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1  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Fair-gyle mittens 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
2  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / SCORE! on: March 06, 2009 11:45:19 AM
Beelisty posted a thread about dying one own's cross stitch fabric.  The idea sounded like fun to me, but since I've been using up all my stash, I had to go to the store for some more.

I printed out my 40% off coupon for Joann fabrics (figuring I'd buy some evenweave linen for a special project) and headed off to the store.

When my son and I got there, I told him to find me the 'cheapest fabric' for the dying experiment.  We poked around for a bit, then he said, "hey, how about this", and pointed to a couple of hooks at eye level (his eye level... he's about 6 feet tall...).

Little red 'clearance' tags.  Sweet!  I love clearance. 

In the basket:  two packages of black aida, one package of forest green, one package of navy blue (all in the 12x18" size), four packages of black aida (18x20" size), and two packages of evenweave linen. 

Roughly $45 worth of material... my cost... ten bucks plus tax.

Since I bought ten packages of fabric (and it'll probably take me years to go through it all), I figured it was probably best I not buy any more to dye.  So I went home and dyed some wool yarn instead(I had some pastel pink wool in the stash... I hate pastel pink... I'm not sure how it'll turn out exactly, but anything is an improvement).
3  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / Looking for thigh high, fishnet pattern/s on: March 03, 2009 06:23:58 PM
I've gotten it into my head that I want to make some thigh-high fishnet (or other 'open' patterned) stockings.  I'm thinking fine thread and a tiny hook (not yarn or opaque stockings).

I've thought about trying to make up a pattern as I go along...but I'll be much more motivated to work from a pattern.

Does anyone know where I might be able to find some patterns? 
4  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Stitchalongs / Bats and Butterflies on: November 13, 2008 05:58:01 AM
While surfing on Tantes Zolder/MyAuntsAttic, I found these two designs and fell in love:



I'm still brainstorming what I'll make with the finished stitching.  I'd like to see other people's ideas too.
5  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Hello Kitty pistol-cosy on: November 12, 2008 12:40:27 PM
I think this is the right forum for this... they don't have a 'crafting for evil and not good' category...lol

My guy and I do a lot of target shooting.  The pistols I have are all relatively old, and all needed new cases for when I transport them.

Since my daughter (peace-loving vegetarian) gives me grief about them (and I tend to like things that are 'just wrong'), I figured I'd get back at her by taking the cutest, saccharine-sweet image possible, and sewing a couple of gun-cases with it. 

It was a toss-up between Hello Kitty and the Care Bears.  Since I'm the LAST person to like the color pink, of course the pink kitties won out.

My guy friends (and firearms freaks, including a few police officers) think these are hilarious.  Especially since I truly hate Hello Kitty and all things girley and pink.  My daughter was somewhat extremely less enthusiastic. 

The pink fabric is flannel, the black is twill.  Between the layers, I put a thin layer of synthetic batting.  The edges are double-fold bias tape, and they close with Velcro.

It's good fun to go to the range, put Hello Kitty on the stand, and watch the macho-guys (who don't know me) snicker to themselves.  It's even better when they see that I'm a better marksman than they are. (But, I'm evil like that)
6  COOKING / Dessert / Faux Girl Scout cookies on: November 12, 2008 12:20:04 PM
A couple of months ago, I got on a Girl Scout cookie kick.  The sad thing was, I didn't know of anyone still selling cookies at the time. So,  I figured I'd make my own... how hard could it be?

The first batch I made were these, a knockoff of the Samoas/Carmel DeLights.  Shortbread base, homemade caramel, toasted coconut, and melted semi-sweet chocolate.

I made most of them with a 1 1/2" round cutter.  But then I thought... I've got these 4" fluted tartlet pans... they'd make great cookie cutters.

The cookies turned out great.  Word to the wise: a 4" homemade Samoa is probably more calories than you'll want to eat in a day. 

I made some 'thin mints' and 'tagalongs' too, but they weren't nearly as photogenic. Smiley

Oh, that's a half-sheet pan... so you can get an idea how big they were.
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