Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Santa's Mitts

I've been so busy doing things that I haven't had time to blog about doing them.

Most of them haven't been knitting (it's that time of year) but I did get the mitts for Santa done in time for him to wear them for the first big parade that he did, right after Thanksgiving.

I think they turned out rather well.

The finished mitts, unworn

He likes them a lot, they are warm, and the kids are as scared of him when he has them on over his white gloves. (I wondered if they'd work that way, since small children get hurt by people in white gloves aka doctors.)

The mitts, worn with gloves, modeled by Santa Himself


In order to get them, though, I had to do a lot of things I've never done before, like dye wool with food coloring. That was an adventure, all by itself.

See, when I looked at the knitting I'd done in the last post (was that two months ago! Oh dear! I'm so sorry!) I realized that I didn't really care for the colors much at all.

So I got on line, and started to look for the nice green and bright yellow-gold that I wanted. I couldn't find them. Not in Super Wash wool, anyway, and I needed super wash, because Santa sees a lot of kids, and kids get things kind of sticky. Santa's gloves need to be washed a lot, and it's much, much easier if they can be washed by tossing them in with whatever load I'm washing.

I did, however, find some very reasonably priced bare Superwash wool at Knit Picks. So I decided to get a couple of skeins, and dye some of it the colors I wanted, and use the rest as white.

When it came, I was absolutely delighted with it. It's the softest wool imaginable; not a bit harsh or scratchy, and really really nice to work with.

So the next weekend, I thought I'd go ahead and dye it, so I'd have the dry, colored wool to start knitting on the following Monday.

I divided it up, and soaked some in vinegar, according to the directions I'd found, and then dyed it with food coloring.

The green and yellow came out exactly the shades I wanted. The blue, not so much; but I liked the cobalt I'd purchased, so that was alright.

But I learned a very valuable lesson about not swishing the wool around while it's dying.

On that Monday, instead of knitting, I spent the day untangling wool. All. Day. Long. By the end of the day, though, it was all neatly made into Cakes, waiting to begin knitting the following weekend.

Which I did.

The knitting itself was great fun, and went quite well. I got the mitts done two Mondays, and a bit on one other day, to get them ready by the day Michael needed them. So about 2 and a half days of knitting to make the pair.

I haven't done any knitting since, though, because the last couple of weeks have been like that. More next Monday!