Finished Owls

So there Owls In Tree mittens are all done! And they are adorable. I must admit the pattern grew on me during the project^^ Not that I didn’t like it before, I just like it much more now. They were fun to do. I love the cuff with the edging, the latvian braid and the cuff chart. And of course the mitten chart in it self. Also I love the palm chart. It’s simple and very classic and makes the mitten more durable.

I wrote in the long post about the owls in tree mittens that I was trying to knit looser so all my mittens wouldn’t be size S/M women’s and it worked out! I have a tendency to knit very tight – and changing needles doesn’t seem to help a bit (Im strange!) so I used quite a lot of concentration to make myself knit looser throughout this project. I think I found a good flow in it so this experiment was a success.

Finished Owl In Tree Mittens. Pattern: Fact Woman from Mod Knits. Knit by: Anne Grove

Finished Owl In Tree Mittens. Pattern: Fact Woman from Mod Knits. Knit by: Anne Grove

I had a little trouble finding the time for blocking these mittens as I sunday: went to Copenhagen to teach a course in needle binding (for what must have been about 80 people – and two other teachers), monday: worked 8am to 8pm fixating and washing about 14 meters of banners I dyed last week and tuesday: worked from 9am-3pm cutting banners, overlocking sides and generally finishing it all up. So it totals to about 49 working hours in three days. Phew! I’m happy to start a fun and silly kids mitten now.

Oh and here is a little thing about how to finish up. You know those single stitches that just seems to disappear into your knit work? Well here is what I do to make them come out into the work again:

How I treat hiding stitches in colorknitwork.

How I treat hiding stitches in colorknitwork.

Mittenz with a set

While waiting for the sunlight to come out, so I can take a good picture of the finished Owl in Tree mitten, I give you Mittenz:

I wrote in the Either Or post a little tip about doing an simple and easy project alongside a very complicated one. Well Mittenz was my easy project. I often do this when I’m working with something complicated as I have moments I just need to knit – not think. These were in the poll alongside Either Or Mittens for the first round of Technical Time. They didn’t win or come close, but I had to try them out!

Mittenz. Pattern by Mariella Apadaco. Knit by Anne Grove.

The pattern is made by Mariella Apodaca and is available for free on her blog here. I love the pattern as it’s a mitten done a 100% in stockinette stitch AND it’s knit flat. This means it’s a nice project for the beginner and an easy one for an experienced, however not too boring for you to loose your interest. I’m quite into those where everybody can be in. The pattern is sized for child or small woman but can easily be accommodated for bigger sizes.

This mitten differs from traditionally knit mittens as it’s not only knit flat it’s also knit sideways. You use increase and decrease to shape thumb and fingertip and knit in garter stitch which makes the mitten have a ribbing effect and gives it a snug fit around the hand. So don’t be alarmed if you think it looks ‘skinny’ It’s intensional 😉

The Mittenz mitten not sewn together.

Her pattern is written out, row by row. Personally I prefer my patterns as short and cut to the bone so this is a bit too much for me. I normally write those patterns down in the abridged version, and this one didn’t take more space than an A5. Perfect for having in the bag with you on the go!

The material was Ragg-Strømpegarn from Hjerte Garn in variegated blues. A skein didn’t quite do it, so I have an almost full skein to use for something else. Any suggestions?

Mittenz

Notes and thoughts

1. When choosing your stitch markers (you need two) use two different from each other! I confused myself to begin with a lot because I had only one kind of stitch marker.
You are working flat so you are turning your work again and again and it’s easy to forget which marker is fingertip and which is thumb.

2. I found when sewing the mitten together it makes the nicest seam if you lie the work flat and sew it together rather than sow with back loop stitches.

Apodaca has more mittens knit sideways in a bit more complex version: Longway sideways mittens and Original sideways mittens. This, mittenz, is however the simplest version as you don’t have to make new stitches only cast off.

Winner of kids poll

Yep. The poll has been running for about a week now and it’s time for an announcement: The clear winner is Lobster Claws! These truly are fun and silly and will make both child and adult play. They just make you laugh. Bring in Dr. Zoidberg. ASAP!

Lobster Claws

The picture I posted was by Katie Boyette, from the book Wearable KnitWits.  But I have been having problems getting hold of this book. I don’t atm have the money to buy it off Amazon and the library lost their copy (and was of course very bad at communicating it) so I am pondering what to do now.

I am gonna do a lobster claw mitten but it’s just how. Do I try to copy the pattern from the picture (I’m not too fond of this)? Or do I find another lobster claw pattern? I found this one which I can purchase on ravelry. It’s from Morehouse Designs. It’s fun in a different way but still a lobster claw. Would you all be okay if I do this?

Lobster Clar substitute? Picture by n0nnahs on flikr.

Lobster Clar substitute? Picture by n0nnahs on flikr.

Poll for kids mitts

Yes! I have a month with a lot of work on the convention and the convention it self so I though a smaller project would be perfect so what is more perfect than kids mittens?! I can’t see what could be.

Kids kids kids

  1. Lined Sock Monkey mittens by Rachel Hooper. Published in From Ewe to You. Why: ” Caution: swinging from trees while wearing these mittens is completely optional and may result in injury….eating bananas while wearing them is ok though.”. Need I say more?
  2. Lobster Claw mittens by Katie Boyette. Published in the book Wearable KnitWits. Why: well…they are just weird and I imagine I would run around the living room playing Dr. Zoidberg! No other reason.
  3. Baby Selbuvotten by Amanda Bjørge. Published in Bjørge Knits Designs. Why: these are just beyond beyond cute! So tiny and so cute! The winter here still has a hold of Denmark and those small hands that naps outside needs warmth! Also it’s with a traditional Selbu star! And I could talk a bit about the Selbu tradition, which is very special.
  4. Kittens Mittens by Alyssa Lynough. Published in Alyoops! Why: these mittens are quite simple yet so sweet. Why I love them: When I was little I had a little kitten my mother knitted for me. It was in white and gray as far as I remember but it had the stripes just like this one …. and now I have a stripy tabby cat. Hana mittens! Also I would like to have mitten with stripes as I have a little technique up my sleeve I want to share.

Owls in trees on wooden needles

In Africa and the Middel East the owl is a potent of death. If you see or hear it’s hoot, it means someone will die. In general they are omens of bad luck, ill health and death. It is still a belief today. In the Americas the owl is surrounded by taboos, that often has do to with sorcery and evils. They too considered the owl as a symbol of death and destruction. The Aztec god of death was even depicted as an owl.

In western cloture it’s associated with wisdom. But it has too been associated with bad omen as a ‘monster of the night’. Today however the owl has come into fashion and is considered a cute animal. There is something about those big eyes and surprised look! It’s simply a hoot!

Owl in Tree Mitten. Pattern by Fact Woman from Mod Knits. Knit by Anne Grove.

Owl in Tree Mitten. Pattern by Fact Woman from Mod Knits. Knit by Anne Grove.

So the first Owl in Three mitten is done (not blocked yet) and the second is coming along nicely. Owls do belong in trees but it’s not that often you see them depicted there, not these days at least. For this project I decided to try to work not so tight as I normally do. It went fairly well but resulted in a bit wonky mitten. I am sure it will be just as it should be after I’ve blocked it though. It went better than expected and the big test is to do the second in the same gauge.

This pattern by Fact Woman of Mod Knits contained not just the wonderful pattern but also a guide to latvian braids. For me this was an important part of the pattern as I want to portray this technique. It is a traditional way of decorating, especially cuffs, on mittens in Eastern Europa as well Scandinavian. In the scandinavian mittens I have seen it mostly on young girls mittens: simple white mittens with a colored braid to underline the cuff.

Owl in Tree mitten: palm of hand.

Owl in Tree mitten: palm of hand.

I found this amazing teal colored yarn and I had to do this mitten in it. It might not be so tree like but it’s beautiful! These pictures doesn’t do the teal color justice but it’s as close as I can come with the camera I have at hand at the moment.

Latvian braid

This was my first try at Latvian braids ever and I can tell you they are surprisingly easy to do! 😀 Which is very awesome. It does of course take longer than just knitting as you need to twist the yarn and knit a stitch, twist the yarn and knit a stitch. But it’s definitely worth it! The first braid lies a little better than the second, but I think this could be because I didn’t work the second braid so much into shape as the first one. This just means I have to do a little more work on it – maybe steam it a bit. If you want to steam smaller knitwear you can do it over a pot of steaming water shape it a bit and then shake it lightly.

Detail of cuff and latvian braid.

Detail of cuff and latvian braid.

Besides the braids you can on the picture see the detail of the beginning of the cuff. It has an edged look to it and is folded in two. I sewed the fold in after the mitten was done but it looks like Fact Women did it differently. Or at least very early in the process as several pictures show it being done already when doing the latvian braids. There is no mention about how and when.

Notes & thoughts

1. The pattern is nicely made and easy to understand however it’s a bit strangely put together. The first page is very packed with pictures, size+gauge, what you need, keys and a chart. It would have helped a lot if the first page was only a front page with pictures and then the second page was the pre work information. Also I find the placement of the instructions for the Latvian Braid quite strange. It is placed in the middle of the pattern and not in the end, even though it has a distinctly different look form the rest of the pattern. It was obviously done as two different parts and then just plotted in and it shows. This doesn’t mean it’s a bad pattern or the direction aren’t helpful, but it feeds to the overall impression and experience of the project.

2. The latvian braid tutorial is very well made. In my opinion the pictures with the captions is all that is needed but my way is very visual so it’s good there is description in text as well. Again I would have liked a bit different layout, but it’s not a big problem as to understanding.

3. The charts of this pattern are well made and easy to read. They are in two colors that isn’t too big a contrast to each other so it’s nicer for the eye to look at. I appreciated this.

4. I was quite confused about the use of increase in form of ML and MR. Every time I have done that increase in patterns before I have done it the opposite way of what this pattern writes. I don’t know if this is a mistake, intensional or maybe it’s just common to this where Fact Women works. If confused me at least!

5. In particular I enjoyed the palm pattern. I have a fondness of this kind of pattern and it’s the first mitten I’m doing in this project that has such a small pattern. The Jolnir Mitten had something a little like it, but that was a little larger. It’s a traditional way to do palm. It’s makes for a thicker textile which gives more warmth, durability and protects the palm.

Owl in Tree Mitten: palm detail.

Owl in Tree Mitten: palm detail.

Announcment: poll postponed

Yes. I have to postpone the next poll a week.

I had the HPV vaccine the other day and it just hurt so much I couldn’t knit. And the pain lasted for a couple of days. This set me back on the second mittens of Owl in Tree. The first is done and I will post about it this weekend. But I will have to finish the second in the upcoming week.

Also my next week is going to be filled with a lot of work. Each year in the Easter holiday I’m on the team that makes and runs the biggest danish role-play convention. Yes, I am that geeky. And this year some deadlines have been shifted about and all of a sudden I am very busy next week. So I don’t think it’s going to be able to finish a new mitten on it’s own.  It would be a shame to have two mittens in a row that is behind, this would be too big a stress factor.

But don’t despair! I will post the first Owl in Tree mitten as well the progress of the second this weekend and when it’s done next week AND I have a pair of mittens and a mitten post in spare that needs to be posted. I am going to use that to fill in the hole. Quite perfect. So you won’t go mitten free for a week 😉

Best productive wishes,
Anne

A freudian slip stitch?

Em from Karlskrona, Sweeden made these (and other awesome geeky mittens) mittens. This is just full of puns! When you do a slip stitch on these mittens, is it a freudian slip? If you do them in pink are they Pink Freud? I am having waaay too much fun!

374532_10151297604788059_1120408046_n

Go here and see her other wonderful knitted projects. You can find Mushroom and Batman Mittens. Oh and adorable elephant mittens! Yay!