Twins bound by a love of knitting talk about knitting and more.

Archive for October, 2009

Handed yes, fingered no.

Hi, Jan,

I thought my new handed but fingerless mitts deserved a little more air time.  I’m so happy with them, I don’t even mind the distinct drop in temperatures around here these days.

6.jpgTake a good look at your hand.  Does your thumb extend straight out to the side?  Mine doesn’t.  I wanted mitts with thumb gussets that accommodate my anatomical reality, handed mitts so to speak, designed to fit my right and left hands properly.  So I ignored the typical symmetric gusset recommended by most mitt patterns and designed my own.

4.jpgThis pattern  incorporates a simple jogless striping technique, which I mentioned before was the theme of the knitting retreat I attended last week.  Simply work a round of one color followed by the next.  There is no need to carry a yarn or twist ends in – the stripes form as the two spirals of color intertwine.  Susan Saari of Sisu Designs Knitting and Weaving Studio in Ely, MN acknowledges that others may have unvented it before her, but she was my source.  You could certainly knit these in one color only, but you’d miss the interplay of knits and purls and stripes.

3.jpgI used Susan’s pattern for “Susan’s Green and Brown Fingerless Gloves” as inspiration, but I pretty much designed my own mitts after the cast on.  I used the spiral technique, and used the same overall broken rib pattern, but that is nothing new.  I used my own edges, changed up the lengths of the cuff and the hands, and totally redesigned the gusset and thumb.  I’d love to hear from others whether they think this is sufficiently different to justify my calling it a new pattern.  If so, I’ll post it on Ravelry.

The yarn for this pattern is Classic Elite Waterlily, a super squishy and soft 100% merino in gorgeous colors with gradients that evoke handpaints.  The combination of superb fit and soft yarn makes the resulting mitts extra comfy.   Even if you don’t knit these mitts, I suggest you knit something with this yarn.

1.jpgOn another front – I invented squash egg cups this morning.  Well, like the spiral stripes, I’m sure someone else has invented these before, but they were new to me.  I learned that the skin of the Delicata variety of winter squash is edible, and somehow this popped into my head.  I cut a small Delicata in half perpendicular to the lengthwise axis.  I cut a thin slice off each end so it would stand up for roasting.  After scooping out the pulp and seeds, I added a small pat of butter and baked them for about 45 minutes at 350F.  I probably could have gone for less time, but there was some nice caramelization going on here.  22.jpgI then broke two eggs into the cup, which I’d put in a custard dish (I saved one cup for tomorrow morning) and put it back in the oven.  Again, I could have baked them a shorter time, as I like soft eggs (like soft yarn!), but this was mighty tasty. And I ate the whole thing, skin and all.

If you think these are weird, ask me about how I cook beets and eggs together in the microwave.  Also a bit odd, but again, tasty.  I do tend to like odd things.

Love to you, whether you are odd or not,


Summer FFfin(n)ishes.

Hi, Jan,

A happy belated bloggiversary to you, but only by a few hours.  I feel like I know you better than since we were kids, and really, aren’t kids so egocentric that it’s really hard to know anyone else?  And I love the connections we’ve made to so many, even and actually especially the folks who usually read but don’t comment.  Thank you to everyone who offered well wishes and said so many nice things in the comment responses to Jan’s last post.  And also to those of you who stop by and read but choose not to comment.  While I’d still do this without you readers who don’t share a copy of my DNA, you are the buttercream frosting on the devil’s food cupcake of our blog.

On to the regularly scheduled content…

Summer Finnishes.

Well, we pretended we were Finnish, anyway, when we enjoyed the sauna at the Lost in the Woods Knitting Retreat put on by Sisu Designs Knitting and Weaving Workshop of Ely, MN. I’ll tell ya, the lakewater was cool enough to be brisk but oh, so much more enjoyable than when you have to jump in through a hole in the ice.

2.jpg13.jpgThe knitting retreat was even more enjoyable, even the ride up.  We left on Thursday, cabin camping at Bear Head Lake State Park.  Of course we brought provisions!  We enjoyed some picnic table knitting before heading in to Ely for some shopping and some eating.

31.jpgThe retreat (my 2nd year) is wonderful.  Almost two full days of hanging out with other knitters, working on your own projects or the retreat project.  We learned a great technique – stripey knitting, we called it.  It’s basically two (or three or more) interlaced spirals.  No jogs, no twisting yarn at the end of a round, no carries.  Just a very nice single row striped object.  Here is one of Susan Saari’s examples. She owns Sisu Designs and is a lovely, subtle-humored woman who centers the whole retreat.

21.jpgI sat with Anna and Mary, and of course have no pictures of them.  They were wonderful company.  A & M live next door to each other.  Can you imagine having your knitting buddy right next door?  You could hang over the fence and get tips on how to fix your latest snarl, walk the garbage down the driveway while calling out knitting ideas, break in at night and raid their stash…   Here is a picture, in lieu of A & M, of Lisa, Kathy, and Randee knitting on the veranda.

Summer Finishes.

23.jpg38.jpg64.jpg Most of the pictures I took at the retreat were of finished objects – many started right at the retreat (or on the drive up).  Annie’s stack of baby hats just kept growing.

54.jpg47.jpg46.jpgLots of stripey objects magically appeared.

59.jpgHere is my stripey object for the weekend – fingerless mitts.  I adapted Susan’s pattern with ribbing at the edges, a variation on the thumb, and asymmetric gusset increases to make the mitts handed and somewhat better fitting.

26.jpg29.jpgAnd some of us even finished projects we’d brought along.  Kathy nailed her Fiesta Feet socks and I finally finished my ‘brainless’ socks.

Summer finishes.

66.jpgPicture taken in my backyard yesterday morning. ‘Nuff said.

Here’s hoping autumn, as well as our third year of blogging are wonderful.