Archive for the “gloves” Category

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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I know I've mentioned it before, more than once, but I love my Fleeps. I love them. One of the best parts of the weather turning colder is that first time I put on my warm coat and find the Fleeps in my pockets. Buuuuut... they're not warm enough for the depths of winter. So I decided to knit a warmer pair: a double-layered pair of Fleeps, with a separate glove for the inside and a stranded colourwork mitt for the outside. Does that technically make it a triple-layered Fleep?

I started with the inner gloves on US 2 (2.75mm) needles in Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light, figuring that I would need them on my hands to take measurements for how big the outer mitts should be. The outers will be knit in the Ultra Alpaca regular not-quite-worsted weight in both dark charcoal gray and teal, which I'm currently swatching on size 6 (4mm) needles in a few different colourwork stitch patterns.

Of course now that I've knit the inner gloves, I'm quite tempted to wear them just as they are and make a second pair to go inside the new Warmer Fleeps. Especially because I have a skein of Ultra Alpaca Light in the same dark gray I'll be using for one of the outer mitt's colours, and I'm not sure these green-y/gray ones coordinate as well as I'd like. Plus maybe they shouldn't have ribbing, if they're going to be inner mitts? Besides, as evidenced in the photo, one skein is just enough to knit one pair of gloves...

And of course, I'm taking careful notes as I knit so that I'll be able to duplicate them over, and over, and over--

Two gloves sit on a wooden table with a tiny ball of leftover yarn between them. The gloves are handknit in a lightweight grayish-green yarn. They have partial fingers for the thumb, index, and middle fingers. The ringfinger and pinkie are fully covered.

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After many repairs, my old Fleeps were ready to retire. I had some more of the same yarn (Jo Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed) in a dark blue and decided that now was the ideal time to knit it up. I've got lots of notes for custom-fitting this yarn into Fleeps for my narrow wrists and long fingers, so it was just a matter of following along and knitting exactly the same thing I did last time. (As a side note, I keep thinking I should knit a pair in a more sturdy yarn, but then I wouldn't have these exact notes to work from... maybe I'll do that next.) My Fleeps are a mashup of the Cigar and Gnomittens patterns, both of which are available for free.

I especially like how the stitches for the pinkie finger are set aside a bit lower than the rest of the fingers, matching the actual shape of my hand:

Pirate's hand models a Fleep in progress. The cuff and hand are knit, and stitches set aside for each of the fingers. It does not yet have a mitten top.

My old Fleeps look so sad with their Frankenstein repairs and threadbare sections (there are actual holes in the thumbs!), but I wasn't going to let them go without rescuing and re-using the magnet snaps.

Pirate's hand, wearing a new blue Fleep and holding a small pair of orange-handled craft scissors, is ready to cut the magnet-snap off an old, worn, much-repaired green Fleep.

I like to put a small piece of felt as a backing to the magnet snaps to help keep them from pulling straight through the yarn. For the mitten top, I knit up to the end but didn't graft it together before adding the magnet. I held the felt in place with my left hand while I sewed the magnet on with my right, then kitchenered the top of the mitten, flipped it inside out, trimmed the felt down, and sewed it around the edges.

Sewing the magnet-snap into the tip of the mitten before grafting the top shut.

On the cuff, I pinned a square of felt into place - it was far enough up in the cuff that I couldn't hold it and sew at the same time.

A square of black felt is safety-pinned in place on the inside of the cuff while the magnet-snap is sewn to the outside.

After I'd sewed the magnet snap on, I trimmed the felt to a neat circle, perfectly centered...

The circle of felt on the inside of the cuff has been trimmed to size after sewing the magnet-snap to the outside of the cuff.

...and sewed it down around the edges.

A small, round piece of black felt is sewn down to the inside of the cuff.

And here is the finished pair! My project page for them is on Ravelry. As usual, I've only left two fingers and my thumb exposed to try to keep my hands as warm as possible. I'm looking forward to wearing my new Fleeps this winter, even if I'm still not traveling far... and I'm also, just a little bit, looking forward to working out the pattern modifications to make my next pair with different yarn.

A finished pair of blue Fleeps is displayed on a wooden table. One has the cuff and thumb cap folded back; the other is closed and the magnet snaps are visible.

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I have a collection of Cascade 220 leftovers, and thought that it would be a good idea to make a scrappy pair of Fleeps (convertible glove-mittens) with stranded colourwork for extra warmth. First I charted out a colour pattern and then I colour-coordinated the leftovers with the remaining yarn from my Acres Wild hat, which will be used as the lining for the cuff and mitten top.

A collection of small balls of yarn in shades of greens, purples and blues.

Then I started knitting. I couldn't tell at first if I had the size right, though I'd measured and done some math and re-measured and re-calculated. It looked small. But knitting always looks small, and once I had it well past the cuff and into the hand section, I tried it on.

It's too small. (It's lumpy over my wrist because I didn't take my watch off when I tried it on, since I wouldn't be taking my watch off in real life, either.)

The back side of a colourwork mitten in progress.

While I like how the colourwork looks on the back of my hand, I'm not really fond of how it looks on the palm or the thumb gusset. And there are going to be far too many yarn-ends to weave in at the end of this project. Just look at that cuff! Ends everywhere - blargh.

The palm side of a colourwork mitten in progress, showing the start of a thumb gusset.

So I ripped it all out, wound the yarn back into balls, charted out a different colourwork pattern over more stitches with the thumb gusset increasing more sharply, and started again. I'll laugh if this attempt turns out to be too large, instead of too small. And then I'll cry, and then I'll start over again with a happy medium of stitches. Knitting is supposed to be fun and relaxing, right?

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I have just one last skein of the Unicorn Spit fibre to spin!

Six completed skeins of yarn with a bundle of unspun fibre perched on top.

840 yards of finished (though unwashed) three-ply yarn and just over a hundred grams left to go. It's really neat to see how the big stripes of colour in the fibre get so blended into the yarn, which is exactly the heathery desaturated colour that I was hoping for when I chose the "ingredients" for the blend.

I really hope that I come up with enough for a sweater - and if not, I have more yarn (of course I do) that I can use as a supplement. I think a few navy stripes on the sleeves or around the hem might look really nice.

I finally figured out how to do the patterned crown decreases so that I could finish knitting my Passing Days hat, just in time for an unseasonable cold snap.

Pirate, wearing the new Passing Days hat, looking out the window of a moving train at autumn leaves.

It fits wonderfully and I'm so happy with the way it came out! Friend Stef came over earlier this week to take pictures of me wearing it, and we had a lot of fun doing the photoshoot. I'll be writing up the pattern for release in the next few days, so keep an eye out for it!

On the subject of cold snaps, I need a new pair of Fleeps (some people call them flip-top or convertible mittens). I'd like to use this Corriedale handspun for the outside, and line the wrists and mitten-top with this blue silk. I spun both yarns last summer with this project in mind, and I'm excited to get started. So far I've swatched the Corriedale:

A swatch of tweedy gray yarn

I like the drape of it on size 5 (3.75mm) needles, but I want my mittens to be a little more dense, so I tried again with size 4 (3.5mm). It's not much difference - 18 stitches/4 inches as opposed to 17 - but enough to be noticeable, and I think the finished fleeps will be better for it. Hopefully they won't be so thick that I can't move my fingers!

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Some time ago I started designing a pair of flip-top mittens to match the Moorefield Hat. Instead of knitting the glove first and then picking up stitches along the back of my hand for the mitten top, as I've done for all the Fleeps I've made, the plan for these was to knit the mittens first, including a strand of waste yarn across the palm, so that the colourwork could continue uninterrupted on the back of the hand. Once the mittens were done, I'd pull out the waste yarn and have flippy-open mitten tops, and I'd pick up stitches to knit the inside gloves.

I got as far as knitting the whole mitten, with the thumb stitches held for later, and pulled out the waste yarn to work on the inner gloves, and... well... there were some issues.

A partially knit mitten in four colours.

First, the whole thing isn't wide enough to accommodate a glove underneath - or, for that matter, my fingers - at least not if I want to have room to wiggle them around. Second, and relatedly, the thumb opening isn't big enough or high enough. Third, the opening for the mitten top is about five rows too low... and fourth, I'm not at all sure that I have enough of the white yarn left over to make a pair of mittens the way I've got it charted out. (Fifth, unimportantly, I really don't like that braided bind-off. I won't try that again.)

So I've ripped back to the cuff, which fits just fine, and I'm going to try again to make flip-top gloves - fingerless this time, I think - that match the Moorefield Hat. It'll have to be bigger all around, for sure. Maybe just going up a needle size would be enough... it will be an adventure, either way!

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Eight (oops) years ago, I bought eight ounces of soft Corriedale roving with silk carded into it, thinking that I would make an airy tweedy yarn. Then I realized that I didn't know the first thing about how to spin woolen, and I didn't want to "ruin" the fibre by spinning yarn that wasn't what I wanted. But now I *do* (sort of) know what I'm doing, and so here's almost 300 yards of soft, tweedy, two-ply yarn that is destined to become a new pair of Fleeps.

The bits of silk were a fun spinning challenge; I had to draft more carefully, and sometimes stop treadling and draft them out separately, to keep them from making big blurps in the finished yarn. It was worth the effort, for sure. The yarn is fairly even and I think it will knit up well.

From afar, the yarn looks like a heathered gray... but up close, it's easy to see the pink, yellow, blue, and purple pieces. I'm really very happy with how this has turned out! It will probably floof up a little more once it's washed, and then I'll probably give it some good thwacks against the side of the tub to full it a bit before knitting.

I'd like my next Fleeps to be extra-warm, so I'm spinning this silk that I bought in May to use as a mitten lining. Switching between a quick magical long-draw for the Corriedale and a slow short forward draw for the silk was an interesting mental shift to make! The plan is to chain-ply it at a tight twist, and hopefully that will keep it from shedding too much against my fingers.

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Michael and I visited friends earlier this month. We both worked on our socks on the plane, which was a good conversation starter with our seatmate (she crochets!). One of the flight attendants commented, "Whatever it is you're making, I wear a size medium," which was both funny and not at the same time. I know people mean that sort of thing as a joke, but it comes across as having no concept of the time and effort that goes into these things - probably because I get similar comments so often that I almost expect to hear "could you make me a--" or "you should knit this for me--" or even "you *need* to make me one." Yikes.

It was warm when we got on the plane, but cold when we landed. I pulled on my Fleeps and immediately noticed that a crucial strand of yarn towards the top of one finger was dangerously thin. So thin, in fact, that it fell apart when I inspected it more closely. Fortunately, the local yarn shop was generous enough to give me the tail end of some green yarn they had lying around, and now my Fleeps look a little more battle-scarred. I could re-knit that finger... but I think I'll just leave it like this. It looks kinda cool.

I also bought this lovely skein of Malabrigo Sock yarn in the Zarzamora colourway, because the people at the store were just so nice about everything. I posted a thank-you note to them in their Ravelry group, too!

One night it was a little too cold for me, and Michael let me wear his floppy hat. He posted this pic to his instagram with the caption, "[Pirate] often says she loves when people wear the things she knit for them. I knit this hat for myself, but it was cold out, and I know what she means now. ❤︎" Is that not the sweetest thing? Then we had duck confit ramen for dinner, which was exactly right for the weather and my mood.

Also I think I need to make a floppy hat for myself. Maybe a floppy stranded colourwork hat! With a pompom!

On the plane ride home, I got up to the heelflap of my current sock. I'm knitting my own Cakewalk pattern again, and realized that... um... it's kind of confusing. Lots of people have made the pattern and no one's said anything, so maybe it's not so bad - but I'm going to update it so that it's more clear. Heck, this is my fourth pair of Cakewalks and *I've* never noticed a problem before. Maybe I knew what I meant when I wrote it, but I sure didn't this time!

Anyway, I'm quite pleased with the way these socks are coming out. The yarn is from last year's vacation to Salt Lake City; it's Cascade Heritage Paints in Teal Mix, some of my favourite colours of all time. I'm well into the gusset now and I've remembered why the pattern instructions are what they are, but I still think they need to be clarified in an update. Perhaps that will be tomorrow's project.

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Moorefield Mittens (take two) - now with a cuff of a more appropriate length. I'm getting pretty good at the alternating cable cast-on, which is still a little fiddly but no longer frustrating to do. I like how the cuff looks with red as the consistent colour - it's a different 'feel' than on the hat, but still nice looking. The wonky stitch tension will even out with blocking; for some reason I have more difficulty with stranding on DPNs than on circular needles.

The thumb stitches are being held aside, and I'm up to the part where I'm going to create the opening that will make these flip-top mittens. This is accomplished by knitting a row of waste yarn across the palm, then continuing on in pattern. This technique allows the colourwork to progress uninterrupted up the back of the hand.

When I made the Fleeps I knit the glove with fingers part first, and then picked up stitches across the back of the hand to make the mitten top. This time, the mitten top is knit first, and then the waste yarn across the palm will be pulled out to give me two rows of live stitches from which I can knit the glove fingers.

I made the stitches across the inside of the thumb in pattern, though it's probable that they won't even show in the finished object. The thumb hole seems a little large, but that might be necessary for a range of motion. When I go to knit the thumb, I could decrease by picking up just one stitch into both "corner" stitches - where the stitches on waste yarn meet the stitches I cast on to bridge the gap. That would bring the total from 26 down to 24, which might fit my skinny fingers a little better. Conveniently, it might also help to prevent holes in the thumb!

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The hat has been finished for a while now. The ends woven in, the yarn put away (sort of - more on that in a moment) and the styrofoam head located. The hat, finished but unblocked, has been sitting on the styrofoam head in my living room, where I've been admiring it on a nightly basis. "But," I said to myself, "I can't finish writing up the pattern without pictures, and I can't take pictures without blocking the hat."

So it had a good warm bath, luxuriating in the Eucalan suds for half an hour or so...

...and now it's back on the styrofoam head, its stitches far more even (especially around the decreases) and looking good. The head is actually too small for the hat, so it doesn't look as good as it might. I'd love to have a proper-sized blocking head. One day!

It has a name now, too: I've decided to call it Moorefield.

As for the yarn, which has been sort of put away (it's in a cubby of the coffee table), I might be making some matching mittens. I got started but then had to rip back; the cuff on these isn't nearly long enough. But they're pretty, so I'm sharing anyway.

There might not be enough brown yarn left to make two full mittens, so I've changed the colours around in the chart to have the main stripiness be red instead of brown for the second attempt. I'm also going to do these as flip-tops, because flip-top mittens are the best thing ever. If I really focus on them, I might be able to get them done and written up in time to release along with the hat. That's ambitious, but not impossible.

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