There is a new pattern available in the shop, ready for download. This particular design is named Lumene for the twisting cables that lay within the flame-like elements on the socks. The pattern has been written to include both charted and fully written instructions, so […]
Some days in the office I feel as if I am working in Siberia. I’m sure it’s a common phenomena, but where I work the Air-Con Wars are particularly fiercely fought with the powers that be craving permanently Arctic conditions whilst the rest of us sit rigid with cold a lot of the time.
It affects me very particularly as I have suffered from Reynauds Syndrome for many years, a condition which is exacerbated in cold temperatures. I have on some days been left unable to work as I can no longer feel my hands. A workmate asked if I couldn’t just wear gloves whilst I worked, and though I would find those too difficult to type whilst wearing, a pair of fingerless mitts might just provide a bit of warmth to my hands (though I am not sure how well this will work as my fingertips will remain uncovered, but it is worth a try I think).
I have worked up a design for a comfortable and stretchy pair of fingerless mitts which should remain very flexible but hug my hands snuggly to keep as much warmth around my hands as possible.
Part of the challenge of making these mitts as comfortable and un-cumbersome as possible was maintaining the flexibility throughout the design, including the cast on and cast off edges. As the stitch pattern I was using stemmed from a 1×1 ribbing basis, I used the alternating cast on that I have recently been using for all of my 1×1 rib edges.
This edge is unobtrusive, beautiful and so, so stretchy. It stretches with and as much as the ribbing that it begins and returns to shape beautifully.
The problem remained, however, that I needed the cast-off edge to possess similar properties. The cast off edge would be the one that surrounded my fingers and ran around my thumb. I needed this edge to be comfortable as I would likely be wearing these mitts for a long time on days when they were most needed, and I definitely needed to avoid restricting the circulation further around my poorly digits. So, I spent quite a while yesterday evening hunting down, trialling and testing various cast offs until i found one that I thought matched the cast on most accurately.
The edge is very similar in appearance and is equally stretchy. There are a few steps to executing the cast off, but they are fairly simple ones – however, it is one of those things that could probably benefit from a few pictures for guidance, so I will try and put that together in the near future as it is a simply fantastic way to finish 1×1 ribbing and would be a great way to end a pair of toe-up socks.
For now it is time to cast on the second mitten, which will be a perfect mirror of the first, because now I have the cast on and cast off edges looking like such a good match it would be a shame to lose that symmetry in the patterning of the mitts. The second mitt is now on the needles, so hopefully I will be sporting a new pair of knits not long after the Bank Holiday (or someone will knock that Air-Con control panel off the wall at long last).
I have a new pattern to share, a pair of socks in Simply Knitting Issue 109. I really enjoyed both the designing and knitting of the socks that have debuted in this issue. I wanted to take some of the styling and detailing of traditional […]
A short while ago there was a lot of excited Twittering about the launch of a new collection of patterns, a joint venture between Jen Arnall-Culliford and Kyoko Nakayoshi of a collection of nine accessories called ‘Cloudy Apples‘. The first couple of patterns released for the collections were gorgeous, so quite early on I decided to treat myself to the collection. It’s especially lovely the way that Jen and Kyoko have decided to release the collection incrementally over a few weeks. This makes it almost like a mini version of a magazine subscription in that you look forward to new instalments for just long enough to forget that they are due, and then a new surprise arrives in your postbox (or, in this case, your Ravelry library).
I especially love the Dunkerton Sweet socks from the collection (though I am not allowing to cast on another sock until my two single socks have siblings), and the Puffin Apple hat.
Feeling a little bit restless in my lack of knitting over the past few days I decided to cast on a new project last night, and really fancied beginning the puffin hat. Unfortunately the only yarn I could find in my yarn box that would knit to a similar tension as the Puffin Apple hat was a couple of skeins of Rowan ‘soft baby’ yarn, in a shade that a friend once described as ‘the colour of glow-in-the-dark things when they’re not glowing’ which is just about an accurate description of a shade as I have ever known. It is an off-white with not-quite-delicate overtones of greenish yellow (it is a colour that is extremely difficult to capture accurately with the camera, too). The yarn handles extremely softly. It is almost cloud-like in its softness with a fuzziness that means that you have to keep your hands well-manicured and moisturised otherwise the fine fibres would catch on every rough piece of skin or un-tamed cuticle you dare not to have properly tended to.
As the yarn is rather ‘fuzzy’ in its softness this will mean that the wonderful cabling on this hat will not be as defined as it might otherwise be in a yarn that would give crisper definition. However, Jen mentioned that for her original knit for the pattern that she really appreciated the softened effect of the cabling when she knit the hat in Jamieson & Smith Shetland Aran, so I am going to hope that the beauty of the cables won’t be entirely obscured by the hazy outline of this yarn.
Though I am only a few rows into the pattern I am very much enjoying the project so far. There is enough detail and challenge in the cabled panel to keep the project challenging, yet as soon as you are past the cable panel there Is a wonderful break for free, quick knitting as you reach the broken rib that makes up the rest of the hat. It’s pretty much the best of both worlds as far as knitting projects go.
I actually have a few more balls of this yarn (I was completely without funds for knitting and found it on sale for 10 skeins for £6, so was understandably unable to turn the bargain down) but have a friend who is expecting soon that I want to knit a treat for, a recipient which I think this yarn will work perfectly for, so I’m interested and hopeful for some success with this project so that I can go about planning for what kind of project to knit for my friend’s impending arrival.
In the meantime I shall keep a hopeful eye out for the last treats from Cloudy Apples and see if anything else demands knitting as soon as possible.
The patterns from Cloudy Apples are available separately or as a collection, and if you’re quick you can pick up the entire collection for the special introductory price of £7.