Tag Archives: gloves

spinning yarnz

For the past two years my bff has been threatening to teach me to spin. I couldn’t risk letting her – there was no way I would ever graduate if I got another fibery habit.  But having completed the final course for my degree in October, I found a spindle in my Christmas stocking
new spindle

along with a pair of hand carders and some merino tops. So I spent Christmas day (and many days thereafter) playing with my presents, and eventually (and thanks to various online tutorials and videos), made yarn!


I have already managed to make Real Yarn, plied and everything.  All the tutorials caution new spinners to make sure to add enough twist; I think I took this too much to heart and ended up with very twisty yarn.  But it’s still yarn, and I think I have enough of the green merino for fingerless gloves.
first plied yarntwisty merino handspun
So mostly I have been spinning since Christmas, not much knitting except for sshhh sooper seekrit project for Purl City Yarns design contest).

There was however much knitting and other crafting at the end of last year, here’s a quick catch up on some recent(ish) makes, including Christmas knittings
Christmas & other makes
1. Tavish’s booties, 2. Fagin Gloves, for DrM, 3. beanie, for son, 4. day of the dead bag, 5. Ishbel, for mum, 6. limpetiole, for sis, 7. dolls house shawl, 8. cats’ Xmas present, 9. Lennard-Jones socks, for Ethel



I finished my hat and gloves for the Big Issue knitting event
patterns: glittens – improvised; hat – Turn a Square by Jared Flood
yarn: King Cole Fashion Aran (blue) & Patons Diploma Gold Aran (purple)

I’ve been wearing glittens myself during the winter and love how handy it is to be able keep your fingers warm most of the time but have them free when you need, eg to use a camera.   I thought the same would apply if you’re standing around outside selling the Big Issue, you’d want to have cosy hands but still be able to handle money.  The hat is the first Turn a Square I’ve made and I love it, I can see this becoming my default basic beanie pattern.

The colour scheme was accident not design.  These are two of my favourite inexpensive arans (although the Paton’s has now been discontinued, unfortunately), soft, hard wearing, machine washable.  I had part balls of each and wasn’t sure if there was enough of either for the glittens, hence the stripes.  It was only when I was half way through the first one I realised I need to hope for a Big Issue seller who is a Burnley fan.  Or West Ham, Aston Villa, Port Vale, Scunthorpe or even the bluagranas themselves, Barcelona.  Or just someone who has no interest in foopball but wants warm head and hands.

beginnings and endings (and carrying-on-ings)


On Sunday I started another pair of glittens, this time for a homeless or vulnerably housed person, as part of the Big Issue Knit .  Which was a great fun afternoon out, too, and amazing to see so many knitters in one place.
big issue knit

100119And it being January, another Open University course is about to begin. This is (fingers crossed) my final course for my degree and is a literature-based research project. Which is scary,100126 being left to myself to turn out 5000 words by September. I’m probably going to concentrate on physical organic chemistry, but the past year of studying physical chemistry has pushed all the organic I knew out of my brain.

most importantly: buy more knitting patterns!

I’ll be starting lots of new beginnings soon with all my new knitting patterns.   Lots of lovely designers are contributing money from their January pattern sales to the Haiti relief effort. So if there’s a pattern you were thinking of buying anyway one day, have a look if the designer is taking part in the Help for Haiti efforts and buy it sooner rather than later.


potions class socks, for mefinally, at long last, I have finished my potions class socks.I really don’t know why it’s taken me so long, except that they got pushed to the back of te work in progress queue. I love both the yarn and the pattern and am very happy with the finished socks.

pattern: Hallows and Horcruxes by Kate Heppell
yarn: Old Maiden Aunt Merino Superwash 4ply shade K1

I’ve also finished some glittens I promised my favourite small girl, an experimental short row slouchy hat, and (with a lot of help and advice from my mum, ravelry friends and the nice lady in Leon’s) sewed myself a bag organiser and a top.
mosaic for blog


I’m still pushing on with my Bohus cardigan. I finally got the waist decreases to work out for me, and am just about to start the short row shaping for the bust. After that I can join in the sleeves and start on the colour work, which will be a relief from all this stocking stitch.

And the never ending crochet blanket of DOOOM is continuing in occasional fits and starts. It seemed a good idea when I started, to make son’s blanket full sized so he can use it for a long time, but I am regretting it now.

old year, new year

Today is such a lovely cold, bright New Year’s Day, perfect for our planned toddle up Mam Tor.  But as we are instead house-bound by a poorly child, I’m catching up on my on-line life after 10 broadband-less days.  Click on more to find out all about my yarn-related Christmas gifting, both given and received.

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bang for your buck

I can’t in all conscience claim that knitting your own things saves money.  Even with the cheapest nastiest baby-melt you’d be struggling to make a jumper for less than you’d pay for a new one in Primark.   And let’s not dwell on the economics of sock yarns.  But when it comes to gift-giving, knitting makes your money go further with the addition of your time and skill and lurv *.   Some things I have given to people recently ….

Owlie Owlings
owlings1owlings detailowlings3

pattern: Owlings by Kerrie James
yarn: Green Eyed Monsters GEM Squirrel in owlie-brown
needles: 3.25 mm bamboo dpns

Made for my sister, with some very gorgeous squishy yarn that lovely Kate dyed to the perfect greyey-brown for me.

Green Fluorescent Jellyfish
gfp jellyfish, for Karlgfp jellyfish, for Karl
pattern: Juvenile Sea Nettle by Hansi Singh
yarn: Rowan Pure Wook DK in Cloud and Cedar; Bernat Glow-in-the-Dark Green Glow

Made for my dear friend and unofficial chemistry tutor, because last year’s Nobel Prize for Chemistry was awarded for work on green fluorescent protein, originally extracted from jellyfish (and yes, someone has made green fluorescent sheep so all-natural glow-in-the-dark yarn should be on the market soon).

Tasteful House-Warming Gift
loo roll loo roll cover with tasteful doillyloo roll loo roll cover with tasteful doilly
pattern: Toilet Paper Roll and Kitschy Doily by Denise Plourde

*At least I fondly imagine this is so (and ignore any nagging thoughts in those wee small hours that my nearest and dearest dread unwrapping the next ‘soft’ present I give them).

tense? me?

I wordled my blog feed
wordle - tension!

But now I have recalculated my tension issues, checked my workings with maths guru at knit-night, and restarted my decimal.  Meanwhile, while I was fell out with my decimal I finished my Owlings instead.
pattern: Owlings by Kerrie James (available as a free ravelry download)
yarn: Artesano Ltd Inca Cloud shade 053 Damson
needles: 3.25 mm

The little owl cables are so cute!
owlings detail

I’ve been here and I’ve been there

in me Joy Division oven gloves

Joy Division oven gloves
pattern: make large mittens in thick black yarn; embroider approximation of Unknown Pleasures album cover in thinner white yarn (please note,  purely ceremonial, I wouldn’t recommend putting your fingers in the fire with them on)
Joy Division oven glovesJoy Division oven glove

And why would anyone make such things?  To wear to the Half Man Half Biscuit gig on Friday, of course.  And I’m not the only one.  See you there, RubbishKnitter!

the inevitable knitting blog post-Christmas Christmas gifts special

Now that Christmas is over and most gifts distributed to their intended recipient I can at last show off the things I’ve been working on for months.  I actually started knitting for Christmas back in the summer (that was my excuse for slacking off studying to knit –  it wasn’t slacking off it was getting ready for Xmas).

As this is going to be long and picture heavy, I’m using the fold so click on ‘more’ if you want to wade through everything my friends and relashuns got for Christmas (apologies for some poor quality pictures due to grabbing last minute shots before wrapping)

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Evenstar Gloves

Evenstar Gloves
I’ve now knitted a second pair of these, and written up the pattern as I’ve gone along.  There are some minor changes from the originals, but the finished glove is pretty much the same. Click here to download the pattern pdf (updated 15 May 11, download now includes chart).  As usual, please note that some rights are reserved and in particular that no commercial use is permitted.

29 January ’10: this pattern is now also available as a free ravelry download

29 August ’10: a chart is now available for the cable pattern, thanks to the very wonderful geneticsgirl click for chart

15 May ’11: pdf download now includes geneticsgirl’s chart; pattern also now available in Italian, very many thanks to ravelry user Ekeloa for the translation

evenstar detail

These long, fingerless gloves were originally created during our Lord of the Rings extended editions watch-a-thon, and are inspired by Arwen as I imagine her from the books.  The beautiful silvery-blue yarn made me think of starlight and of the Evenstar of her people.

You will need 2 x 50g Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK in shade 008 (pattern uses approx 170 m of yarn) and a set of 3.25 mm dpns (or smaller/larger to adjust glove size).  The finished glove fits my traditionally-built arms (wrist = 21 cm around) and the arm measures approx 12 cm to the wrist.

The thumb is made using Elizabeth Zimmerman’s ‘thumb trick’; if you need more information on this see Knitter’s Almanac or this photo-tutorial from A Kitten Knits.

I’m still new to pattern writing so please let me know if there are any errors or problems.

Evenstar Gloves

my first flip-tops

I made my first pair of flip-top mittens back in May but couldn’t post about them earlier.  I mistakenly thought the recipient’s birthday was in August, but it actually wasn’t until October, so these have been sitting in the FO box for a while.  They are for a trainee primary school teacher; I thought they’d be good for playground duty, so she can keep her fingers warm most of the time but still be able to pick things up and take down names.
tropical flip top mittens, for Topsy
Pattern: based on Broad Street Mittens by Janis Cortese (from knitty.com)
Yarn: Zwerger Garn Opal 4-fach / 4-ply, colour Doctor Fish
Needles: 2.5 mm (3 mm for bottom half of flip-top) bamboo DPNs

And by coincidence, when I went button shopping Abakhan had these super-cute Doctor Fish that match perfectly
tropical mittens button

What I like about the Broad Street pattern is, it makes a really nice pair of convertible mittens. The I-Cord loop on the top is particularly cute. I made mittens in 4 ply sock yarn using 2.5 mm needles and ended up with a pair that are a little snug on my big-girl hands but fit the recipient perfectly.

What I don’t like about this pattern: normally I wouldn’t criticise a free pattern, I think it’s great that people share their ideas and designs and for free patterns, I can cope with doing a bit of filling in the gaps / interpretation / interpolation myself (and I know my own pattern attempts are far from perfect). But this is a Knitty pattern and it’s not of the standard of pattern writing I’ve come to expect from Knitty. Some of the instructions are incomplete, and the hand waving ‘reverse for other mitten’ is OK for an experienced knitter but not helpful for a beginner.

So maybe one day I will write up my own convertible mittens pattern …. including the new(?) way of adding the flip-top bit I used. I wanted to make the stitches from the back continue into the the top, instead of going back and picking them up later (with a view to being able to incorporate some patterning in later mitts) so tried making extra stitches. I’m pretty pleased with the result, almost seamless. Am not going to claim an unvention (yes I did read EZ on holiday) as I’m sure this has been done before.
mitten top