Monday, September 24, 2007

Advice Please!

This is one of those days that I wish I had one of those big huge popular blogs. I say that with my tongue firmly in my cheek - not that I hold any of the more widely read blogs in contempt. It's just that my rather small readership has always seemed in line with my general inclination toward small circles of friends.

That said, today I'm asking for advice -- and I can't help but think that if Ann or Kay asked this question, they would get more responses than they need. Then again, I suspect that Ann & Kay already know the answer to my question or at least have an opinion about it.

Still, like in romance and house-hunting, all you need is one, if it's the right one.

So.

I'm planning to make my son this afghan for his upcoming high school graduation. (No, I don't need any advice about whether to do this. I know making him an afghan is vaguely lame. I'm his mother and a knitter. It'll embarrass him and make him feel loved.)

The question is, what yarn do I use? I want to tweak the colors toward what would be perceived as more masculine ones. (This for a boy who wanted the pink t-shirt of the Woods Hole Drawbridge, thank you very much.)

My yarn store lady suggests Plymouth Encore, and I think in terms of price and wash- and durability she's right.

I've also been looking at this Rowan Felted Tweed, which would be more costly (though I'm certainly buying enough to get the WEBS discount). And I think tweedy yarns tend to the masculine more than most, whatever the color.

Then of course I could choose a cotton yarn, though somehow the colors have felt too soft or too bright, but maybe I'm not looking in the right places.

Suggestions?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Yarn for Lion Paws

The yarn arrived today for the gloves my son requested. The orange isn't as bright as I'd hoped, but I think it'll do. I am relieved that what looked like black, really is.

DSC04451.JPG
It's Colinette Jitterbug, in the Sahara (135) colorway. I bought it at Woodland Woolworks.

Off to add it to my Ravelry stash (which contains nothing. . .) By the way, if you are a Raveler and want to "friend" me, or just look at my stuff, my name is "Pam".

Friday, September 14, 2007

Hand in Glove

Garter Stitch Gloves

Actually, more like hands in gloves. They're finished - my garter stitch gloves for Liz. I actually finished them a couple of days ago, but had a terrible time scheduling my model. (Between high school and ballet, this was a bust.) I eventually dug out a rather clunky tripod and took the photos on my own hands. Ignore the dog hair on the ones above. The color on this shot is pretty accurate.

Garter Stitch Gloves
But I like this detail of the palms, even though it looks gaudier than the gloves are "in person".

Custom-Fit, Sideways-Knit
Garter-Stitch Gloves
  • designed by Joan Goldstein
  • Knit using Mountain Colors Mountain Goat yarn, 1 skein of the Sapphire Trail colorway (55% mohair, 45% wool, 230 yards, with some left over). The pattern calls for Mountain Colors Bearfoot 3-ply yarn. I think this slightly lighter, softer, and less fuzzy yarn would be a better choice. Still, the Mountain Goat yarn is very nice. My model finds it a bit itchy.
  • Knit on US 2 needles, 6 stitches/inch.
  • Yarn purchased at Witty Knitters, in Bigfork, MT.
  • Pattern available from Joan Goldstein, P O Box 2556,
    Bigfork MT 59911, h-jgold(at)bigsky(dot)net, for $8.
Joan (who gave me permission to post her contact information) asked me to say that this pattern is for experienced knitters. I'd agree. It's not hard, but for two reasons, I wouldn't recommend it for a rank beginner. First, because it's a custom-fit pattern, each pattern is drafted for your very own hands. This is cool, but it means, in effect, that you're the pattern's test knitter. My pattern was very good, but not perfect. Joan is very good as well, responding overnight to my questions. It helped that I had enough experience to know when to count and try again, and when to give up and send an e-mail. Secondly, there's an awful lot of provisional cast-on and garter stitch kitchener in these gloves (not to mention short-rows). They're seamless, but maybe not a good choice for someone who doesn't like finishing techniques. I think anyone who has successfully knit socks could probably handle these, if they wanted.

Those caveats understood, you should also know that I thought these were a lot of fun to knit. They went fast and I found the grafting as you go along rather satisfying.

Good thing I enjoyed them, because now my son wants a pair. He'd like them in his school colors, which are orange and black. I'm thinking of this Colinette Jitterbug yarn, in the Safari color. Anyone have any other suggestions for a heavier sock weight (about 350 yards/100 grams) in orange and black?

I contemplated trying to alter my instructions for his hands, but for $3, Joan will supplement my instructions for another size (as long as it's for personal use). That seems well worth it to me.

Monday, September 03, 2007

One Hand Clapping

My right garter stitch glove is finished. I wish I had lovely long slender hands, to better show it off. Still it's pretty neat, and fits like a, well, glove. I used a heavier yarn than the pattern calls for (the lady at the yarn store said this yarn would work). It hasn't ruined these gloves, but if I had it to do again, I wouldn't. It's easy to knit down to the right gauge with this yarn, but I think they'd feel more comfortable in a lighter weight yarn.

Lots of the knitting was done on the way to pick -
Huckleberries! A labor day weekend tradition for our family. This year the road to "our" patch was nearly impassible. It may have been the last year we pick this spot.
The treasure!