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1  Fair-gyle mittens in Knitting: Completed Projects by mstelena on: January 16, 2010 04:56:25 PM
I was inspired by the Vespergyle mitten pattern ( http://exercisebeforeknitting.com/vespergyle-mittens/ ), but here in Minnesota, it's just too cold for fingering weight yarn mittens.  So, I adapted the pattern for worsted weight wool instead.

It's my first 'major' stranded knitting project (only a couple of hats before that) and I'm pretty happy with them. Smiley

The original pattern can be uploaded (for free) from the url listed above. 

For my mittens, I did the following:
I used Patons Classic Wool in bright red and 'mercury' (dark grey).
Knit two at once on one size 4 (3.5mm) needles for the body of the mittens, size 1.5 (2.5mm) for the cuff.

I cast on 50 stitches and knit the cuff in K1 P1 rib for about 2.5 inches.
For the body color pattern, I used the center 23 stitches of the original 'argyle', plus one stitch (of the contrasting color) on each side (25 stitches for each side of the  mitten).

I also used a gusset style thumb instead of the 'afterthought' thumb in the original pattern.  I 'made one' between the border stitches on the first row, then increased the thumb gusset by 2 stitches (placed adjacent to the border stitches, on the thumb side of the gusset) every other row until I had 19 gusset stitches for the thumb (which are then placed on scrap yarn until the rest of the mitten is done).

I knit 47 rows of the pattern (counting from the first row after the cuff) , then decreased  one stitch on each side of the mittens (4 stitches per round) for the last 8 rows.  This gave me a more rounded mitten than the original (because I prefer round mittens) This leaves a total of 18 stitches per mitten, which was finished off by grafting with a Kitchener stitch.

For the thumb, I picked up the 19 stitches, plus one where the seams met, for a total of 20 stitches.  When the thumb was long enough, I decreased by:
Round 1: K4, K2tog, repeat
Round 2: K 3, K2tog, repeat
Round 3: K2, K2tog, repeat (8 stitches remain)
Cut yarn, run through all stitches, weave in ends.

Then I used the remainder of the yarn from the two skeins to do another pair, reversing the colors.  Yes, there was enough. Smiley 

Much fun, and now I'm addicted to stranded knitting.  Oh, and my hands are toasty warm. Smiley
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2  Re: Small Destash/buy nothing round 3 gallery! in The Swap Gallery by mstelena on: July 08, 2009 03:38:37 PM
After I got home from the grocery store, I stopped by to pick up my mail and...I received a package from Gamemom42

I wish I had checked my mail before hitting the grocery store, as you can see, she made me TWO kick-butt tote bags. 

One is black (kindof a dark grey/black print) with a red pocket, the other is black with matching red trim.  These will be very well-used (I have been trying to bring all my own bags to the store with me over the last year. These are MUCH cooler than the ones I've been using).
Oddly enough, if you can believe it, I have some of BOTH of those fabrics in my stash.

You'll also see three catnip mice perched on the bags.  And here is "Pete" doing some 'quality control testing'.

Shortly after, she gave it a 'bear hug' and started kicking it with her back feet.  It gets the kitty-seal-of-approval.

Not pictured were some 'extras'... two crochet magazines (and yes, I found a couple of patterns i'll most likely make), and several small packages of beads (I've already got plans for some of them).

Thank you SO much Gamemom42.  Your package truly rocks!
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3  Re: OTT 21 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by mstelena on: March 31, 2009 06:56:51 PM
FINALLY got my butt around to posting photos...

From thanate, a lovely, hand-sewn and handmade mini-book.  I'm someone who tends to misplace things, so she put heavy-duty magnets on the back.  (It looks black, but it's a deep blue).  

And, on the inside, a recipe for VERY decadent brownies, and recycled paper, so I can add things to the other pages.  I especially like the elastic braid, which keeps the book closed OR open to the right page. Wink

Very cool, it's on my fridge right now (if only there were a place in my car to stick it..)

Thank you thanate!  I really like it!
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4  Re: Forest Friends Round 3 Swap Gallery in The Swap Gallery by mstelena on: March 13, 2009 06:19:17 AM
Since my partner (Lolly_Trolley) has had computer issues, I'm posting a photo of the package I sent her.

The notecards and stickers are 'extras' that I didn't craft myself.  Otherwise, there is an 'owlet' and hedgehog ami, a tote bag with a cross stitched hedgehog (lots of hedgies in this swap!), a cross-stitched keychain, a dragonfly biscornu, and a tiny crocheted butterfly bookmark.

Funny story... I made a butterfly biscornu about 6 months ago.  I used the same pattern (which I modified a lot for both of them) and it 'disappeared' when it was 3/4 of the way stitched together.  Either the dog or the cat got it... I'm assuming it was the dog (since no trace was left...I think she ate it!)

Now when I leave my work, I put it in a snap-top bin!
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5  Re: Forest Friends Round 3 Swap Gallery in The Swap Gallery by mstelena on: February 19, 2009 07:38:32 AM
I received from Lolly Trolley.

The first thing I saw made me do a happy-dance... and then I saw he had a little friend!

I've SERIOUSLY had hedgehogs on the brain lately.  Now, I just have to put them high enough on my shelf so the cat and dog can't get to them (not an easy task... they are both also very interested). Did I mention she hand-dyed the hedgies herself?

Then I pulled out the rest of the package...

A dragonfly small purse/bag (which I also love) and a dragonfly/leaf shaped needle holder (I've been meaning to make myself a needle holder for years....) that will also be well-used and loved.

And, some dragonfly extras...

Two dragonfly pins, a package of dragonfly beads, an iron-on (I've got an idea for that already) and a carved dragonfly bead.

Thank you SOOOo much! I love it all!
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6  Re: 7 Words you cant say on Craftster Gallery! Show us the S*** in The Swap Gallery by mstelena on: February 10, 2009 08:13:12 AM
Received from schnerby

A 'your momma' wall hanging (which will be hanging in my guest room, the one my mom stays in when she visits)
a wrist warmer (how'd you know I needed one of those??)
a crochet(knit??) necklace and bracelet (yes, naughty words there too)
a group of handmade naughty cards (very fun!)
and a couple of extras: flower and star patches and cupcake puffy stickers.

and, the coolest thing (I almost forgot!!)

a wood cup that she turned for me.  It's subtle, but it says 'fuck' in braille on the side. LOVE IT!!!!!!!  Thank you SO much!

(I'm still crafting yours... but they will be in the mail next week/on time)

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7  Re: Bookmark Swap Gallery in The Swap Gallery by mstelena on: February 10, 2009 08:01:23 AM
SOOoo sorry about taking so long to post photos (I left my uploading cable in California and had to order a new one)

From left to right...
From psyche, aada, HGolightly09, and teapotdnky

If you can't tell, in my questionaire, I said I liked naughty/erotic things.  It isn't apparent from the photo, but the third one (from HGolightly09) had little peep-show windows that opened up... so the nude inside could be discreet.  Sadly, the last one (from teapotdnky) didn't arrive in one piece, but thankfully all the pieces are there (and thanks to the photo she posted earlier) it's an easy enough fix.

LOVE them all! Thank you VERY much to everyone!
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8  Re: Discworld - Hub to Rim! Gallery in The Swap Gallery by mstelena on: February 10, 2009 07:56:07 AM
I received from piaochong... a discworld leather bracelet, Luggage (sadly didn't make it intact, but I'm going to have my son work on putting it back together, because it's SO cute), and a beautiful silk (?) scarf.
(I'm SO surprised the framed cross stitch I sent her arrived in one piece...I can't believe the glass didn't break/crack!)
Thanks much, I love the package!
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9  Re: Watch the ball drop...altoids tin swap in The Swap Gallery by mstelena on: December 18, 2008 05:38:20 PM
I got home today and found a note on my door.  I figured I'd have to go pick up a package, but NO, they delivered it and were just telling me where to look for it.

First, a little background.  In my survey, I said I like 'dark/twisted and inappropriate'.  3toedsloth wrote a note saying... she thought about a New Year's Eve stripper.

I laughed like mad!  I LOVE IT!!!  As you can see, she lost a nipple in shipping (ouch!) and we couldn't find it.  Easily enough fixed... I might make her a set of pasties (with tassles perhaps).

and inside...

purple stitch markers and beads, a creepy eyeball, a plastic baby, a jumping cat, a zombie and a fish that tells fortunes.  Oh yeah, and a frog that, when you squeeze him, he makes a bubble out his mouth (and you can see what he ate for lunch).  My son and I took turns squeezing him and there was much rejoicing.

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10  Re: Thanksiving Traditions in Thanksgiving by mstelena on: November 17, 2008 03:16:26 PM
It's a cross between Thanksgiving and Christmas/Yule/etc...

The weekend before Thanksgiving, a big group of my friends and I get together for a weekend of baking holiday treats.  It's a bit like a cookie exchange, but we rent a kitchen/hall and all do it together.  We usually have around 20 'participants' (one 'participant' is sometimes more than one person), each making a dozen treats for each 'participant's share'.

Since some of us are over-achievers... some of us make several items to share.  Last year, for me, that meant 20 dozen pizelles, 20 dozen homemade caramels, and 20 dozen of whatever else I made (I forgot). 

One participant's 'share'... filled two large Rubbermaid totes (roughly 4 grocery bags) full of treats.

This is a small part of a 'share'...

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