Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Secret Knitting Revealed

aka The Accidental Knitting Spree

Step 1: Decide not to knit Christmas gifts.

Step 2: Have oh so talented sister (OMG, I hadn't looked at her site in a while - isn't that fabulous???) make an oh, so reasonable request.  You see, she gets cold hands.  And she's a flutist.  Which means she needs finger dexterity (which standard "fingerless" mitts tend to hamper), and a colour she can wear in the orchestra pit.  Which would be black.

Enter lambswool & angora fingerless mitts.  No troubles.

Not being one to leave well enough alone, I added my own personal experience - you have fingerless mitts on already, and you are heading outside.  Seems silly to take them off to add regular gloves - and having tried to shove mine into isotoners, I thought  how cute it would be to have mitten toppers for the fingerless mitts.

Aren't they cute?  Obvious difficulties of taking pictures of the side of  your hand notwithstanding.  These were a little more work - one, because they are surprisingly bigger than the fingerless ones (well, not surprising when you see the pics, but they were nicely balanced in my head before I started!), and two because I made up the pattern as I went along.  Well, I had made up the fingerless mitts pattern too, but did that a while ago, so it was a lot smoother sailing.  Except for the making them match bit  - somebody make me count rows on the first one so I can match without pulling back three times, will ya?  Somehow it's really difficult to accurately gauge which row I did the M1 on at the base of the thumb  ;).

So far so good.  (Well, I admit it was already Dec 12th-ish, and a bit late for sending knitwear by post, but still good!)  I was set.  No one else expected anything (ok, even A didn't expect anything - my family is too nice for that), and in fact, my little sister hates clutter and told me long ago not to give her anything unless "it screamed R" to me.

Then I did my weekly perusal of Knitting Pattern Central and what did I see?

Bike Helmet Earmuffs for my serious mountain biker, ecoconscious, also chilly sister.  Reclaimed yarn, free pattern, what's there for her not to  love?  Finished just under the wire ("the wire" being the day we picked her up from the airport - so I guess I did have a couple of days of wriggle room, really!).

And the reason for the delays, besides the lack of planning?  Well flutist sis thought the fingerless mitts might come in handy for other instrumentalists.  And I crunched numbers, and figured that making them up might pay me enough (for now) for my time, so she put the offer out there... and I got a double order!  First pair went swimmingly.  Second pair... well.  After ripping out the second mitt twice for the whole "matching" thing ranted about earlier, I lost my project bag.  Two Harmony needles and that mitt.  Much wailing and gnashing  of teeth later, I pull out a matching second-hand, short aluminium circular needle with angled tips - so not the way to do magic loop.  Which of course induced a pretty big gauge change.  Which means #3 mitt doesn't  resemble #1 mitt.  Which means making  #4 mitt to match #3. 

All worked out in the end.  Then I found the project bag (yes, maddenly frustrating, except that I was so happy to have found the Harmony needles, I didn't care).  So I was back to having 1.5 men's fingerless mitts.  Hmmm.  There's a man in this house.  Who has mentioned the liking of fingerless mitts... Right-o, one pair finished for DH!

And didn't I show him that lovely red angora sweater while we were in VV, suggesting I could make him a hat out of it?  The same reclaimed yarn I just made my sister a pair of mitts out of?  And didn't he just lose track of the two hats he has with earflaps???
Lavish Flap Hat . You see how I get myself into these messes??  And then in the end, how happy I am to have ended up there?


kbenco said...

I love your Christmas knitting story. You have one lucky family!

PurpleSage said...

Totally agree!!!

I love the picture of the hat in the Advent wreath!

That fingerless mitt/cover mitt pair is pure genius! The button closure is so clever!