Saturday, January 24, 2009

Mitts and a hat!

After a bit of a hiatus because of one thing and another, I managed to get some knitting time this past week. And there was much rejoicing.

First, an online friend of mine sent me, literally, a bagfull of yarn from Elann. All she asked in return was that I knit a pair of fingerless mitts for her.

So, I combed the web, or at least the Ravelery Pattern Pages, and found a couple of patterns. The thing is, she's allergic to wool, and most of the yarn she sent has wool in it. But there were two balls of a cotton-linen blend, in dark red, that does not. And one of gray tweedy silk.

I wasn't sure that I could make a pair of mitts from one ball of yarn. So I decided to make a "test" pair from the red, even though I knew by then (because I asked) that she really wanted the tweedy gray. See, I have never seen her, and I have no idea at all how large her hands are.

So I got those started a week ago, and finished them on Monday. And it only took a single ball of yarn! They came out very nicely, I thought. But much too small for anyone in this household. They drew quite tightly across the palm, and I wasn't sure that it wasn't a design flaw in the pattern. So I sent them to work with Skyia, and one of her coworkers could wear them very well. (Whew)

Which meant that they needed to be washed and blocked. I checked the label very carefully, and it said, "Machine wash, gentle, cold water. Dry flat"

So I cheerfully tossed them into the machine, on the gentle cycle, with cold water.

And they shrank!

Before, I could get my hand in, no trouble, they just pulled across the palm. After, it was all I could do to force my hand in at all. But force I did, because I wasn't about to give them up. (They are quite pretty, even if they'll never fit me. I'm thinking of making a pair my size, though, and Michael has already told me that he wants one. they are that good looking.)

I think it'll be okay. They are drying now. I'll take pictures, so I can post them, and then I'm sending them off to my friend in California. If they fit her, I'll see if I can get her to take photos of her hands to show you. If not, she's going to send them back, and I'll give them to a preteen I know.

And then, Thursday, I made a hat.

It was Skyia's birthday on Friday, so I got out the last of the purple fuzzy yarn that I made her mitts out of, last winter, and decided there was enough left for a hat. I had her choose a pattern, went to the yarn store and bought big needles, and made her the 5 Hour Hat from Dyabolical Yarns.

Even with size 13 needles, though, I couldn't make gauge; and I decided that I didn't want the yarn any looser than that. So I added a few stitches around, and a few rows to the crown, and got a hat that Skyia said fit "perfectly."

It only took about four and a half hours, too, even with the extra knitting.

I'll post pictures when I get them.

In the meantime, it feels strange to be making only one of something. When I think about it, I've never done that before. Everything else I've ever knitted, in the nearly a year that I've been knitting, was one of a pair!

I think I'll make another hat, just so it feels like I've finished. :D