My Virtual Sanity

Have you ever felt the need to share your thoughts with virtual strangers just so you can pretend that you have adult conversations during the day? Well, that's what I'm about to do. Be prepaired for my life as a stay at home, obsessive knitter, and my attempts to stay connected with the rest of the world.

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Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

Monday, October 16, 2006


It is that time of year. When the weather starts to turn cold, the leaves crunch under your feet, and you pull out the winter duds. It's time to replace last years ratty old acrylic mittens with new good wool ones.

Last winter, I made my vary first pairs of mittens. This was before I joined the knitting community, and before I had learned much about knitting other than how to much other than knit and purl. I did my first cables last winter, and used dpn for the first time. That was before I had discovered wool, and still believed that wool was always scratchy. Wow, how time has flown. I didn't know that I was a combination knitter back then. I didn't know that there were different ways of forming a knit stitch. I couldn't figure out why all my stitches looked twisted in the round.

Here are Shaya's new mittens next to her mittens from last year. Last years mittens were Red Heart acrylic in a tight twisted stitch pattern. The fabric was stiff and not very giving. This years mitten's are made from my very own homespun wool! There are no twisted stitches and they are soft and stretchy. No more problems with the cuff being too small and having to fight to get them on, or to get them to stay on. This year's mittens are warm, lovely wool, which even though it isn't merino is still softer than the Red Heart. Go figure. I even ripped these out a couple of times when I figured out that my handspun was really bulky rather than worsted and I was getting 4 stitches to the inch. That means that these cute purple mittens are knit on only 18 stitches. That makes these a VERY quick knit.

Shaya proudly wore the first mitten (and only the first mitten) around the house until the second one could join it.

Brendan attempted to help with the knitting by eating the yarn. This was fine until I reached the first wet spot in the wool. Note to self: Wet wool does not slide well over plastic needles. I was using my new Salvation Army flexible size 6 dpn needles.

It took me 2 days to make Shaya's mittens, it only took me 1 to make Alex's, even with ripping them out 3 times. They are knit in Paton's Classic Merino Wool. I love this yarn. It is very soft and bouncy. I started out casting on what I thought was 24 stitches ( it was really 18 because apparently 3 x 6 does not = 24....) which was way too small for a 5 yr old. I then cast on 30 stitches, because hey, that's only 6 more stitches right? Well, that was entirely too big. I then tried some number between what I thought was 24 and 30 when I realized that 3x6 is NOT 24 and ACTUALLY cast on 24 stitches.

Mittens for children are a double edged sword. They are incredibly satisfying because they can be completed so quickly, but they are also a major let down because they are done so quickly. I am sitting here with my yarn and needles contemplating a hat pattern because I absolutely NEED a take along knitting project, and the mittens are already done! The computer seems to refuse to print out the Rogue pattern again, so that option is out. Maybe I'll wind up my white handspun and start the baby sweater for my sister's baby (due in December).


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