sock porn for knitting voyeurs.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

color works (sometimes)

Lots of kid knits lately, I know...

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Butterflies for Bairns mittens
from Knitting Fair Isle Mittens and Gloves
Trekking XXL 100 & Louet Gems Pearl/fingering (black)
US 1.5 (2.5mm) 32" circular, Holz & Stein & 4" Susanne's dpns, 5 (for thumb)
Started: 4 October 2007
Finished: 6 October 2007

I predict you'll be seeing a lot more toddler mittens in the future from me :) First and most importantly... he LOVES wearing these. He ate popcorn wearing them!! :) Seriously though, at most my little one is ambivalent about handknits (except toys, who doesn't love toy robots and bears?!)-- and usually he prefers storebought things that are already in his drawers. But mittens... he loves these and it makes me ridiculously happy to churn out something so fast that he loves.

On top of being crazy fast to finish, they were a great use of leftover sock yarn. I know traditional fair isle mittens are made with non-superwash yarns, but all of his are probably going to be superwash if I can help it-- the popcorn eating was probably the least messy thing he'll try in these and I love that I can (and will!) toss these in with the wash and not worry about them.

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I love trekking xxl 100-- these were leftovers from my favorite pair of Pomatomus I've knit. (The Louet leftovers were from the bmp socks.) I was a bit worried since one of the 3 plies in trekking occasionally ran black, but I think it's fine and not too lost. It was fun to use with the slow gradations of color against the solid background... I may pick up some more ombre colorways in the future just to play with how they look in stranded knitting.

I tweaked the pattern and placement a bit, just to accommodate his longer hand and my use of only 2 yarns. Using a larger needle and an extra stitch in the pattern repeat I was able to squeeze in enough width for his hand, enough for them to be comfortable and easy enough for him to put on himself. I always thought that the waste yarn palm placement of thumbs would wear weird (though looks good off!) but he didn't seem to mind it at all.

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(a bit under the weather, both of us.)

So I've been bitten again by the colorwork bug, and had promptly cast on for Eunny's Chuck's Cabled Socks after seeing this crazy brillig pair on Mel's blog. I've had the pattern and yarn for forever, but changed the CC color from Koigu to the Pigeonroof Studios "harvest" colorway (much better imo)...

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(with a Japanese Handmade Etc sock knitting bag and a freshwater pearl/tiger's eye stone stitch marker from zeromarkers)

It's a fun knit, once you get the hang of it. (Can you cable? Do colorwork? Then you can do both!) I was careful to swatch in stranded knitting... but should have known there would be a problem then. I was able to manage the 7 sts/inch in colorwork using fingering weight yarn (on US 3's... ugh), but I didn't like it. I like my stranded knitting to be somewhat dense so you can't see the carried yarn behind it (esp. for things with negative ease in them), and 7 sts/inch really isn't dense at all for these yarns. I can get the sock over my heel...

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...but I really really dislike the way I can see the orange carried color behind when I do. (It is a push-pull getting this thing on though, for certain). Mel had a wonderful idea to enlarge the instep & back of the leg cable to a 6 strand from four, and was able to do so in a really beautiful way. I am kinda ambivalent about the black yarn as well-- I think I may use a dark solid brown instead and take a hint from Mel on her mods... after I frog this :)

I have to say I really do like the way that variegated yarns look in colorwork against a solid background though-- you can really see the beauty of each as more of a distilled shot than the all-over you usually get.

I do have one more stranded knitting project I'm working on, but this is too long! It's an oldie...

Til then, miss you :)

16 comments:

savannahchik said...

those mittens are adorable! and with a reaction like that, i don't blame you for planning to make more.

April said...

I will not cast on for those socks ... I will not cast on for those socks ...

Romi said...

I love the mittens!

adrienne said...

The mittens look great! I love the trekking in colourwork. So cute :)
(and those socks... they're lovely!)

brooke t. higgins said...

I love how both of those projects are almost stained-glassy... the mittens are fantastic, and I don't blame you for wanting to do those socks. I must have missed the Pomatomus post in the Trekking 100... those are great! The rainbowiness enhances the stitch pattern! Brilliant.

Kirsten said...

Oh those socks, how I love those socks. I must resist the urge to cast on. . .

mel said...

Those mittens (and your little tyke!) are absolutely adorable! I love the use of the variegated yarn with the solid here and on the Chuck's Sock (Thank you so much for your kind words!!)

The colorway on those cables is gorgeous, I really love the mix of the cream and the fall colors and I love the idea of using a variegated yarn here, beautiful. hmmmm... too bad about the tightness - just about everyone I've talked to has had a sizing issue with these. It doesn't look like you need quite as much additional room as I did, though.... Perhaps a couple extra purl stitches between the cabled sections? I was going to try that trick, but I was afraid I'd have to add so many that the cables would become an afterthought ;)

Zonda said...

Yay for finding something to knit that he'll wear! Those are lovely as well as those socks!

Debra said...

Wow- great colorwork. Love the harvest combination with black. Nice work!

June said...

I've seen the sock pattern before, obvy, but I never realized until I saw your photos that it was also in 2 colors. (Where's my brain?) But it looks good!

lexa said...

The mittens look great -- glad he finally likes something you've knit for him! Mine always like the hats/mittens. When I knit the littlest one sweaters he starts off loving them, but it usually passes. Oh, for the days when they were little enough not to complain and wore whatever I put on them without question....

Stacey said...

the mittens are so cute! what a great idea! you know me - I'm a huge stranded with variegated fan now!

the bag - have you been working on the bag?????

Joan [yarnygirl.com] said...

Wow, both are very cool.

Kristine said...

oooooh - tooo cute, your little one and his mittens!

WandaWoman said...

Those mittens look beautiful and the trekking used in colorwork is awesome!

Ilix said...

Love the mittens and the action shot! I think that is a great way to use up sock yarn! I may try it!

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