Friday, January 29, 2010

Done –and Begun!

So the Blackjack socks are done! (and finished!) And ready to wear.

They are pretty enough, but nothing special. Special socks tend not to get worn for a while (I still haven’t worn the passionate purple petal socks yet... soon, but not yet!) Not so special socks get admired and fondled for a much shorter time, and the blackjack socks are nothing special.

I tried, after finishing them to work on the tam.

I think I have to frog back to the ribbing and start again. My count is off—(now that I finally have a chart big enough to work with—I can’t work Row 1 of chart 1—and have it come out right.

Of course I shouldn’t be doing work like that at night anyway—I just go brain dead as the sun sets... (And that is way too early in the winter).

So instead, I went to rummage for my next subway project (and meanwhile fermenting is my Ravelympics project) –and while all the sock yarn was calling out Me! Me! Me next!—and some, like the lovely indigo yarn that Kelly dyed for me was even being listened too… Then I heard a soft Please from some worsted weight yarn.

Months ago I decide this yarn was going to be a pair of fingerless gloves, and well its time has come! --see it here still in a twisted skein--

So the skeins got divide, and the design process got started.

For me, it most often starts with the yarn.

The prime yarn here is the hand painted skein of ArtYarn superwash merino.

It is beautiful—but I only have the single skein (and I got it in a swap, just the one!) and it’s a smallish skein (109 yards/50 gms).

Is that enough for a pair of fingerless glove? Maybe—but. To be sure, a solid or two—to co-ordinate. I have both the a raspberry and the grape-- So I have choices. And I have some white of the same yarn, too—but I don’t think I want to use the white. The Raspberry and grape are another machine washable wool –not merino, but still very soft. (They are in fact, Mode Dea machine washable wool)

So now the plan or design begins to come together.
This hand painted yarn, and another yarn (or will it be yarns!?) will become fingerless gloves.

Now—how to work the yarns.
Stripes? Chevrons? Solid body, with lacy cuffs or ruffles worked with the hand painted?

Tentatively, the plan was a side placket, and cuff worked in lace, using the hand painted yarn, and the solid yarn making up the bulk of the glove.

Time to hit the stitch dictionaries—I found lots of laces I liked –but none quite worked—they were too big, (and since this is worsted weight, and the lace would be big just based on the yarn…) or they were small and pretty, but would have been hell to miter—(and of course the idea was a placket edge, a mitered corner, and lace cuff.)

So I just turn the pages. This was nice, and that was nice, and then suddenly—the perfect pattern appeared. It’s not at all what I originally had in mind—but there it was-- the perfect stitch pattern! (You'll have to wait till Monday (most likely) to see it!)

It’s not written for working in the round, But it is very suitable. The pattern repeat is every 3 R’s—if worked flat, it would be R3, R6, R9—or alternately worked on the right side and wrong side—a PITA. But worked in the round? Not an issue—and since its mostly stocking knit—changing to knitting in the round is pretty simple (knit rounds, not alternately knit and purl)

It’s simple (I don’t want anything too complex for the subway!) It has the potential to look smashing with hand painted yarn—and finally—I haven’t seen it used recently (or for that matter, ever!)--though, things being what they are, I expect to see it the the spring issue of some magazine--It is, a very spring like pattern.

The single disadvantage is that it is a directional stitch. So unlike most fingerless gloves, mine will be worked from the fingers to the cuff. I am not (nor had I ever planned to) making finger holes. These fingerless gloves are just going to be tubes with a small thumb gusset –quick and easy.

These will be a quick project—they are being knit on size 6(4mm) needles—Huge compared to my usual subway socks projects knit on size 2’s.

And there are commensurably, with the bigger yarn, bigger needles and larger gauge; fewer stitches (40 or perhaps 44,) not 60 as there would be for socks.

And there is less shaping—thumb gussets are the only shaping required—which is significantly less than even the simplest heel.

I’ve already cast on. (And now am faced with the question—do I work the hand painted yarn as MC (do I have enough?) Or do I work the hand painted as the CC? (Will that be a waste of the hand painted and leave me with yards and yards of unused yarn—but not nearly enough yards to do anything else with?)

I am off to Ravelry –I’ll check out some other fingerless gloves and get an idea of the yardage requirements. And then—Off I go!


gayle said...

Fingerless mitts take a lot less yarn than you'd think. Enjoy the hand painted and let it shine!
I love the design phase of a project. So much so, that I often never finish the project itself, as I move off to start designing something else...

Diane said...

You have a cool blog. I found you on you tube and have been using your vids along with others to learn more about knitting. I especially like your vids because you explain things very clearly.

I am a new knitter. By the way, I like your socks and hope to eventually learn to knit socks. For now it is just knitting scarves and learning to be consistent with my being too tight and then too loose and back to tight, to just right...etc. Well thank you for your posts and for educating us mortals.