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Knab Fingerless Gloves

September 1

At long last, my Knab Fingerless Gloves are  finished. The pattern is in Ann Feitelson’s The Art of Fair Isle Knitting: History, Technique, Color & Patterns. I used Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift. By far the hardest part of the project was narrowing down the colors. Loop and Leaf in Santa Barbara carries a veritable rainbow of tantalizing shades. All of which I wanted to take home with me. Fortunately Celeste, with her expert eye for Fair Isle, was able to help me narrow it down.

Many thanks to my steadfast husband Steve for photographing the gloves.

Santa Fe Mitts & Smock Top Sweater

August 26

I’m just full of exciting pattern news today!

First, the pattern for the Santa Fe Mitts is complete. You might remember that I originally came up with the idea from an ill-fated trip to Santa Fe. They were meant for my husband to wear when photographing in the cool New Mexico mornings. Instead he decided to break his elbow. Is that akin to the curse of the boyfriend sweater?

Here’s a re-creation of what might have been, had the photography workshop not gotten derailed:

Mitts-on-Steve-2

The design is sized for a Mens’ Medium and Large. The hand is fair isle, and the pattern is charted in full color. The mitts feature a ribbed thumb. At the top, the stitch count decreases from the hand area so the ribbing stays snug around the fingers and the mitt doesn’t droop. And still speaking of ribbing, the cuff is meant to be long, so wrists stay warm even when bending.

Reflecting Southwest colors, I chose Lorna’s Laces Sock yarn for the oranges, blues and green. I wanted a rock and bark feel for the background, and elected to use some heather colors in Regia 4-Ply Wool. The sock yarn makes the mitts washable, a good idea for guys. My hubby does a wonderful job when he does the laundry; asking him to hand-wash delicate knits would be pushing it, though.

Here he is, recovering from a long day shooting pictures:

Mitts-on-Steve-1

And showing he’s a tree hugger at heart:

Mitts-on-Steve-3

The motifs I use in the design reflect, I hope, a Native American heritage, with hints of local mountains, water, and trees.

Santa-Fe-Mitts-page1-1

The design calls for small quanities of some colors. I’m going to make socks out of the unused portions of the skeins and balls. I’m thinking of using the Regia as a main color, since it wears so well on the foot, and then making a cool design for the leg out of the beautiful Lorna’s Laces.

In other news, I’m excited to have my Smock Top Sweater design included in the new issue of Knotions, the online magazine. There are more pictures of it along with the pattern itself on Knotions, but I wanted to post one I’m particularly fond of. I shot this very early one morning, and loved the way dawn’s light made the flower arrangement glow. It reminded me of old Dutch Masters still lifes – sort of a moody quality, but with colors that pop.

Smock-Top-Flowers-2

Thank you, Jody, for providing me with the opportunity to have my pattern published in your online magazine!

Fingerless Gloves

April 18

I’ve been looking forward to finishing the Fingerless Gloves from the book I’ll be reviewing in a few days. I had a great time knitting them, in part because the author has a really neat way of guiding you through the design process. Here’s my creation, based on the project guidelines in the book.

fingerless-gloves-2

I made the ribbing extra long to keep my wrists warm as I take photos. I also crocheted a little border around the thumbholes to give them a bit of extra support.

These will be living in my camera bag so they’ll be at hand when I go out on cool mornings to shoot wildlife (we’re talking pictures) and flowers.

fingerless-gloves-3

I used odds and ends from my stash. The yarn smorgasbord includes Knit Picks Merino Style and Swish DK, Mission Falls 136 Merino Superwash, and a smidge of Rowan’s RYC Cashsoft DK.

fingerless-gloves-1

[Many thanks to hubby Steve who once again patiently played the part of knitwear photographer for the shot of me in my gloves!]

Confessions of a Reluctant Picker

April 13

I recently took a class in Continental knitting. Having learned the English  method, I was jealous of the speedy, smooth stitching my Continental friends were doing. I was determined to change my throwing ways to picking.

So, I learned the Continental style like five minutes ago. And I’m starting a new project – perfect time to switch knitting techniques, right? Oh, yeah, brilliant idea. My new fingerless gloves project  involves ribbing. And double-pointed needles. And striping.

Somewhere there is a  Knitters’ Big Book of No-No’s prescribing tenets like 1. Thou Shalt Not Start the New Method until You’ve Practiced A Lot. 2. Thou Shall Start With a Simple Project 3. A Simple Project Shall Not Consist of DPNs and A Glove of Many Colors, and finally, 4. Thou Shalt Not Resort to Mixing in English Stitches Even If Thou Becomest Miffed and Frustrated.

So far I have turned blue because I concentrate so hard I forget to breathe. I’ve had to break out a box of kleenex (although, to be fair, some of the tears may be residual from watching “Marley and Me”). I’ve created stitches so tight that and tense the fabric is one big pucker. I’ve broken all the rules in the Knitters’ Big Book of No-No’s.

I’m on row 4.

Fingerless Mitts Swatch

April 8

Remember that picture of the yarns as seen through the Teleidoscope? You don’t?? Ok, to refresh your memory here it is:

teleidoscope-5a-colors

Here are how the colors came together in the actual swatch:

swatch1

The swatch is my launching point for making fingerless gloves from a book I’ll be reviewing later in the month.  The book walks the knitter through all aspects of planning and designing her own projects. Now that I have a color combination that I like and gauge from my swatch, I’ll follow the author’s simple worksheets to create fingerless gloves just the way I want them.  I can hardly wait to get started!

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