Finished: Winter Walk Mittens

It’s the middle of Summer, poppies are making seed, the jackdaws are picking trash from the can and I finished a pair of winter mittens:

The pattern is Winterwalk Mittens by Simone Kereit. A top-down mitten pattern for any yarn and any gauge and any hand. Even weirdly big scoopy hands growing on little twiggy wrists:

Made from my wonderful handspun. Well, the batts were wonderful anyway, made by “the wool smith” in Norway, given as part of a fairy tale swap, back in 2010, which are the magical dark ages as far as my woolly career is concerned.

I was very happy to knit these and will be happy to wear them, bringing some of that magic to the city.

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finished: Lente wristwarmers

22 grams of Wolop plant dyed yarn. Red onion skins solar dyed. I’ve been wearing them all day, otherwise I would have blocked them and they would have looked even prettier.

Finished: glitter cuffs


Handdyed soft fingering yarn with silver angelina. Each pair takes about 20 grams of yarn.

The colour is magnificent! Handdyed by Wolop and given to me for Sinterklaas. They were x-mas baubles. They’ve hung in the Wolop Advent Garland and now I’ve knitted them into cuffs.

This time of year the sun regains its strength and the air can be so crisp and clear. No longer appropriate are the dark greens and reds and golds of December. This is the time of clear skies and sun glittering on snow. I also think of mountains and quarts and I wear my rings to celebrate:

These feelings are combined with the wish to celebrate wintergreen trees. So my x-mas tree is still up, converted to the colours of quarts and snow and mountain streams. I’m spinning white under it whenever I can. It smells so nice! Celebrating wood creatures too.

ALERT: life philosophy ahead!
Not particular funny either but perhaps of interest? It’s something that is part of my daily life at the moment.

(I do feel burdened because while I celebrate trees I’m watching this tree dying in my house. It’s such a ridiculous industry anyway, the x-mas tree industry. So wasteful, so phoney. Also, woodland creatures are quickly disappearing in my country due to overpopulation with humans and their narrow minded ideas of economic progress.

I counter these feelings by living in the moment. By noticing and celebrating the small things. By resigning myself to what life actually is and by resigning myself to the era I’ve been born in, with its characteristics that I cannot alter. We are in the process of overpopulation and we can see how our future living environment will look like by looking at dense populated areas in Asia. These people live, these people laugh. It’s not a drama.

Yes, things will disappear from our lives. Things, habits, knowledge, experience, animals. It has always been happening. Who now knows the once common knowledge and skills of making fire with the tinder box? How part of common life it was to travel by moon light? How everybody knew the classics like Greek drama’s and opera’s and they were the memes and cultural vessels of the day? All these things have gone. The only difference is that now we are with many, many humans and we are devouring our surroundings. But it’s not that different, really.
The loss will happen slowly. It is a shame. But it is not a drama. I should not perceive it as a drama. Perception is faulty anyway. Always biased.

Besides, I can live in my head. I can travel to the mountains, wade through the snow, be a mountain spirit, in my mind. A little thing like a ring or glittery cuffs is a reminder of this freedom.)

Winterwalk Mittens in progress

I started these yesterday:

The pattern is Winterwalk Mittens by Simone Kereit, a paid for pattern. It’s top down and especially good for handspun. And it has a thumb gusset!
pattern picture

Thumb gussets are good. Especially when you have hands in the shape of a meat shovel on a meat twig. They are very good hands, make no mistake.

I’m using handspun that is very dear to me. Spun in the magical winter of 2010-2011, from batts I received in the Folklore and Fairytale Swap februari 2010 from the wonderful Norwegian Ullsmeden (“wool-smith”).

Among the many things she send were five batts that follow the story of King Polarbear:

I spun these in the winternights around Winter Solstice 2010. I was alone, in my cabin in the woods, thick with snow. It was magical.

This batt became a yarn called Winternights:

This batt became a yarn called “Lady of Darkness” and it’s about Frau Holle in Winter.

“In Winter Frau Holle rides in the night, with all the unborns under her cape. She looks for people to let them born with in the New Year. After the 12 holy nights of x-mas she retreats into the Underworld (a joyeus place), keeping the souls safe and happy, until her magic 12 nights return the next Winter

In the Summer she rides again as a dark lady, in black, collecting the spirit of corn and flax while they are being harvested by mankind. Mankind keeps the goods, Frau Holle takes the spirits and keeps them safe until the new year, when new crops will spring into life.

This darkside of Frau Holle is not something to be feared or something to be condemmed. Even if she is called ‘Hel’ in this form. ‘Hel’ means ‘bright’.
It is about that circle: born, love, die, resurrection.

This spinning is about the dying part. Black. Tears. Grief. But also: a glimmer of something…..love? beauty? life.”

The batts are full of sparkle and colour nuances. I spun them as a single which I then fulled.

I am very very happy to have found a project in which these yarns can show their many nuances and sparkle and memories:

Itty bitty tiny mitty in progress.

Around 2 o’clock in the afternoon:

Nine o’clock at night:

I pretty much knitted on this all day. Such small needles!

The silk is lovely. Bombyx 🙂

The morning was spend with carefully taking some yarn from the still somewhat damp skein:

As you can see there’s still quite a bit of yellow visible where the skein was bound. So I only took enough silk for one mitten ( I hope) and tossed the skein back into the dye pot again.

The result:

Good for the next 11 mittens. If I run out of gold I might use some whitish bombyx silk I have. White and green is also very x-massy to me.

On the first mitten I made some mistakes. The number of mistakes increases now that it’s evening so I’m stopping for the day. Besides, my ring finger is tingling now and my other ring finger is growing some thick skin for where I wrangle the needle with every stitch. So it’s time to stop.

Noticeable mistakes are that I forgot to park the thumb stitches where the pattern told me so. I just kept on knitting and stranding until it was time to decrease for the top of the thumb and then I was: “Eh?”
I decreased and separated then and there but the thumb is pretty much webbed to the body of the mitten.

Other mistakes were knitting the wrong stitch in the wrong colour. I tinked back or dropped the stitch and worked it back up in the right colour. This messes with the tension but not too much (I hope).

I stranded a little pear on the thumb.
Do not recommend, it’s not as pretty as I hoped it would be.

And in the beginning I forgot that front and back are mirrored, not the same image repeated. For that I had to rip out a couple of rows and start the stranding anew.

Oops, trying to get too much grip on the situation:

X-mas in June

There’s a new KAL starting next Monday, to make 12 stranded mittens, themed to the 12 days of x-mas. Free pattern 12 Days of Christmas Mitten Garland KAL by Kat Lewinski.

The look of the designs is based on wood block printing and silhouette paper cut outs. Both of which I love. Clear contrasts. Playing with shapes and lines. Just my thing.
So I’m joining in. For the first mitten at least, which looks darling:

I’m also joining for the sheer giggles it gives me to do something x-massy in Summer, amidst roses in full bloom. And finding this KAL just as I’m secretly drinking tea from the tea mug I was saving for x-mas which also has that block printing vibe.

I so like it when things unexpectedly tie together. It’s so cheerful, this way I get to giggle each day.

I’m still giggling over two rabbits I met last week!
They are a short haired breed but have magnificent side burns. It’s whitish and so fluffy!
One is smart, the other dim. Both are very happy and they pounce and race and flop about. Living the bunny life.

When I left them I caught the bus and it was driven by a chauffeur that matched the rabbits exactly: magnificent white sideburns! The sort you only know from old Western movies. The kind you never see in modern days.
You couldn’t make it up. Nobody would believe you.

Now I have rabbits tied in my head to the profession of bus chauffeur, some being smart, some being dim. All of them racing across the room, feet squeaking across the flooring boards.
Someone is snoring under the couch.

Done with cuffs! Or am I?

I’m done knitting cuffs! This is the lot:

Nine pairs.

And one lonesome Dutch Knitting Design silver Krokus cuff hiding behind my cup of tea. It’s solo because I haven’t run into one of the many balls I know I have of this yarn. They must all be at the cabin.

These are the “spikkelcuffs”, from the miniskeins from indydyer Wol met Verve:

Such nice, round yarn. It’s 100% Merino, no nylon addition and not suitable for socks.

Each has one knitted top down (on the left) and one bottom up (the ones on the right). Done because I was afraid I’d run out of yarn. The difference shows in the top edging. I prefer the look of the ones that go top down.

There’s one handspun pair. That’s also knitted bottom up, because I wasn’t sure about the gauge:

It’s from Dutch Wool Diva sockfibre, left over from my nice handspun socks:

These ones are from one of the newly arrived Fabel sockyarn:

Which I chose for its colours. They are not so nice…. the yarn is scratchy. Not like the yarn I know as Fabel. The thread is not as round nor plied as it used to be. This yarn is more scratchy, more hairy and more loose. Fabel must have changed supplier or something. I don’t think I’ll wear these much…

Now these are a delight to wear:

Wol met Verve sock yarn. A nice, round, well plied and soft yarn. Even though it has 20% polyamide it’s still so soft you could knit a shawl from this and wear it next to your skin. Many people do.

The handdyed yarn from Chasing Clouds. The one I was failing to knit with dark brown into stranded cuffs. I frogged them and let the yarn shine on its own:

It’s out of my colour palette but it will be a nice pair or when I feel treehugging natur-y in the end of Summer/ begin of Autumn. They’re also a bit sturdy, being a sock yarn. But not scratchy, luckily.

I’ve changed the pattern slightly: in most of my cuffs I have knitted all knit stitches untwisted and have substituted all purl stitched for a slipped stitch column. For faster knitting.  In the top parts I’ve added a few rows so “the fan” runs a little higher.

In some variegated yarn I’ve knitted the wrist part in plain stockinette.

Then there’s this one:

Glittery grey purple yarn!

From Het Wolbeest. The skein I brought home from Kerkrade and shook at angry football supporters. Again nice soft yarn, a delight to knit with. Suitable for socks and next to skin wear.

It’s mate is having a bath:

Just finished. Ready for blocking. I love this colour. (It’s just warm water, not actually tea.)

And the Wollmeise cuffs that started this all, in colour Mauseschwanzchen, knitted per original pattern:

The ones that were on hiatus for so long because I was so bothered by the puzzle of one column of purl stitches being wider than the other:

Pattern picture from Narcissus pseudo-narcissus Cuff by Hunter Hammersen.

A puzzle that turned out to be:

  1. just one of those things when a twisted stitch is next to purl stitch and twists one way but not the other.
  2. just part of the pattern.
  3. something all projects have and nobody else is bothered by.
  4. not important. At all. Go live your life mrs. M.

I haven’t noticed the different sized columns at all while wearing my Wollmeise cuffs. Nor do I notice it when I see someone else wearing them.

Ha! The goats one can chose to burden oneself with…

What I DO notice when I see other people wearing this pattern is that a quality yarn shows. Posh. Wollmeise. The cuffs look simply splendid in quality yarns!

I’m a fool knitting this in scratchy sockyarn such as Regia or Fabel. I should toss those.
The three speckled pairs are not the right colours and are just for fun, as is the Dutch Wool Diva handspun pair.

That leaves me with these:

The sparkly greypurple Wolbeest; the seafoam Wol met Verve; the silvery Dutch Knitting Design -once I’ve found more yarn and knit its partner- and the greypurple Wollmeise.
That’s four (3,5) pair of cuffs to wear this Summer.

That’s not enough.
Not enough at all. I need more cuffs! In quality yarns. In (semi)solid colours.
These (semi)solid colours:

palette textures

Ohoo, I should like some charcoal cuffs! I wish I could grab that charred coal from the screen and wrap it around my wrist.
And lavender ones.
And steel blue ones. Light sky blue ones too?
At least one pair in a greenish grey for sure!
And how gorgeous is that soft lilac of cherish blossom?? With the Fabel gone I have no rose tones…
And more silver greys, definitely more silver greys.

I was pondering pearl white ones and had actually cast on with an offwhite silk I’ve had for years. But I think white cuffs won’t be wise. Not practical for actual living which is what I do. My hands will grabbing at fresh shorn fleece or strawberries this Summer. If the past (week) is anything to go by I’ll be dragging my sleeves through curry and cat hair. White cuffs are a mistake.

Not done knitting cuffs!
But done with cuffs in unpleasant yarn.

From now on I’ll be on the lookout for 20 gram remnants of quality yarns.
Perhaps I can swap some with friends. Even offer to knit us both a pair if they give me 45 grams of yarn? Now that’s a deal to explore over a nice cup of wool tea:

A different kind of weaving: ends.

How good am I? Weaving in all the ends.

Yes I’m still doing cuffs…. They are the mindless knits I need when I take my breaks from learning to sew dress shirts and planning weaving projects and all the thousand things I think I need to do now that I have a bit more energy in my life.

I did the partner cuffs from the miniskeins top down, like I planned, and it worked out beautiful. I can make one pair of cuffs from just one miniskein: 20 grams of fingering weight, 80 m in length maximum.

The light green ones did cut it a bit short….

… but the blackberry coloured ones had two meters spare.

These cuffs are off to a warm bath and I’ll be rummaging through the fingering weight stash for another 20 grams of yarn. I may even take a bit of a brand new skein of sock yarn since I seldom take more than 75 grams for a pair of socks.

PS

today is going to be a chocolate free day for me… to test out some theory about insomnia and gut motility governing neurotransmitters that may not like chocolate as much as I do…

I already feel quite bizarre and it’s not even noon.

Not knitting cuffs this weekend?

I’m knitting the partner cuffs but I’m now learning about miniskeins: they differ.

The second cuff has specks of caramel and none of the blue tones that the first one has. The one that I love particularly. I have no use for caramel unless covered in salt and chocolate.

The second green cuff has way more brown and muddy colours in it. It’s not as crisp and Spring like as the first one, which I adore:

These would not look pretty when worn together.

I’m going to have to knit new partner cuffs, top down, with the remainders of the first mini skeins. That way they will look the same when I wear them, peeping from under my sleeve cuffs.

When I run out of yarn I can use the mini skeins I’m knitting with in the pictures to finish the bottom parts of the wrist part.

The thing is: the remainder skeins of the first cuffs are in the city. As you can see from the table cloth I’m at the cabin for the weekend…
What will I dooooo this weekend??

Guess I’ll have to look and see if I’ve got some fingering weight here for another set of cuffs…

I still need steele-ish blue ones. And some wool white ones. And a set in gleaming silk would be lovely! Could also do with lavender ones for sure.

I made a colour board of all the cuff colours I’m thinking about:

Shortly I’ll be gearing up to go hunting in the stash room for one of these colours. Because I need to knit cuffs this weekend!

Or I could knit my sock.
I brought it with me of course. Would be great if I finish that today and its partner too because tomorrow a new KAL starts that I want to participate in.

My spinning wheel is also here with the project on it that I enjoyed so much last weekend. It will be raining this weekend but it will be lovely sitting in front of the glass doors, with the green outside just there, and spinning. I could not knit cuffs but spin instead.

By the way, we’re only talking yarn needs for today anyway because tomorrow I’m spending the day getting reacquainted with my weaving loom. No time to knit cuffs.

No, I’m taking no chances, I’m heading off into the stash room to look for cuff yarn. Have a great Saturday!

Binary cuff knitting…

Untitled

one.
one.
one.
one.

1111

My in-house nerd says I’ve now knitted 15 cuffs…

They are all Narcissus cuffs.
The two one the right are knit from miniskeins dyed by Wol met Verve that I bought at the fair in Tilburg. They are 100% merino and tightly plied, like sock yarn. They are beautiful and soft against my wrists but they won’t pill as fast as the light grey will and the Wollmeise I’m wearing at the moment does.

They knit up so differently from how they look in the skein! The top one I had seen in an example, otherwise I’d never guessed.

The bottom one is a pure surprise! It knits up so friendly and Springlike while the skein has screeching fluor neon in it (which I only truly discovered once we left the fair and saw it in daylight).

These speckled dyed ones I knitted with the wrist portion in stockinette stitch. They don’t need the vertical interest and I get slowed down by twisted stitches and purl stitches.

They are also knitted bottom up. I don’t know why…. I had to rewrite the lace pattern for that, changing all YO into k2togs.
I don’t know why I did that! It was extra work and now I really have to pay attention to the fanning lace part.
It also doesn’t fan out as nicely as the top down versions do, the two grey ones. Perhaps blocking will fix it.

Either way I still have to knit all their partners in the same way.
That’s another 15 cuffs.
For my 3 arms.
11
(reads like eleven arms to me. I’m funny too you know)

UPDATE
OMG I just showed this post to the nerd!

He says I’m not a binary knitter.

I’m a UNARY knitter

because I only knitted the one cuff over and over.


Get off my lawn!