It's another 3TT/Unraveled mash up! I'm joining Carole & friends for Three Things on Thursday + Unraveled Wednesday with Kat & the Unravelers.



I finished a hat -- my first FO of 2022!

  • My Ravelry Project Page: Perky Little Bun Hat
  • Pattern: Perky Little Hat by Sharon Lentsch
  • Yarn: Malabrigo Rasta (Boreal colorway)
  • Needles:  US 15
  • Start to Finish: January 3 - January 5, 2022

I actually knit it twice; the first was a test/prototype. Ali wanted a "messy bun" hat, but she has a pretty big bun so I wanted to make sure it would work! I had some leftovers from other projects, so knit up the tester and I'm glad I did because we made a couple of adjustments. The Rasta has very little stretch, so I decided to run some fold-over elastic through the stitches to finish (instead of the yarn).


The colorway is gorgeous! To minimize any pooling or flashing, I knit alternating rows from both ends of the yarn cake.


We'd also decided to lengthen it a bit, which was easily done by knitting an extra row or two or three in each section. I have yarn for at least one more (in a much less exciting color) (which I might end up overdyeing)!


I haven't been reading. When I do, it'll be: The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois (audio), by Honoree Fanonne Jeffers, and (still): This Golden Fleece: A Journey Through Britain's Knitted History (pages).

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It's been a little crazy around here. Annie & her family were supposed to come up for a day or two between Christmas & New Year's Day, but they were hit by Covid/Omicron... falling like dominoes over a couple of days. Thankfully, all vaxxed, so none of them got very sick but their visit was postponed. They're all here now and finally spent a night in their own house! They like it a lot! It's really cool that Annie was informed that she'd achieved AIRBNB SUPERHOST status while they're here! (That's all me, but it is her house!) So now we're a duo!

I was able to nab a couple extra days off next week, and I'm looking forward to some proper visiting & catching up. I've been a little out of sorts since the new year began, and I hope to get a little more centered/grounded, too.


NaBloPoMo 2020.11

I'm joining Kat & the Unravelers today to share another FO!




This is the second hat I've knit at the request of my cousin Gail; the first was one of the several Pussyhats that I knit in 2017. She sent me a photo of this hat/pattern several months ago and asked if I could knit her a "messy bun" hat, and I was happy to do it for her! She lives in Duluth -- a place where a person needs a hat!

I wasn't intending for these to be my "official" photos, but had Kate & her bun try it out when she was at our cottage one day last week. I'd hoped to (safely) meet & deliver the hat to Gail in person on our way home from the North Shore, and get a photo then, but she called the day before to say that her husband had COVID and that she was awaiting results of her own test. She turned out to be negative, but still... IT'S IN THE MAIL, GAIL!!


It's been quite a while since I knit cables -- and it was fun! The pattern wasn't all that fun, though. I mean, the end product is great, but the pattern is not written very well -- this, coming from a person who prefers to knit from a written pattern! A chart would have been very helpful.


I knit to pattern until the final decreases -- I'm sorry that I didn't count, but stopped short when there was about a 2.5-inch stretchy hole left at the top (after about 6-7-8 decrease rounds), and knit a couple more rounds before loosely binding off.


I tacked down the turned-up brim in four places evenly spaced around the hat.


I tucked an actual book into my basket when we were packing for our little vacation; Plantation Slave Weavers Remember: An Oral History by Mary Madison, which I'm pretty sure I ordered in late August after noticing that Beverly Army Williams' gave it 4 stars on Goodreads. So far, my rating will be the same or better!


FO: First Finished Project of 2019

I finished the first of two belated Christmas presents last night. Monogamous knitting FTW!


Oh the DRAMA of photos taken by LED task light at o'dark-thirty on a winter morning!

I finished all but the i-cord at Knit Night, then did that part and soaked/blocked when I got home -- using my largest dinner plate! I wished for one even an inch bigger. I can't wait to get a modeled shot!


Lo and behold, as I processed this pics I noticed a mistake where a cable wasn't crossed! This would be a serious flaw in the girders of the Eiffel Tower, which inspired this design, but will have no effect on the structural integrity of this beret, and will therefore likely remain uncrossed.


Unless I can't live with myself.

At any rate, I loved knitting this and I'd definitely knit another if another beret-wearer happens along. I don't wear hats, and am especially repulsed at the thought of wearing a tam/beret myself... thanks to my mother who, year after grade-school year, forced them on my unwilling head. Maybe Kate will love and want one in a different color... because I also loved knitting this yarn!

Next up, belated Christmas present #2: Ali's socks. I did a German Twisted Cast-on last night but... I think it was too TIGHT, and not very stretchy, so I ripped it out and will try again later today. That's the stretchy cast-on y'all said you liked for socks, right??

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On a somber note, I have been rattled this week by the news that an old knit-blog friend suffered a stroke last Friday. I can't for the life of me remember what her blog was called, but Laurie and I are roughly the same age... she is a beloved mother, daughter, teacher, and friend. We share a love of a certain bit of Oregon coastline. She'd finally moved out of ICU yesterday, but was whisked back very early this morning. Her sons will need help in aiding her recovery, so a GoFundMe: Laurie Oberg Medical Fund has been established... and, if you're able, perhaps you'll consider helping them out. And also send some good juju in the direction of Salt Lake City, UT!

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Thanks for stopping by. ❤️ Have a terrific weekend!

Unraveled Wednesday: 2018

Firstly, here's wishing Rusty a very happy {mind-blowing number} birthday!!


He's getting a massage this afternoon and Lobster Bisque this evening and a few other prezzies, too!

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Also, we had a great Christmas except for the part where I ended up taking Maddy to the ER! SHE'S FINE!! She came home from visiting friends in Milwaukee in the early afternoon on Christmas Eve and went for a run -- so she was feeling pretty good at that point! We had a nice dinner, started a game of Monopoly, and watched a Harry Potter movie and she felt more and more lethargic as the evening progressed. She went to bed before the movie was even over and, well, if you know Maddy+Harry Potter... it's just not right. She had some other symptoms on Christmas Day, but was able to hang in there with us all, though declined to join us for our traditional Christmas Day movie (Mary Queen of Scots). My phone vibrated as we were walking to the car and she said that she'd felt lightheaded when she got up and fainted/fell/face-planted on the living room floor, resulting in a big gash on her lower lip (inside and out). Long story short, she got two stitches in her lower lip and was sent home with orders for ice, rest, and hydration. Hopefully, she'll be able to eat something soon. Poor thing -- she's leaving for The Land Down Under in 5 days!

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Joining Kat & the Unravelers for one last time in 2018! And there's a lot to talk about.


I finished a pair of mitts and a pair of socks for Christmas presents!



Not finished for Christmas: Ironworks Beret for Kate, and a pair of socks for Ali.

Ali requested the socks and I'd intended to give them to her, then decided that I really wanted to knit Maddy some socks and it sure would be easier to give them to her before she left for Australia! Both Kate & Al got yarn wrapped up with an "intention" gift card, and those projects will be next up...


After I knit a few more Gnomes! This is the first, there's a second underway... along with a third and fourth!! Numbers 3 & 4 are styled after the Travelocity gnome, and for Maddy & Viv, so I need to finish them ASAP. I want to knit them for everyone!!

I'll do a complete wrap-up/review of my 2018 knitting in the next few days.

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The book currently on my nightstand is Fashion Climbing: A Memoir with Photographs by Bill Cunningham.

I'm still listening to Tom Hanks read Uncommon Type: Some Stories. I still seem to be in a "quiet period," but I've been listening a few days each week lately.

I'll also do a reading wrap in the next week. In a nutshell? I seem to be reading less.

FO: Windschief + 2017 Knitting Review

Well, I just love this little hat!


It's my first FO -- both started & finished -- of 2018!


Super cute. Fun & quick to knit, with the twisted rib section adding just enough to keep it interesting. I finished at Knit Night last night, and the kids just happened to be there!


It was knit for Jün and he tried it on, but he did not want photos nor did he want to give it back! (I nabbed it later when he wasn't looking, and then Gin "volunteered" to model.)

Meanwhile, here's a snapshot of knitting accomplished in 2017:


No one is more surprised than me that I finished 24+ items last year!

  • Two kittens
  • Two polar bears
  • Seven+ hats (some never made Ravelry)
  • One beard
  • Freak flags (double set)
  • Three cowls
  • Four shawls
  • Two pairs of mitts
  • One dress & two little sweaters for Gin (one of them started ages ago)
  • One ornament
  • One adult cardigan -- that had been in the WIP pile for almost 10 years!

(By comparison, I finished a grand total of nine items in 2016. Not my best knitting year.)

I was a fairly monogamous knitter last year, starting & completing projects in reasonable time, with focus & purpose. I think I started only three projects last year that remain unfinished: another pair of Squad Mitts, a gnome, and my Brambling Shawl. I didn't make any big plans or goals, just went with my heart... and I think I'll just stick with that!!

Unraveled + 3TT - FO: Another Striped Hat

Ooops, a day late with the Unraveling! Things got away from me yesterday. We're all a bit frazzled 'round here for some reason... all that heavy equipment outside, shutting off water, temporarily hooking up water, new refrigerator delivery delayed... everyone's been so nice, but... frazzled!


One -- A Finished Object! I knit a hat for Gin/Jün while we were in the U.P. I cast on Saturday morning in our cottage as we drank coffee. I continued while Rusty walked the blustery beach at Whitefish Point, and as we made our way from here to there and everywhere. I finished on Sunday as we watched the Packer game on TV. This photo is after the 3-needle bind-off but before sewing the side seam -- I had to take my opportunity to dash outside while there was still a bit of natural light!


  • Ravelry Project Page: Another Striped Hat for Gin
  • Pattern: This is what I did (an unvented pattern as follows)
    • CO 98 sts (includes 1 selvage st at each side)
    • Work 2x2 rib for 2” (begin each row with slip and k1 or p1)
    • Work in stockinette stitch, with or without stripes, for approx. 6.75" (including ribbing)
    • Knit half-way across, then fold & manipulate needles as needed in order to work 3-needle bind-off
    • Sew up side seam
  • Yarn:
    • Plymouth Yarn Worsted Merino Superwash Solids (Pinks #48 & 21)
    • Malabrigo Yarn Rios (#57 English Rose)
  • Needles:  US 6
  • Start to Finish:  October 7-8, 2017

Two -- Reading. Ali was working on Tuesday morning when I stopped at the coffee shop on the way to work. She said with a wink that Jün was planning to sleep over again! That was fine by me! He was excited to find the books we'd read the week before still upstairs:


The Little House has been a favorite since I was a child, and I'm so happy to read it again. Bushbaby was a favorite of Maddy's -- likely purchased at a book fair!


There was an old Living magazine up there, which we paged through... those cookies on the cover were quite interesting! And he pointed to Julia Roberts in an ad and said, "That's Maddy"!

Then Harry hit the scene!


He found all of Maddy's well-read Harry Potter paperbacks on the bookshelf and was apparently quite intrigued! He pulled them out -- plus a couple of others -- and added them to the reading pile!


He seemed happy enough with my reading of one random page from each book in the stack!

In terms of my own, I am still reading Still Life with Breadcrumbs by Anna Quindlen (pages) and listening to Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. I am enjoying both quite a bit, even though it's been slow going. "Big Magic" came out of nowhere... I'm not usually into self-help-ish books very much, but her TED Talk, Your Elusive Creative Genius, is still one of my favorites -- and I fell in love with her voice.

Three -- Knitting. Yeah. Woman [continues to] Make Her Own Arrows.


I'm on the final section, which I'm knitting as a color "shift," these are the colors I've chosen -- now I just have to get going! (once I'm less frazzled)

Joining Kat/Carole for Unraveling/Three on Thursday -- check them out!

FO: Squad II

It seems like a little FO parade happening over here! I realized that never blogged these finished Squad Mitts.


I never noticed that I screwed up the thumbs until I gave them a bath and pinned them down! My knitwear model never noticed, either, until I pointed it out. They don't feel funny or weird... I can't even explain how it happened. Kate's absconded with them and I haven't heard any complaints about it, so I haven't fixed it, either! I've one more pair of these underway, at about the half-way mark (i.e., one mitt is nearly done).

FO: Hyacinthus Armwarmers (aka, Frenchy Mitts)

A Year of Techniques (#1): Helical stripes!



These are my Frenchy mitts. I purchased the yarn in New Orleans' French Quarter at The Quarter Stitch, and did much of the knitting while watching Versailles on Netflix.

(I really enjoyed Versailles the TV show, by the way -- it's absolutely gorgeous -- and now I really want to visit Versailles the Palace! I've never had a burning desire to go visit France before.)

Helical stripes! It's the most magical, wonderful way to knit stripes in the round!


I am very happy with these and love the neutral colorway. Now that we've crossed the threshold into Spring, though, I'd like to think there won't be reason to wear them for several months.

FO: Squad Mitts




I used leftovers from a few different projects -- the dark blue from my TTL Mystery Shawl '14 (love that color!), the gray from both Affectionately Mine and Vintage Baby Cardigan I, the variegated from my 2016 Rhinebeck Shawl) -- along with a mini-skein from Backyard Fiberworks that I picked up at Indie Untangled/Rhinebeck 2016 providing POP.


I think my new Malojos Gauge Ring, picked up at Rhinebeck (Happy Birthday To Me!), is shown off quite nicely. Ha!


More of these will be coming up (another pair cast on last night)!

FO: Murre for Gin

I knit this adorable hat using leftovers from Gin's Elwood, and I couldn't be happier (except that I wish I'd knit it one size larger) (listen to the voices in your head!).



I used my I-cord maker to make the ties (in mere minutes!).

I used all of the purple leftovers, subbing in the white to finish that section and also to carry throughout for the lifted stitches. With the exception of white, the other colors are striped in the same sequence as the sweater. It coordinates with the sweater in a very matchy way without matching.

There are still leftovers! I will likely riff on this pattern again...


This is the best modeled shot I could manage yesterday. Selfies with a wiggly, grabby 5-month old aren't easy! She grabs for everything and is almost desperate to instantly get whatever-it-is into her mouth -- a continuous motion. (I had to save my phone!)

Her mum says that she had a bad night last night and the morning wasn't so good, either; she may be getting close to cutting a tooth.

Or she has a cold.

Also, I predict that she'll be sitting up on her own for extended periods this month. She is absolutely fascinated by Jün and his antics... I get the feeling that she can't wait to join in!!

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Breaking news from New Zealand via Snapchat:


Madventures. She's been adventuring like mad, but will soon be settling in for a little bit...

FO: Aviator Hat


Gramma, WHUT?

  • Project:  Regan - Aviator Hat by Julie Taylor
  • Size: 1-2 years
  • Yarn:  Cascade Yarns "Pacific" in #62 Gray (less than 1 skein)
  • Needle:  US 7 DPN
  • Buttons from The Collection
  • Start to Finish:  November 7 - 9, 2014

Is that adorable, or WHUT?

Poor baby was in the process of cutting top teeth three-at-a-time in this photo... smiles were not happening!


Ten on Tuesday: Warm hands

Ten on Tuesday: (Only) 10 (of The Many, and In No Particular Order) Favorite Mitts/Mittens Patterns That I May or May Not Ever Knit, or Possibly Have Knit (even Twice or Thrice), or Dream of Someday Knitting

There are 60+ such patterns in my Ravelry Favorites, and I never really scope them out. I haven't even looked at my Pinterest boards.


1. Dimorphous Mittens (pictured above) by Miriam Felton. I gave this pair away as a gift. I must knit another someday!

2. Squirrel Sampler Mittens by Adrian Bizilia at Hello Yarn.

3. The elusive (to me) Latvian Mitten(s).

4. Hollywood! I fell head-over-heels in love with Miriam's Vivien Leigh, Lauren Bacall, and Joan Crawford gloves.

5. Emma's Mittens. Seriously scrumptious texture.

6. Eve. More enchanting texture -- and beads! There are some other gorgeous patterns there, too.

7. The playful Kittens Mittens.

8. There are some incredible cat mittens available, I am also somewhat partial to these Cat Mittens. I love the inclusion of so many appropriate motifs!

9. Fibonacci-Stripe Mittens, of course!

Ragtop 1+2

10. R-A-G-G-T-O-P-P... Ragtop!


There's been knitting!


"Afghani Cap" pattern by Teva Durham, found in Vogue Knitting On The Go: Caps & Hats.  I used Handmaiden Fine Yarn's "Ottawa," leftovers from the same hank that I used for my Moebius cowl, and there's still quite a bit left.  Intended for my mom, this hat didn't turn out exactly as I'd hoped (though I haven't blocked it yet, and that could change things), but it works.  It turned out just fine, in fact, and looks really cute on Maddy -- so I win!


I can't get enough of these colors, so I'm just fine with trying again.

I finished a scarf last night, about a quarter-way through the Oscars.  I sat back, gave appendages a rest, and watched the rest of the show sans knitting.  I think Hugh Jackman did a terrific job, very entertaining.  His opening number was clever and funny.  I laughed hardest at Ben Stiller as Joaquin Phoenix on David Letterman, complete with gum on the podium.  Hil.ar.i.ous.  I kind of lost my way during a few of the montages and sequences, and wasn't blown away by the big musical number.  Absolutely LOVED the format for the four Best Actor/Actress awards.

Anyway, I had a good weekend and feel more rested and "with it" this week -- I was off from the starting gun last week.  Details on that new scarf tomorrow.


Tanguy1Isn't it the cutest thing?  It still needs a tassel, and I think that's going to really make this hat.  I do believe his will fit a newborn, and I think I'll make another in the toddler size and switch up the colors.

NorthstarrippedAfter getting the hat off the needles, I pulled out the offending RH mitten and ripped away -- first the thumb, then the hand.  It wasn't as difficult as I feared.  Today I'll get it back on the needles, figure out where I am, and carry on.  I've got more than half a mitten to do, but considering everything, I feel like I'm on the home stretch!  I'd like to finish these by Sunday so Katie can take them back to school with her.  After having her home for a month, it will be weird when she leaves.

Kate helped DH put boards up on the ceiling yesterday before she had to go to work.  They did about half of what needed to be done, and I'll help DH finish it off today.  The last board might be a little futzy, but that's King Futz & Putz's department.

Question.  I've seen this come up now and then over the past few months, but 'til now I really haven't had a problem.  Now, my bandwidth usage is soaring.  I have read the recommendations to rename picture files now and then; I haven't tried that yet, but think it means that I'll have to reinsert the picture file with the new name in the post.  Am I right?  That sounds time-consuming.  What do y'all do?

It fits like a mitten!

I was anxious to unpin my LH mitten last night. I thought about it all day yesterday -- really had doubts that the blocking would give me the extra length I needed -- and was fully prepared, mentally and emotionally, for Plan B.  The first thing I noticed when I slipped that mitt onto my hand was how soft and pliable it was.  Mmm.  The second thing I noticed was that my middle finger, though touching the top of the mitten, was not trying to poke through.  There was room!  It's not Max Headroom, but room enough.  I had the fittin' mitten on my hand a lot last night.

So, the next step is to rip and re-do the RH mitten.  I'll need to rip to where I left off on the thumb gusset, knit the gusset to the proper length, and carry on from there.  Then I'll give it the same wet block treatment.  This will be tedious at the start because I already wove in the ends on that one.  I weave and hide 'em pretty well.  In the end, these mittens will be given to Katie; she has the smallest hands among us and, though I could wear them, they're better sized for her.  I'll move on to another pair, thank you!

I worked on the sweet Tanguy hat last night, but not as much as I'd have liked.  Interruptions prevented it being an FO, but I think you may see one tomorrow!

In the Land of Futz & Putz

Yep, step right up for your daily dose of lunacy!  Bonne Marie calls it "mitten mania" (isn't she kind!).  She linked me in her sidebar and she *hearts* me, she really *hearts* me!  I'll tell ya, it's better than a triple-chocolate brownie for breakfast.  It was while doing an internet search back in February or March for something knitting-related that I happened upon ChicKnits and what a treasure trove of information, inspiration and energy it was.  I sat bug-eyed at my computer for days and days and days.  Her site was my portal to the world of knitbloggers, too; prior to that, I had no idea that there was such a thing and only vague knowledge of blogs in general. I added her to my Favorites and she was my jumping-off point for a long time ('til I started my own blog, I guess).  I would have to say that, unbeknownst to her I'm sure, Bonne Marie is the #1 reason why I started blogging and why I look at my knitting so differently now -- the woman is fearless in everything she does (the way she cuts things up without even a tremble!) -- and shows everyone WHO's the BOSS:  You Are!

Northstarblocked_1I finished the thumb while watching the Eagles send the Vikings packing, then took Stephanie's advice and blocked it -- wet, no steam -- and it's still pinned out so I don't know the result.  I may have found a little extra length, but is it enough?  When I look at my fingers in relation to my thumb on my hand, and then look at the same on this picture, well, they're a lot different.  Results of the jury will be forthcoming tomorrow.  I didn't lose any sleep over it.

The little Tanguy hat is progressing -- the triangles and brim are finished and standing by on the needles to be joined with the hat.  The hat was cast on with an "invisible cast on," which I'd never done before, and I hope it's right; I followed directions from my Vogue Knitting reference book (the only book of three where I found directions).  I'm at the point where I'm making decreases every 3rd row, so it shouldn't be long.  This little thing may be small (I did not swatch), but it's so cute and quick that even if it fits a teddy bear, I'll be just fine.  I love the way it just sits there in Kate's picture and think it would make lovely decor, too.  I'm using lovely beaded stitch markers that Yvette sent me long ago -- finally something on small enough needles to use them.  They're very cute (thanks, Yvette!).

Kitjan16I had a hammer in my hand and nails in my pocket for a good part of the weekend.  This is where we were at game time (noon) yesterday.  If there was a Land of Futz and Putz, my dear husband would be king; he spent nearly the entire day on Saturday working on those little strips onto which we're nailing the beadboard -- cutting them "just so" in order to make the ceiling level, screwing them into the ceiling, putting in shims here and giving a shave there, and Good God, Let's Get On With It!!  The whole damn room and everything in it is off-kilter, but the ceiling will be level!  Anyway, we were more than half-way by the time we called it quits yesterday.  It's looking very fine -- and level.

In between construction and knitting, I finally hooked up our refurbished computer, installed a mouse with a cord on another (the wireless is great but very jumpy), did lots o' laundry, roasted a chicken, and watched a little football.  I didn't leave the house even once.  Too darn cold, for one thing!

Like my new mittens?


Faced with a case of Mitten Indecision, I did what any number of YOU would do, and "swatched" for a baby hat.  Kate's adorable Tanguy pattern, to be precise.  (Oh, and go look at her new shoes!)

I've received a number of very good suggestions about the mittens -- from frogging to blocking to using them as decoration.  Decor:  The decoration idea is familiarBlock:  I might be able to block the left-hand mitten, but that still leaves the right all funky and the thumb is just not right.  Frog:  How I feel about frogging depends on my mood -- sometimes I'm okay with it, let's frog 'em and start over, and sometimes I wonder just how much (or little) I'd have to frog.

Here's what I'm gonna do:  I'll try blocking the left-hand mitten to see if it shapes up.  There's no hope that the right-hand mitten would ever match with its misplaced and mistaken thumb. But if LH succumbs responds, I'll frog RH to the thumb, fix it, and carry on.  If LH does not bend to my will respond, I will rip it a little (maybe half-way or so), figure out how to artfully add the needed extra rows for length, and then rip/fix/re-do RH to match.

Then, I'll figure out what to do with the extra mitten yarn that I sent Kt to get yesterday.  It's wonderful having a daughter who is more than willing to make an emergency run to the LYS.  My cost for her services?  Two hanks of yarn from the sale bin.  Yeah.  And the yarn she brought me is a little different, anyway; I already wound it up, so it's mine in any case.

Meanwhile, the little hat swatch is adorable, no?  My baby sis with the growing bump is going to be 40 on the 23rd and wouldn't this be a cute little addition to her gift?  And then I realized mid-week that Mom's birthday is on the 31st!  When I asked her if there was anything on her wish list and she blew me away by saying that she's been looking at bed jackets!  She likes to read in bed, but doesn't like to take her arms out from under the covers because they get cold.  I said, "Huh, a person could knit one of those..."

Shot to hell

I don't know where to begin.  Let's start at the very beginning (it's a very good place to start) because it wasn't far from there that it all started.  I've been putting the mittens on and comparing feel and fit and trying to figure out what the difference is.  The hands of both mittens were knit from a chart, so there is no variation in the number of rows or stitches there.  The mittens are basically the same size, but they fit very, very differently.

The right-hand mitten has plenty of room for fingers, both length-wise and width-wise -- very comfy there -- but the thumb has always been a bit tight.  It's not uncomfortable, but it's not perfect.  The braid always bothered me a little bit, too; it falls at the bottom of my palm, not at the wrist.  Given that this was my first mitten of this sort, I was willing to live with these little things.

But the left-hand mitten has different problems.  My middle finger doesn't have enough room -- it keeps wanting to poke out the top of the mitten; the decreases for the top start way too soon and it's just tight, length-wise and width-wise.  But the thumb is VERY comfortable and the braid falls right where I want it at the wrist.

Hmm.  There's a perfect top on the right and a perfect bottom on the left.  There must be something wrong in the middle.  And there is.  It's the thumbs -- they're different.  They're in the middle, but they actually start at the beginning, and I don't think I knit the right one correctly.  I think I put the stitches on the holder as soon as I finished with the gusset increases, and I should have knit it straight for a while longer.

What it all means, in a nutshell (what? a nutshell now?? in the fifth paragraph??), is that they're just both wrong and if I want mittens that fit the same, there's a lot of frogging, re-figuring, and re-knitting to do.  I could lay some blame on the pattern -- the one that has directions for Women's Medium, Men's Medium and Men's Large and charts for Women's Small, Men's Medium and Men's Large, as well as directions for the pattern and thumb gore for two right mittens, but no left (mostly just typos, but still), and gauge given vaguely as "7 sts = 1 inch" (is that stitches and rows?).  I suppose I should have verified said gauge somehow, maybe by knitting a swatch, or just quickly calculating stitches/rows/inches.  Truthfully, my gauge is very close.

A small part of me wants to just forget it and move on, chalk it up to experience.  A bigger part of me wants to knit these mittens so they fit.  I love how they look and they really are fun to knit and I've worked so hard that now I want them.  It's like the gauntlet (they're mittens!) has been thrown down. I'm going to have a duel -- and I'm going to win!

Two more nutshells:  1) I was numb 'til nearly 5:00 last night!  2) The upstairs kitchen is looking fine -- very weird since it's empty and hasn't been that way in YEARS.  Work will continue there tomorrow.

Have a great weekend (it's very sunny here, but FRIGID).

Vicki Needle-Fingers

Northstar6I don't care how many mittens I knit, I don't think I'll ever stop trying it on in the middle of knitting the thumb with DPNs going every which way.  It tickles me.  Even when I'm somewhat displeased with the mitten (like now), this little trick humors me.

Yes, I am displeased.  I finished 'er off last night and tried it on.  Hmm.  Somewhere between the first and second snowflake on this little number, I must have given up my loose ways because this baby is SMALL.  I was so happy with the feel and fit at the half-way point, but man, things changed.  It even looks smaller -- noticeably -- than the right-hand mitten.

So what did I do?  I pulled out the Tanguy pattern and drew the Baby Ull near.  I knew that starting the hat, no matter how fun and new (and colorful), was not going to make things right with the mitten, but I needed a diversion -- even if only for a minute.  I read through the hat pattern and contemplated colors, then I picked up the thumb stitches on the mitt.  I'll knit the thumb, then tear out half the stupid mitten (that I really do love very much, just not so much right this minute) and re-knit it.  I'll do it all before starting the cute little hat (or anything else).

Upkit1Before leaving for my dentist appointment this morning, I cleared all the crap out of the upstairs kitchen.  We don't use it as a kitchen, of course (it's storage, what else?), but the cabinets and sink are still there (handy, too!).  The big hunk o' plaster missing from the ceiling came crashing down some time ago while my young nephew was upstairs playing.  I believe he thought that the sky was falling, or that somehow it must have been his fault.  Poor thing.  In reality, it's the result of having hired the roofer from hell some time prior to that.  Yes, hiring a shitty roofing contractor can have major consequences on the ceilings in your home.  Especially an older home with lathe and plaster.  Cheap can end up costing LOTS.

So, it's really been quite some time since that chunk fell down, and the walls suffered from some of our own happy hands at home remodeling downstairs (jacking up a wall, putting in a microlam beam), and we've decided that it's finally time to fix it.  While I was listening to Elton John (quite loudly) on headphones as the dentist broke a sweat scraping plaque and tartar off half my teeth, Kate & DH took the plaster off the ceiling.  He's up there cleaning up the mess (Kt's on her way to a knitting at the coffee shop date with one of her friends!) and I'm waiting for feeling and normal speech to return.  We left the lathe and will staple some plastic over it later today.  I can't staple with a numb mouth.  Then we'll be putting up beadboard -- I love that stuff.  We're going to do a panelled (but not really) thing on the walls that'll go up about 3/4, and I have some pansy wallpaper (scored at a rummage sale last summer) that will cover the rest.  There's a lot to do before we get to that point, though.

Celia's International Pajama Day is on my calendar.  Sunday, February 6th.  It's not official -- cripes, who would schedule that on a TUESDAY? -- but who cares, it's pajamas?  Honest to God, have you ever seen anyone looking more relaxed than Celia?  I want to look like that.  I will!

Okey dokey, how 'bout some knitting

Northstar4Northstar5It's nearly a pair of North Star Mittens!  I ran out of gas at the point where the top shaping begins.  These will certainly be finished by the weekend.  I couldn't be more pleased with how the second mitten is turning out.  I'm knitting looser and, so far, it fits and feels so much better than the first.  I may end up re-knitting the right-hand mitt.

Northstarinside1Northstarinside2See how nice the inside looks?  In both pics, the first mitt is on the left and the second is on the right.  I'm much more consistent with how I'm carrying the yarn.  I like the inside or wrong side of things to look nice, too.  That's been drilled into my head since before I even took up needles of any kind.  My maternal grandmother died when I was in third grade and I don't have any memory of her actually doing handwork, but she did a LOT.  (According to my mom, she rarely finished any of it.  I finished one of her cross-stitch pillow tops long after she died, and it's a treasure.)  Anyway, at every opportunity, my mom would tell us that her mother always said that it's important to make the back look as neat as the front.  I imagine that great grandma was a stickler, too.  With those words rolling 'round in my head, you should see the back of some of my cross-stitch pieces!

Baby20ullK27s20hairMail call!  The whole family shrugged and said, "Oh, it's probably yarn from one of mom's knitting friends."  Right-O!  It was Baby Ull in yesterday's mail; my recent effort to help Jody with stash reduction.  The first thing that came to mind is "Tanguy," one of the cute-beyond-words patterns that I recently purchased from Kate.  I haven't checked to see if this yarn would actually work, but I'm hoping.  Can't you see it?

My very own Kate is having fun with her new short hair.  I'm working on replies, but I'd just like to thank you all again for your comments about her gift to Locks of Love and her cute new 'do.  I was surprised at how many people are growing their hair in order to do the same.  It's really a wonderful thing.

Stop kicking me!

Jan6th0002Jan6th0001The mitten is kicking my butt.  I did not have the mistake I feared yesterday, but found an earlier mistake -- in the first row of the braid -- and ripped it all the way back.  I'd purled the damn row rather than knit.  That's the third time I've knit that braid.  It can only be lack of concentration -- I was so intent on following directions the first time and didn't have a single problem, me and my cocky attitude are being put in our place with the second.

There are no guarantees that I even did Meg's Jogless Jog correctly, but you see the result at right compared to plain ol' circular stripes (spiral) on the left.  What do you think; is it an improvement or a wash?  I think it's kind of a wash.

ClosureI've been playing with closures for the SP2 Shapely Shawlette.  I wear it a lot and had been making a knot, but then I look like I have a uniboob when I put on a jacket.  When Lynne sent my prize alpaca, she'd tied it all up and included was a sparkly, plastic belt buckle which I used the other day. This is one that I cut off an unused belt I had.  It works very nicely and lays pretty flat -- I'm looking forward to thrift shopping for potential shawl closures!

Jan6thmail_1It was a good mail day yesterday -- two packages!  The first contained books (the redemption of my B&N Christmas gift card), and the second was a leather coin purse that my sister made for me.  Every year, for the past several, she's made "Martha gifts" for our mom, her MIL, Inspectionsometimes sisters and SILs -- always a project from Living magazine.  This year, it was leather coin purses.  She had extra leather, so made one for me -- and look what I found inside!

DuncanI'm ready to talk about Duncan now.  Who knew that the best way to introduce a new cat is to throw 'em all off-guard with a dog, first!  When Ai's friend called before Christmas and asked if we could adopt her 4-month-old kitty because things weren't working out well at her house, my hesitations were 1) do we really need a third cat/fourth pet and 2) the poor kitties have just gotten used to a dog, how will they react to a new cat?  Well, apparently Scamp & Roxie figure that there's strength in numbers -- I cannot believe how well Duncan has been "accepted."  Hmmm, not with hugs and kisses from the others, but not nearly the amount of hissing and spitting and pet mayhem that I was expecting.  Duncan has melted our hearts, for sure, a real sweetie-pie, and he has obviously charmed the other felines, too.

Coming up on Monday:  someone's getting a new 'do.  Have a great weekend!