29 January 2009

Knitting up a Storm

I'm a bit behind on my picture-taking, and therefore a bit behind on the blogging, too. Then again, when have I ever bothered to worry about that before? There are tons of things I've made and photographed that I haven't gotten around to blogging yet...

The shop was having a closeout sale on some older Tilli Tomas yarn. Now, that's a yarn that is firmly out of my price range, even now that I get an employee discount, but closeout yarn is even deeper discount, and so I figured that this would be my only chance if I ever were to buy any. So I went for it. After a long and tortured decision-making/bullet-biting process, I bought four skeins of navy, and decided to make a hat and mitten set for myself.

The yarn is called Flurries, a worsted-weight singles merino yarn with glass beads spun in about every four inches. Beautiful. The company changed the yardage of a skein (from 130 yards to 70 yards!), which is why we had to close out the older (larger!) skeins. Otherwise, Tilli Tomas does not go on sale. Period.

I had a random ball of a lavender/pink-y Rowan Cashsoft 4-ply laying around (another sale bin purchase), and decided to use that for the inside cuffs of the mittens. I cast on 52 stitches, using size 4 needles, and knit stockinette in the round for 2.5 inches (20 rounds).

(gauge for the Cashsoft: 26 sts. = 4 in.)

Then I switched to size 7 needles, joined on the Tilli Tomas, and decreased down to 46 sts. at the same time: k2tog, *k8, k2tog.* Next round, I purled so the cuff would turn under nicely. I knitted in stockinette for a couple of inches and realized that the mitten was going to be too big around -- but that frogging would be a horrible experience (even more than usual) because of those beads. So at that moment, I decided that these were going to be felted mittens. (GASP! Felting Tilli Tomas! My heart did skip a beat for a moment, it's true.)

(gauge for the Flurries before felting: 18 sts. = 4 in.)

I kept going, knitting the cast-on edge into the Flurries when I got that far, and started increasing for the thumb gusset at 4 inches (28 rounds after the purl round), doing paired M1 increases every other round until I had 13 thumb stitches (yes, I messed up in there somewhere and added an M1 when I shouldn't have -- so I did the same thing on the second mitten). including the two "center" stitches around which I was increasing. Then I put those 13 sts on a holder, rejoined in the round with two added stitches for the hand (to make up for the loss of the two "center" stitches that became part of the thumb). (So, still 46 sts.)

24 rounds after the thumb-hole/rejoin, I began decreasing heavily for the top of the mitten, and after a few rows made it down to 10 stitches, then cut and pulled the yarn-end through those last ten. This is also where I stopped taking pictures, apparently.

I did make a thumb. I did make a second mitten to match the first. I did felt them. At some point, I will post finished-object photos.

Just not today.

Also, I will make a hat to match at some point. But I haven't done it yet. Fodder for future posts!

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