pattern is a teal and coal zigzag.

When I got to the place where I think the mitten should flip open, I knit across with waste yarn and then knit again with the regular yarn. Removing the waste yarn will give me live stitches on both sides of the opening. I'll bind off along the hand and knit a few rows of overlap down from the top part of the mitt. The thumb will also have a flip-top, of course, and that will be today's challenge to figure out.

The cuff looks huge over my wrist because it's a double layer of ribbing in two different yarns. I was originally planning to sew the edges together to have permanently lined fleeps, but I think they may fit better/sit better on my hands if I keep them separate. The plus side of doing that is that I'll be able to keep the fingerless gloves on in places like the supermarket, where my hands are often cold but full mittens would be too much. The negative side is that I'll have to keep track of four pieces, instead of two.

This attempt at Warmer Fleeps is going a lot better than the last time I tried it! Some day I'll go back to that design, with the knowledge I've gained from knitting this simpler colourwork pattern, and see if I can't make a pair of mittens that actually fit.

The palm side of a mitten in progress, modeled on a hand. The thumb stitches are held on waste yarn and the mitten part still has needles in it. The cuff is dark charcoal gray and the stitch pattern is alternating stitches of teal and coal.

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Well would'ja look at that, it's a stripy sweater!

The pieces of a stripy sweater laid out on the floor as if they were sewn together. The stripes are gray, blue, and green - on the sleeves the gray stripes are wider, and on the body the blue stripes are wider.

All four pieces are done. I basted them together and tried on the sweater, and it doesn't not fit! It may be one stripe longer than necessary, and there may be a little weirdness with slight tension differences between the blue yarn and the others, but I made a sweater!

Well, almost. I still have to pick out all my basting and replace it with actual proper seaming, and then I have to knit a neck/collar, and then it needs to be washed and dried (because it's all superwash sock yarn, it will go in the washer and dryer - although carefully, in a mesh bag, so it doesn't get pulled out of shape)... and THEN I will have made a sweater!

Woohoo!

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Remember that time I knit a sanquhar-inspired scarf with little skulls hidden in it?

A scarf in navy blue and white, folded over to show that one side is the reverse colors of the other side. Each section of the colourwork is a different traditional Sanquhar pattern.

It's not that it was a bad idea, it's that my execution was off, and so was my estimation of whether I actually wear scarves. I've been looking at this thing all winter going "okay, but it's too long and too thick to be comfortable, and not only does my jacket have scarf-eating velcro but I can zip it up to my nose so do I really need a scarf anyway? Especially one that's going to make me look like I'm either pregnant or shoplifting? Maybe I should unravel it and knit something else. There's enough yarn here for a sweater."

"There's enough yarn in that scarf for a sweater," I've grumped to myself pretty much every time I see the scarf in the closet, feeling a little sad about having knit something that's really cool but actually useless.

"There's enough yarn in that scarf for a sweater," I thought as I was buying entirely different sweater yarn.

"There's enough yarn in that scarf for a sweater," I pretended not to remember, as I picked out the gray and green and blue from my stash and charted out the stripes.

Do you know where there is NOT enough yarn for a sweater? Indeed, it's the stripy sweater. I finished both sleeves and weighed the remaining gray yarn, and did some math. I said some bad words (sorry) and re-weighed and re-mathed. Then I called a friend who verified that my math was right and my sweater was not.

But here's the thing. The blue yarn in the sweater is the same blue yarn that's in the scarf. And (you see where this is going) there's enough yarn in the scarf for a sweater. What if I reverse the stripes on the sweater body? That would actually look really neat.

A pattern schematic for a sweater, showing the front, back, and a sleeve. On the sleeve, there are wide gray stripes and narrower green and blue ones. On the body of the sweater, the blue stripes are widest, and the gray and green are narrower.

"There's enough yarn in that scarf for a sweater," I muttered, and stomped downstairs to retrieve it from the closet. I spent an evening un-seaming my careful seams, and then Michael helped me re-wind about 2000 yards of yarn. He turned the ball-winder and I wound directly onto the swift.

A partially disassembled colourwork scarf sits next to a ballwinder on a wooden coffee table, ready for unraveling.

There's enough yarn here for a sweater.

Two white and two navy blue skeins of sock yarn. They are neatly tied and folded, but the yarn is squiggly from having been knit and unraveled.

It needs to be soaked to get the squiggles out, and then of course I'll have to wait for it to dry, but there's totally enough blue yarn here to finish the stripy sweater, and enough white yarn for... well, for half a sweater. I'll worry about the white yarn some other time.

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It's (finally) time for a machine-knit fingering weight sweater! I chose three yarns out of my stash - two skeins of gray, one of a bright kelly green, and one navy blue. First, swatching. I tried each of the three yarns on tensions 5 and 6, and decided that T5 felt better, and was less see-through, without being so stiff that it won't feel nice to actually wear.

Tension swatches of yarn in medium gray, kelly green, and navy blue.

The tensions and my measurements all went into Designaknit, which produced a sweater pattern (hopefully one that fits). My next step was to learn how to cast on and knit an "industrial rib". While I've heard about this type of ribbing on the machine knitting forum, I had no luck searching for instructions. But then an enlightening post came through - the thing that everyone calls "industrial rib" appears in my ribber's manual as "different method of 2x2 rib knitting." Who knew? And the post included instructions for a cast-on that won't flare, which went really well. It's incredibly stretchy and the edge folds so nicely with the ribbing:

The ribbed cuff of a sweater sleeve. Half is partially stretched to show the cast-on edge, the other half is a zig-zag of edge stitches, as the ribbing is very elastic.

Then I knit a whole sleeve! Stripes and all! There's just one problem... I knit it at the wrong tension and it's 20% too large in every direction. Guess I'm going to rip it out, re-wind the yarn, and try again. My decision to carry the yarn up the side of the sleeve, instead of cutting it to weave in later, seems like it was absolutely the right call. (Also, how weird is it that my gray yarn and my gray carpet are almost exactly the same gray?)

A sweater sleeve laid flat on the carpeted floor. It is striped in medium gray, kelly green, and navy blue. The gray stripes are almost exactly the same colour as the carpet.

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First project of the year is off the needles: the brioche baby blanket is done! It came out a little bit longer than I'd planned, but I wanted to use the full colour repeat on both balls of yarn in order to get a fully reversible blanket in both directions. The two-colour brioche was a lot of fun to knit: just challenging enough that I didn't get bored, but simple enough that I could work on it during football games and knit nights. And I just love how the colours play off each other.

Not to mention that it's kept my lap warm while I work on it.

A handknit brioche baby blanket in gradient stripes of greens, pinks, blues and purples. It is 30 inches wide by 33 inches long.

I couldn't quite wrap my head around the sewn Italian bind-off, so I did a regular one. It doesn't quite match... but honestly, I like the look of the regular one better!

Of course, that still leaves me with a third ball of yarn (Lion Brand Mandala) in this colourway (Troll), but I think I might use it to machine-knit a scarf for donation to a local charity. It's cheerful colours, it's easy-care acrylic, and it's surprisingly warm.

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This morning I reached into my sock drawer and pulled out a pair of Jaywalkers that I knit a dozen years ago. They haven't gotten much wear and they still look really good, but... I couldn't get the sock cuff over my heel. And then I remembered the last time I tried knitting a pair of Jaywalkers. My feet have grown. Dangit.

I guess I'll be reclaiming this yarn and making something else. Something not Jaywalkers, this time. What a great excuse to spend my morning exploring fingering-weight knitting patterns!

A pair of handknit socks with chevron stripes in purple, gray, white, yellow, pink, and tan.

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I thought I'd put away all the sewing stuff, but then friend Karen asked if I could make a couple of zipper bags for her, so I did - and while I had the machine threaded, I made one for myself as well. Once again, I followed this YouTube tutorial - this time, unsurprisingly, it went more smoothly. Especially the part with the zippers.

Three handmade zipper pouches in a variety of pretty fabric patterns and colours, zipped shut.

Three handmade zipper pouches in a variety of pretty fabric patterns and colours, their zippers opened to show the different fabrics on the inside.

Sewing is primarily a cycle of rearranging small pieces of fabric, pinning, and waiting for the iron to heat up... and only a very small amount of time is actually spent stitching those pieces of fabric together. See also, from when I was sewing masks at the start of the pandemic:

A six-panel comic about sewing. In the corner of each panel, a clock is advancing to show the passage of time. It is going a lot faster than it ought to be, because sewing is a time vortex. Panel 1: A person with a purple streak in their hair is ironing. Panel 2: They are laying out the pattern pieces. Panel 3: They are cutting out the pieces of fabric. Panel 4: They are pinning the pieces together. Panel 5: a door opens and a second person sticks their head through to say "I thought you were sewing today? I haven't heard the machine-" Panel 6: The first person is sitting cross-legged on the floor, deliberately turning their back to the sewing machine, thread, pins, pile of fabric pieces, and the waste bin. They are saying, "HMPH."

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I actually knit this sweater early last year, but the baby only just made an appearance a couple of weeks ago, so it's been a secret 'til now...

The pattern is the Lilly Sweater, which seemed like a good way to use a skein of cotton-blend sock yarn and practice machine knitting all at once. I used Plymouth Sockotta, which I used to knit the Pomatomus socks back in 2007-9. Yes, they took me that long, because I didn't like how the yarn felt in my hands. All the more reason to use it for machine knitting, as the finished fabric is actually quite nice.

A wrap-around baby sweater in tonal aquas and blues, with two bright yellow crocheted buttons.

I didn't have any buttons that I liked, so I decided to crochet a cheerful yellow yarn around boring plastic buttons (for rigidity). They're sewn to the sweater with the yarn and the ends are woven in farther than usual, for extra safety.

A bright yellow crocheted button, in progress and almost complete.

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I bought this yarn with the intention of waiting to cast on until my team's stupid offsite in February, and then I realized that I had nothing to knit in the car to and from Connecticut for Christmas. So here goes - another pair of plain stockinette socks, and I'm already up to the point where I'll start the heel flap. Car rides are the best for getting lots of knitting done.

A ball of Lang Super Soxx yarn in a rainbow of neon stripes, next to a partially-knit sock and the label from the yarn.

The patterning on the actual socks is playing out so much better than the label suggested they would. And, I mean, I bought the yarn because I liked the sample socks on the label!

Anyway, the second sock of the pair can be reserved for the offsite. It's only four days; I can't imagine I'll be able to knit more than one sock in that time. (I know some people can, but I am not those people. In theory I'll have many hours of knitting time on the airplane, but in practice my hands would hate me for a week if I tried to knit for that long without a break.)

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Happy happy new year! As usual, this tally is more for myself than anything else, but you may find it interesting as well. If you're coming from FB/Twitter/other social media, click through to see the full post:

INCOMING YARN: 3492 yards
I was very good about not buying yarn and then a friend announced that she was expecting, so I had to buy this Lion Brand Mandala in the Troll colourway. I mean... there isn't a more perfect colourway for this kid's baby blanket. (1770)
One ball of Lang Super Soxx in Neon. (459)
Then I went to MD Alpaca and Fleece with mom and came home with two half-SQs of sock yarn to match skeins I already had. (1663)
Mom gave me ~200 yards of sockweight mini-skeins, too. (200)

Many skeins of fingering weight yarn, split into two sets. Each set is enough to knit a sweater. Both sets fade from darker to lighter. The first set goes from dark greens and blues and a few pops of oranges and yellows here and there, to a pale green. The second set runs from a dark purple to a lighter purple-pink with hints of orange to a lighter pink.

OUTGOING YARN: 3380 yards
1 ball Lang Jawoll, one of the oldest sock yarns still in my stash, became another pair of mindless socks. (459)
I made a little baby sweater to practice machine knitting, using up a ball of Sockotta that I was never going to knit by hand. (414)
The Scrappy Sibling Socks used up a bunch of leftover Trekking XXL. (458)
Rainbow. Socks. RAINBOW SOCKS. (437)
Usually Thunder comes before the rainbow, but these socks came afterwards. (325)
A pair of half-fingerless gloves (144) that were going to be the liners for Fleeps, but then I decided to keep them as-is and knit new liners...
Sold some Louet Gems Fingering that I was never going to knit because it was bright red - why did I even buy it? (925)
Gave mom a skein of 100purewool singles that I've had forever, for her knitting group's "Skein Swap" (218)

A wrap-around baby sweater in tonal aquas and blues, with two bright yellow crocheted buttons.

IN PROGRESS
The third of the Twisted Trilogy socks: Aviation.
Re-measured and re-mathed for the lounging pants.
In theory, my first handknit sweater, the Graphic Pullover. I started a sleeve-swatch and got no further.
Began a pair of Warmer Fleeps - because the ones I've made before aren't good for the depths of winter.
The brioche baby blanket, which is due in April. I'll probably knit a Baby Surprise Jacket from the third ball of the yarn; what else would I do with it?
Plus a new pair of mindless socks that I started on the car ride to and from Christmas in Connecticut.

The beginning of a sweater sleeve, from the cuff up. The cuff is ribbed in black yarn for a few inches and the sleeve is a zig-zag pattern in black and white.

INCOMING FIBRE: 20 ounces
4 oz "Rose Petals" merino
16 oz "Cabbage Rose" merino

Across the top of the picture, four braids of merino fibre in a gradient of colours from a medium pinks/purples to a darker blues/purples. Along the bottom, a coordinating solid in pale pink.

OUTGOING FIBRE: 8 ounces/894 yards
8 ounces Hipstrings Invincible, spun into a random 3-ply (894). It is the best handspun I've ever made.

A full-size swatch of handspun yarn, mostly in burgundy. There is a penny on it for scale, to show how small the stitches are. The rest of the yarn ball sits on the desk above the swatch.

I'm thinking that 2023 might be the Year of the Sweater... goodness knows I have enough socks already!

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