Fall is just around the corner, which means kicking the knitting into high gear for the Cherokee Heights Arts Festival and Holiday presents! When I started my stash busting/inventory building this summer I had a few skeins of Malabrigo’s Silky Merino that were perfect for making some fingerless gloves. I was knitting with size US5 needles and found that after blocking, I loved the lighter, looser fabric that the yarn creates, as well as the beautiful sheen and softness perfect for gloves. I fell in love with the combination and bought a number of other colors and can’t seem to stop!
The gloves above will mostly be given away as presents (except the teal pair which I made to match my fall sweater coat), but I’m making a few more pairs for the festival. I’ve found that I can get one and a half pairs of gloves from one skein, so I am combining the remnants of two colors to make a third pair. That’s a pretty good return for a moderately priced, but luxurious-feeling skein!
Much of this month has been spent stash-busting all the little partial skeins rolling around my bins and making up some different glove patterns. Above are most of the varieties that resulted. I’m currently working on a longer project, the Hitofude Cardigan, as a present. It is coming along nicely, but I kind of miss the much more instant gratification of fingerless gloves.
The stash-busting and arts festival inventory-creating has begun! I’ve pulled out all of those little balls of leftover yarn and have had the best time creating fun combinations of colors and textures. I can’t seem to stop making variations on striped gloves. Since these projects don’t take much yarn, I’ll be able to make a few more solid color pairs too. I don’t plan to stop for another week or two. We’ll see how many I can do!
This last weekend of April is a rainy one, but I have a quick round-up of my knitting progress for the month. My day job is still keeping me very busy, so knitting has been taking a back burner. I made the most progress on the Cuffed Zigzag Mitts revisions. The pattern was in good shape, so all I had to do was just add some charts and tweak the layout a bit. I also got to use my skein of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Mansfield Garden Party – a one-of-a-kind skein I picked up last year. It seemed like a good time to use it with all of the beautiful spring colors. It was so large that I was able to use it to make a final test pair of the gloves, a matching hat and another pair of gloves to send to my niece.
I also started working on the revision to the reversible rib hat pattern, but then got distracted by making a final piece to donate to the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art Yarn installation project. At the last free workshop there was a mountain of donated yarn to choose from. I found a huge hand-dyed skein that I couldn’t resist, so I am making a fan lace piece that works well with the nubby texture and shows off the color variations in an interesting way. It took me a few tries to land on the right pattern, but I’m pleased with how its turning out. I’m giving myself until the end of the week to get as far as I can and then I’ll bind it off and donate it even if I haven’t gotten through all the yarn. (It took me 2 hours to hand-wind a center-pull ball that felt like a bowling ball when I was done!)
I have also been enjoying a beautiful spring here. We’ve gotten a good amount of rain this year and it has yielded one of the more beautiful blooming seasons in recent memory. Here are a few pictures – the cherry tree is in my front yard and never lasts long enough!
I’m getting closer to the final pattern on these gloves! The revised button hole area looks a lot cleaner and the standard worsted weight seems to work well. I’ve started laying out the final instructions, but then I will make one more pair to test the instructions and make sure I didn’t transpose any of the information. I hope to release this pattern soon!
After finishing up the first pair of gloves, I jumped into a second pair to write down the instructions more completely. I used this beautiful Madelintosh Merino in Corsage. It reminded me of tulip tree blossoms in the spring. I really like this yarn and found the perfect buttons to use with it. After finishing the first one and starting the second, I decided to try doing the button hole section in standard stockinette on my third pair that I am working in a lighter worsted weight that I will use for my final measurements, etc. I like these a lot, but I think the button area will look a bit neater in the next version.
I’ve started working on my next pattern, which will be another fingerless gloves project. I’ve been working on iterations of these gloves for over a year and decided it was time to get it down on paper. I started out with the idea of making a glove with a ruched palm area. I liked how these looked, but decided to go further with the contrast in volume and explore both adding stitches and changing needle size to create these fun dandelion puff gloves. The volume in the palm makes them feel somewhere between a glove and a mitten and makes a nice pocket of warm air around your hand in the winter.
Unlike previous versions, I’ve reworked the cuff to button up the side. I’ve finished the first one and am working on the mirrored version for the other. It does take a little extra work to sew on the buttons, but picking them out is so much fun and they can really add a lot of personality!
I bought a few skeins of Malabrigo Silky Merino a while back and had to try them out on the new fingerless mitts pattern. Its interesting to see how the colors vary through the pattern. Some of the skeins also varied in texture a bit, but they all worked well with this pattern. It makes me want to try a few more of the colorways, but I’ll have to wait until I’ve worked through some more of my yarn stash. I’ve decided to work out the instructions from one of my previous fingerless glove experiments next which I call Dandelion Puff mitts, which will work with worsted weight. Look for updates soon!
Knitting has slowed down a bit this month, I’ve been catching up on some reading and smoothing out the wrinkles in some of the previous patterns I’ve released. I’ve been so focused on hats, that I wanted to do another fingerless mitt pattern and thought one matching the ZigZag Swirl hat would be fun.
The first prototype is pictured above (I actually frogged one before this that was almost complete, but I didn’t like the bottom cuff). I am knitting these from the top down and have already started a second version that refines a few points on this one. I have decided to enlarge the thumb section to double it over like the top and bottom to give it more weight and a finished edge. I am also going to reduce the flair at the bottom a bit. Look for more progress soon!