Last week, it was just plain cold, with hard freezes during the night and not warming up much above freezing during the daytime. I have to keep my heater thermostat set at 68 F(20 C), or my gas bill is higher than giraffe’s ears. My knitting nook is right in front of a sliding glass door, and drapes are not very good insulation. (I’ve seriously considered getting a piece of hard foam insulation, cutting it to size and sticking it behind the drapes — I may yet do it.) Not withstanding that I have a lap robe that makes it quite cozy for most of my body, my hands got really cold sitting and knitting.
A quick search on Ravelry coughed up a free pattern for a plain vanilla set of fingerless mits. Rooted around in my stash and found a ball of “Unforgettable” yarn in the rather flamboyant colorway of “Parrot,” which straddled the fence between a DK weight and a worsted weight yarn, got the 1.5 mm needles out of my ChiaoGoo sock set, and I was in business. Um. . . no. Whoever wrote the pattern must have been tiny. No way I was getting mitts from the pattern as written onto my paws. Went up three needle sizes and that did the trick. She only had a little bit of ribbing at the cuff and around the base of the fingers, but I wanted much more ribbing than that. Played around with the pattern and got something I liked. The colors are brass band loud, and there are enough different colors in that particular colorway that the two mitts look like they came from different balls of yarn, but no matter. These are just proof of pattern. I’ll be passing them along to my BFF who has Raynaud’s syndrome.
Yesterday, I had to be out and about (got up at oh-god-thirty to get my hair washed so it could air dry before I had to be where I had to be at 8:00 ye gods! o’clock a.m.). Since there were waiting rooms involved, I took the mitts. (I always like to have a portable project on the needles just for waiting rooms, standing on line, long car rides, etc.) On the way home, it occurred to me that I had been a good girl all last week, so I stopped by Joanne’s to discover they had some Serenity Sock Weight yarn on sale for $2.29 a skein! It’s 50% merino wool, 25% bamboo and 25% nylon, so this is going to be a test case to see if I can get away with merino. The Violas colorway was the best of a poor choice of colors, but at that price, who cares. Anyway, it’s more of a mulberry purple, rather genteel, actually, and I like it well enough. I should have the test mittens finished tomorrow. (Just to be bipartisan, I stopped by Michael’s as well, and they were having a buy 3, get 1 free sale on all their yarn, whence the blue yarn.)
Deathflake is on temporary hold. I have a 22-inch head, and it’s really too tight. Because of the hem, this hat tends to fits a little snuggly without the color work, and I think the color work is definitely not helping with the fit. I’m going to go ahead and finish it — and then find some kid who likes it as much as I do and give it away. I’ve got enough yarn to do another one. This time, I’m doing the internal ribbing on a US4(3.5 mm), and going up to a US6(4.0 mm) on the body, and I’m also upping the cast-on by about 10 stitches This should make it fit much better. Otherwise, I was quite happy with the way the colorwork turned out. I am definitely sold on using the Turkish cast-on and two circular needles to start these toboggan hats. Makes the hemming so much faster and easier when the stitches you’d have to pick up from a provisional cast on are already on a needle. This project illustrates one of the things I like about knitting. You learn something with every project. You’re always perfecting your craft.
Even though it doesn’t fit me, Deathflake still makes me giggle every time I look at it. Going to show it off at knitting group tonight along with my Ilisidi shawl and probably work on finishing the mitts and/or winding purple yarn into balls. I need to finish that second pair of knit mitts. It’s supposed to cool down again next week.
I may have mentioned that I have naturally curly hair. It used to be blond, but it’s changed both color and texture as I’ve aged, and I’ve just let it. I prefer to wear it really long but with the health problems that plagued me last year, I cut it very short and kept it short to cut air drying time. (I do not blow dry or use a curling iron on my hair. It’s so fine that the heat just eats it up and the ends split terribly.) Now that some of my health issues have resolved, I’ve been letting it grow out and it’s about 3 inches long now. There’s this lock of hair right at the crown of my head that’s just ferociously curly and refuses to lie down. I’m just — Whatever. It’s clean, it’s combed, deal with it.