4.17.2014

Faux Thrummed Mitts FO (A Melange of Patterns)

Pattern: Classic Mittens by Purl Soho
Inspiration: These
Source: Purl Bee Blog
Yarn: Kertzer Worsted (Green), Remnant Worsted (Turquoise), Garnstudio Super Bulky (Stranded Blue)
Needles: Hand: 4.5mm, Cuff: 4mm
Start: January 20 Finish: January 26th, 2014

I "favourited" these some time ago.
  • 'Loved the cuff.  Provisional crochet cast on facilitating a tidy join to double the cuff over on itself before moving on to knit the hand.
  • 'Loved the k2,s1 pattern of the cuff itself.
  • 'Loved a version of it knit flat in worsted with super bulky yarn stranded to infer thrums.
And after knitting two sets of pointy finger tips with EZ I was up for something fully round.

So I hit the stash, grabbed the remnant turquoise, a single green ball of worsted I got as a freebie somewhere and some remnant Super Bulky from my 2 big blue sweaters (knit, worn, ripped, washed, re knit - man have I got my money's worth out of that yarn purchase!).

As you can imagine they flew off the needles and onto my hands where I quickly realized...

Faux thrums 
provide... 
Faux warmth!

They were better than a single layer of stockinette but not much. The doubled cuffs were toasty, my fingers quickly numb. They were big and round enough to easily add a layer underneath but I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed.

I am also not thrilled about the seam. The influence of the stranding worked close enough to the seams so as to make at least the pattern seamless made the mittens scream out "Seam's right here everybody!"

They look sloppy and awkward but with the pink mitred mitts underneath they saw a lot of wear and did their job of keeping my fingers from falling off in the -20ish wind chills I often endured as Hudson frolicked. They'll be off to the bath soon for summer storage but I'll be glad to dig them out again (hopefully) late next autumn.

At last night's DKC presentation Sally Melville gave a most entertaining talk on why knitting makes us happy. She cited many of the reasons with which we, as avid knitters, are familiar but beyond that asserted when we knit useful, wearable garments that fit well and look good on us we find the confluence of all the best things that knitting can provide for us, our families and even society as a whole.

It made me think of these mitts among all my pure wool sweaters, socks, cowls, scarves, hats etc. etc. - the pieces that literally made it possible for me to ensure Hudson never missed a single day of being out for at least a couple of hours of the brisk walking we both need.

I know people with big, young, athletic dogs who need and deserve at least an hour and a half of daily exercise who rarely got out for weeks on end because their owners felt it was "too cold".

It was COLD, it wasn't comfortable and we had to be careful but properly dressed and always moving - you can't just stand around in weather like that,  it wasn't so cold as to keep us inside and the poor dog from getting his proper exercise. (Or the dog's owner for that matter!). Without a doubt, the products of my knitting made dog ownership, Hudson's life and my own overall fitness all that much better this winter. I'm with 'ya Sally! 

4.16.2014

Mitered Mittens by Elizabeth Zimmerman FO

Pattern: Mitred Mittens by Elizabeth Zimmerman
Source: Knitter's Almanac (May)
Yarn: Biscotte and Cie (Yellow) Remnant Wool Worsted (Pink)
Source: Lettuce Knit (Yellow) Romni Wools (Pink)
Needles: 4mm dpn's
Start: September 12, 2013 Finish: January 21, 2014
Modifications: Omitted Pointed Fingertip for Squared Off Shape

This sunny morning with the yard covered in Spring snow it seems topical to post some springtime mittens.

"Spring"in Canada doesn't automatically mean high temperatures or an absence of snow. It is warm-er than the depth of winter and as today's sunshine demonstrates its our brightest time of year with powerful sun and no leaves on the trees to give any shade.

With bright sun yet still cool temperatures I'm inclined to want knits in my wardrobe that are warm but bright and maybe a bit whimsical after trying to stay seriously warm during the previous winter months. I've knit a few pieces to these specs in recent years and I enjoy having them in my "Spring" wardrobe but there was nothing along these lines among my mitts/gloves.

So I dedicated this gorgeous skein of Biscotte&Cie yarn in the aptly named colourway "Vitamine C" to a pair  of EZ's mitred mitts.
Their single layer of stockinette, while insufficient to fight a blast of winter is just the thing for this time of year.
A second pink pair followed quickly thereafter in remnant worsted before knitting any afterthought thumbs. (I really prefer a gusset thumb don't you? Not as easy to knit but they function so much better!)

The pink ones got snipped, "thumbed", finished and I think, within hours, worn way ahead of their "Spring time" purpose paired with the garter stitch dk weight ones as pictured below. The pink giving a nice added length at the wrist and of course warmth to the hands!
The narrow shape and squared off finger tips I substituted for EZ's pointed ones also make them perfect to layer together too. I love their strong equal tones visually holding each other at bay!
Although thumbs for the yellow pair followed shortly after the pink ones their sunny colour seemed a bit much. Now, though, their "moment" has arrived. They'll be perfect to wear downtown tonight to the DKC!
Happy Spring!

4.15.2014

Hudson's Spring "Do" FO

Walking around in public with a white, traditionally styled poodle means I'm often approached by dog groomers (probably wanting to get my business) These groomers generally lament that most, if not all their clients, request that their poodles NOT be clipped so as to look like poodles. I get that. I didn't really love their aesthetic but careful research nonetheless taught me the poodle breed is the exact right one for us, so that's what we got - and a white one to boot!

So I figure, I've got it, may as well flaunt it. Why pretend he's something other than he is so my family is quite used to seeing him "clean shaven" around his face feet and tail and they've watched with reserved acceptance as he's variously sported a moustache, short, shaved ears, been close cropped and covered in curls as well as fluffy to the max.

Last Friday, however, when the "troops" came home there was all out disgust at my latest efforts. My first attempt to "Set" a bonafide pattern - in this case, a modern take on the "Dutch" clip - a look that I understand was almost the universal poodle clip of the 1940's and 50's.

The modern version trends away from the super puffy legs used in those days to evoke traditional Dutchmen's Trousers but maintains the idea of the Dutchmans' "jacket" and "pants"...



The pattern is set by clipping lines according to the relative position of "landmarks" of the poodle's body - rib cage, hip bones, shoulders etc. then tweaking them to make the dog look like an ideal specimen - fooling the eye where necessary. Finally once its all set, the edges are bevelled using sheers and the overall length of the full sections hand scissored to 1" all over to give that signature poodle puff ball appearance.

Then you check for balance and symmetry not only as the dog stands but sits, lies down and moves.

 The impression should be that dog is squarely built, elegant, smart and well proportioned. 


In my  view, further to that, the dog should feel great all clean and free of his heavy winter "wear". I easily took >3" of length off his upper body. It kept him comfortable during hours of walking with nothing extra on but his collar while I was swathed in knits and down this past frigid winter. Now, though, one of the great things about the poodle is, we can "change" his outfit to something that better suits the season.

Just check out that poodle smile - whatever the others say, I know he feels good and he's happy. (BTW except sometimes right at the end he's generally pretty happy while I'm clipping him too - there's no place on earth where he gets more or better treats than when he's on the grooming table!)


Tonight at Obedience Class we'll see a couple of groomers who have poodles of their own - there will be scrutiny for me but liver and salmon treats for Hudson so probably more poodle smiles too!

Thanks for dropping by!