Rocking the Week #2: Knitting, Weaving, the Super Tuesday Caucus, and a trip to a Howitzer.

Here we are again: not even one little finished object for the dang exhausting week. Every day was a whirlwind of activity, however, so once again I’ve decided to share the journey with all of you with pictures of the highlights.

Colored Mitts
This pattern is Dueling Gradient Mitts being knitted in Kauni bought years ago. 

 

I kept knitting on the Dueling Gradients Mitts that I started the week before, but the colors are changing really slowly in the yarn and I started to get bored. I played with the color placements and am thinking about doing a little Fair Isle somewhere in the mitt. I have more balls of this yarn and can introduce another color (or two) earlier in the mitt. I’m still thinking things over, so the project got parked. I’m considering a little rippage for this baby. Maybe I’ll put a band of Fair Isle above the thumb on this mitt and below the thumb on the next one. Hmmm…

 

While the Duelling Gradients are
This is my own simple pattern. Here it is on Ravelry.

While the Dueling Gradients are hibernating and growing up some new ideas I pulled out some Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20 to make some mitts for the Scleroderma bin. These are the mitts that I sell to other patients in my support group for the cost of the yarn. Simple, lightweight, warm and absolutely mindless knitting.

Tuesday was Super Tuesday here in the United States. Along with 150,000 other people I went to caucus for my candidate that night, Yowza! What a night!

Sock
Purple Dragons for my feet. Take that Raynaud’s!!

On Wednesday I go to my knitting group at a local yarn shop and for some reason I wanted a little wild color along with simple knitting to take to that. Hello Vanilla Socks!  These socks are toe up and have an afterthought heel. I keep seeing other people making these socks in their blogs and decided that I should jump on that bandwagon too. Look at how cute they are turning out! This yarn is from MJ Yarns and is Simple Sock Fingering Weight. This colorway is Purple Dragon and I absolutely love it! I bought some Purple Dragon to make some mittens too, but that is for another week’s post.

Howitzer
My son tells me that this is a self-propelled Howitzer

Yesterday I hit the road to return the materials from the Project Learning Tree workshop I facilitated for the school district I live in. How fun! I had to drive across town to historic Camp George West near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The old buildings of the base are now used by many Colorado State agencies, but they still have old armaments out on display.

It sure does fill like Spring, although March is traditionally our snowiest month. The plants in my garden are starting to come back to life. The prairie dogs are barking and playing in open lots across town. We’ll be seeing baby dogs before long; I always think that I should bring leftover veggies to these little guys but it is probably best to leave wild critters be, 🙂

Bag and flowers.
How could I resist the cute floral tote and some flowers from the nursery! The rose will have to stay indoors with me but the pansies are the type that can survive snow so they go into the ground next week. 
Dishtowels on loom
Oh, yeah. I almost forgot! The major activity of the week has been weaving. I’ve been binge watching Shades of Blue and throwing my shuttle to make dishtowels. This towel is using a white weft, but the next towel will be plaid with the weft in the same colors as the warp. I just love this process; throwing the shuttle, creating the fabric and winding it onto the cloth roller is just a source of joy to me. It is a little hard on my hands so I only weave an hour or so at a time, Still, I should have the whole set of towels before long. 

See: lots done, nothing finished! Even as I write this I am thinking about going upstairs to wind some more yarn and am fighting an urge to play in the stash to find yarns/colors for shawls. A whole set of shawls!!

Guess next week will be much like this one. 🙂

A Tale of Two Mitts

I bought a really fun skein of hand-dyed yarn a few weeks ago. It is another yarn from Zen Yarn Gardens Serenity 20 in the colorway Burning Bush. I cast on to make a pair of vine lace mitts a couple of days later, and here is how they turned out:

stuff
These two mitts really are the same size. It was too cold to take another picture. 🙂

Cute, huh. These mitts fit really well, and they go great with my black, grey and fushia tops. The colors in the mitt, however, didn’t really stand out the way I thought they would. The grey is almost gone. I decided to make a second pair of mitts in simple stockinette to see how that would change the way the yarn looked. Here they are:

Burning Bush MItts_Stockinette
Same yarn, totally different look. I think that these will be easier to wear over my gloves.

Wow. What a difference the pattern made. Both mitts are comfy, but the second pair will go a lot better over my black gloves and with my new grey sweater. I do think that the stockinette pair shows off the “burning bush” characteristics of the yarn. But the lace mitts are really cute. I made both pairs with the same number of stitches and shaped the thumbs the same way. Which do you guys like better?

I haven’t written up the pattern for the garter vine lace mitts, but I did write down the details in my pattern notes on Ravelry. Here’s the link if anyone is interested.

 

WIP Wednesday: Half-Finger MItts and a Fabulous Hitchhiker

Thank heavens we had a sunny day. I shoveled the snow off the deck so the cats could get outside and I would have a place to lay out knitted items for some pictures. As usual MacKenzie had other ideas about this.

Cat and yarn
I turn my back for just a second and there he is, chomping yarn and putting hairs onto everything…

Still, I got some shots during beaks in the action, and here is what I’m working on right now.

Red alpaca half gloves.
This yarn is Blue Sky Alpacas’ sport weight. It is a two ply yarn made of 100% baby alpaca.

I really liked fellow blogger Andre Sue’s half finger mitts that she shared with us. (Here’s her pattern). My hand is really short and fat with nice swollen fingers so I had to make alterations to her pattern so it would work on my hand.  (“Oh my, your hands are really puffy,” commented a nurse while getting me ready for an endoscopic GI exam. “Did you know your fingers are turning purple..?”) Thank you Reynaud’s and scleroderma. I’ll be putting these fabulous alpaca half-gloves on for the next visit to the gastroenterology torture chamber.

Yep. That's my hand.
Yep. That’s my hand. Short, wide and puffy.

I wear lots of layers these days including these comfy kimono sleeve sweaters from J.Jill. I made the cuff of the gloves a little longer than Andre Sue’s pattern called for so that they would cover the gap between my hand and the bottom of the sleeve. I’m thinking that I want to add some embellishments that I will share with you all when I get the pictures of the finished mitts posted. Maybe by Friday if I hustle. There is a big snowstorm coming this weekend, and they sure would be nice and warm to wear…

Hitchhiker
I just love, love, love the feel of this yarn. 
Closeup of yarn.
Don’t these colors look like they were made to be with a grey sweater?  This is Serenity 20 from Zen Yarn Garden in the colorway Jewel.

I’m also working on another Hitchhiker made with the fabulous 20% cashmere hand-painted yarn that practically threw itself at me last week (that would be the yarn in the serendipitous phenomenology post). I have about half of the points done, but still a lot of yarn left to knit as the shawl gets wider the longer you knit. I just love the colors and it is working up to be really nice; the hand and drape will be just what I want. Can’t wait to get this one done too.

Well that’s it for this week. I plan to really get cracking on finishing all of these up. I’ve been looking at shawl patterns, and I have a couple of weeks of knitting before I need to start on the March New Year’s resolution sock.  Gosh, it would be really nice to have a new shawl (I mean, a shawl that is NOT a Hitchhiker. You know, something with lace in it that involves reading a chart… Beads too. I definitely need beads). I wonder if my family would like shawls for their Christmas presents?

Time to go dig in the stash!!