Chitchat and the occasional in-depth analysis about fiber, knitting, spinning, crochet, cooking, feminism, self-image, and a modicum of personal blathering.

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Insomnia mittens

We are not having the best week here at Chez Buttercup. My pain levels have been off the charts. I'm having trouble sleeping. Bob found out they are ending his job and starting a new one with a lower rate of pay, that he will have to apply for along with everyone else, then he broke a crown, then broke a rivet on his new jeans. At least the jeans can be exchanged. I woke up at 530 this morning, just after my normal "get up for work" time and could not go back to sleep, so I got the wheel and a bag of batts out and did some spinning.

Remember these batts?
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I got them from the Indie Knit and Spin show back in November. I thought they'd be a nice relaxing chunky funky project and I was right. Once I figured out how to spin chunky on my wheel again, that is. That was a departure for me. I had to put the big whorl on and adjust stuff over and over until I got it working but once I did, that five ounces went through like water.

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I ended up with about 130 yards of a squishy two ply. And of course, me being me, I had to knit it up right away into mittens.

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I had hoped to get mittens and a hat out of it but I think I'm going to have to finish the hat with a different yarn. I have it started but there's enough left for a largish brim and that's about it. It'll be fine though, I have a couple of yarns in mind that will make a nice main hat body.

Mittens are a great project for using fun funky chunky handspun. This is the third time I've made this type of mitten and I love them all. In fact I am sad I lost one of my psychedelic clown barf mittens because those were my favorites. I'm still hoping it'll turn up. That might be a good project for next year's holiday gifting though, chunky hat and mitten sets from some of these cool batts and mix and match fiber I have around here.

I didn't really use a pattern for the mittens, just cast on 18 and knitted 1x1 rib in the round for about an inch and a half on size eleven circulars, then increased 4 and knitted to where the thumb goes, knitted two, cast off three, knitted around and when I got back to where I cast off, I cast on three using the backward loop, then continued. After finishing the mitten (decrease to five stitches on each side then grafted), I picked up eight stitches on the thumbhole and knitted the thumb. The whole project took less than two hours.

This is definitely the fastest I've gone from fiber to finished object-about eight hours in all including a break to cook breakfast.

I also spun this, last weekend in fact but didn't blog about it yet.

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It was a roving from Tintagel Farms, merino, alpaca, mohair blend with a wee bit of sparkle. I did a three ply worsted and had close to twelve ounces, but only got about 430 yards out of it. Disappointing, I was hoping to make enough to get a short sleeved sweater. Had I known I would have gone for fingering weight because that would have been produced enough yardage. You live and learn, I guess.

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The yarn is quite pretty, I think.

My daughter's sweater is moving along. It's in the endless stockinette phase now so there's really nothing new to show. I don't think I'll have any trouble getting it finished in time for her birthday.

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