Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Lots of Little Hats and a Few Little Facts

Little Hats
It's that time of year again. Innocent Smoothies will soon be hitting Sainsbury's wearing little hats made by knitters to raise money for Age Concern. 50p for each Innocent Smoothie sold with a hat goes to the charity to support initiatives aimed at helping the elderly keep warm in the winter.

I made 27 hats this year -- my target was higher but somehow the deadline just snuck up on me!

I know it's unlikely but I'd love to see one of my hats in the wild.

Little Facts
I was tagged by CiCi to list 6 boring yet quirky things about myself. Hmmmmm.....

1) I write in pencil 99% of the time. The only real exception is that I use ink when signing cheques or legal documents.

2) I don't have a driver's license.

3) I've always loved making things. When I was a kid my one of my favourite programmes was Mr Dressup -- but I only really liked the episodes where he made stuff. Scotch tape, a toilet roll and some markers and I was in heaven! More worryingly, I'm still riveted when I happen to stumble across the 'make' segment of a kids tv programme!!

4) I love sour/vinegary things, and in general believe that most anything is improved by pickling it in vinegar.

5) I apparently have a loud and distinctive laugh. When I was in my early 20's I denied this - but the fact that everyone commented on it finally convinced me that there might be some truth in it.

6) I like to knit.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Fingerless Gloves aren't Fingerless!

Thanks so much for all of the lovely comments on the Spring Shawl. Unlike most of my lace shawls, this one is not folded up and put away but is instead hanging over a railing in my living room. It adds a great burst of colour and makes me feel clever when I look at it!

Unfortunately Blogger doesn’t always allow me to reply to comments directly (the ways of Blogger are mysterious indeed) so LadyOutlaw if you (or anyone else) want to email me you can at thingssoolikes at gmail dot com . And Angie – thanks so much for checking out the blog! Ma said that she was going to give you the link.

Speaking of my Mom – way back in May I sent her 4 pairs of socks (all but the green ones from this picture) – and she still hasn’t put them on! She loves them (I know this because I get updates on who she has shown them to and what they thought of them) – but is afraid to ‘ruin them’ by walking on them.

I love my Mom.

Since finishing the Spring Shawl I confess I haven’t been knitting much. I did however manage to knit some requested fingerless gloves for the scrumptous Susie and her best friend Purdey. Susie is one of gorgeous goddaughter Genevieve’s younger sisters and she wanted some colourful fingerless gloves that didn’t match. Her friend wanted the same and so off to knit I went.

The fingerless gloves are a mostly fast knit. You cast on, whip up the ribbed cuff, knit up the thumb gusset and hand and then WHAM the fiddle of 4 half fingers and a half thumb to slow you right down before you can call them finished.

And that brings me to a little rant that occured to me once (or twice) (or every time I started a finger) about so called fingerless gloves. They aren't fingerless! They are half-fingered. Don't be fooled by the name fingerless. You have to pretty much make the fingers. You've got to fiddle with 12 stitches in the round. People are just trying to lull you into a false sense of easy knitting by calling them fingerless. Pah!

Phew. Glad I shared that with someone.

To make the gloves mismatched I started each one on a different colour. I started each of the fingers about a quarter way into the ‘white repeat’ before the required finger colour. This wasted a bit of yarn – but I like the way it maintained the colour sequence at the top of the fingers.

To make the fingers a little less fiddly, and slightly more interesting I knit them on two needles using double knitting. Basically you split the stitches for the finger evenly between two needles and then put them all on one needle taking one stitch from the front, then one from the back, then one from the front and… until all of the stitches are one needle.

Then you:
*Knit one stitch
Bring yarn to front as if to purl
Slip one stitch
Bring yarn to back
Repeat from * to the end of the row.

On the next row you do the same – which should mean you are knitting all stitches you slipped in the previous row, and slipping all stitches you knit.

These two rows are equivalent to knitting one round.

When you’ve completed the required number of rows/rounds, you separate the stitches back on to two needles, and begin to cast off.

I’m not convinced this is any faster than knitting them on three needles in the normal way, but it kept me amused.

The yarn is an Opal DK weight yarn, and I knit the gloves on 3.25mm needles making up the pattern as I went along.

When I finished these I decided to make Gen some fingerless mitts. Note that these are mitts rather than gloves – much less fiddly! And when marvelous Madeleine (Gen’s other younger sister) requests a pair (which I expect she will) I’ll do my darned-est to direct her to the fingerless mitt style! Gen’s mitts are made with a cashmere yarn from Posh Yarns on 4mm needles using the Maine Mittens pattern in the Knitter's Book of Yarn. I had knit this yarn into a scarf last year but was never really pleased with it and it never got worn. I frogged it to make the mitts and think the colours work so much better in this pattern.

I’ve been tagged to come up with 6 boring but quirky things about myself… I’m still pondering, the boring is pretty easy it’s the quirky that’s got me perplexed. But next time be prepared to be bored and bemused!!