Category Archives: designing

Winning Team! And a new pattern to celebrate fall.

No, I’m not talking about the Brewers.  Or the Packers.  (Not that they’re not winning teams right now….)

First, though I have not been blogging, I have indeed been knitting.  Knitting a lot, actually.

One of the things I have been knitting, for a brief but intense time, was a dishrag, for DishRag Tag V!  Emily from YarnMiracle once again was kind enough to put this fun and amazing friendly knitting relay on.  On September 21st, the box came:

filled with treats and dishcloth cotton, and a finished dishrag!

These were from my teammate Kirsten in Michigan.  (Our team, number 9 on the list, was called the A-Nine-ilators!)

I picked up the cotton and my needles and began to knit, punctuated with a trip to the first meeting of the year (and my first meeting ever) of the local knitting guild, Three Rivers Knitting Guild.

Though I got it finished and the packaged mailed off via the Automated Postal Center that night, the USPS hijacked our package, holding it in Peoria two days past the promised delivery date.  Oh, no!

But despite this unforeseen delay: thanks to awesome teammates and speedy knitting all along the way,

Our team WON the DishRag Tag!

Woo-hoo!  We mostly won glory, but also very cool knitting bags. (The purple ones are coming to the A-Nine-ilators.)  Thank you, Emily!

Whew!   As the race just ended, to our glory, there is glory in the leaves around us also.  It’s probably peak color here right now, thanks to an early cold snap a couple weeks ago, though right now it’s incredibly warm for October in the midwest.  I haven’t had time for a proper photo shoot, but here are a few photos of trees within a half block of my house:

Maple putting on colors

See the leaves blowing off the trees, below?

(you may have to embiggen)

That was yesterday’s Saturday Sky, by the way.

Lastly, inspired by a ‘homework’ assignment for a Harry Potter-themed competitive knitting group (you would think I’m competitive or something), I just designed a fractal-inspired hat for fall. It’s not truly fractal, but Sierpinski triangles were hard to interpret in hat form. Instead, I modified a stitch pattern from Barbara Walker’s second treasury, frogged a few attempts at semi-clever decreases, and came up with this:

Pythagorean Triangles Hat.

It fits my lovely knit-model, the RockStar, it fits me

it even fits my husband.

Geometry is my daughter’s favorite area in math: maybe that’s why the hat seemed to make her so happy?

Pattern, Pythagorean Triangles Hat: download now

Gothlet Gauntlets

As promised.  (Or as I warned you, or something.)  More than you probably ever wanted to know about these.


So, my younger daughter, the Gothlet, was all over the idea of elbow length fingerless mitts:  gauntlets, or armwarmers (but gauntlets just sound really cool, don’t they?).

This GothSocks self-striping yarn from Rainy Days and Wooly Dogs (etsy shop link) was going to be perfect for the gauntlets too.  But I had a quandary, which I’m having in regard to daughter #2 fairly frequently these days.  She is starting to sprout up like a weed.  I know the signs.  In a year or two, she’ll probably be as tall as her older sister the RockStar (who is, to the RockStar’s frustration, 5 feet 4 3/4 inches.  Why is that frustrating to her?  She’s still — only! — 1/4 inch shorter than me!).

So I don’t want to knit her something that she’ll outgrow in six months!  You understand.  Not only from the knitting-time-spent perspective….but also, if one knits something that the recipient really likes — one wants them to be able to wear it for a long time.  (We’ll gloss over the fact that tastes change at this time of life about every 3 months.  The semi-Gothness won’t change much, I suspect.  And she has always valued hand-made and hand-knit things, bless her heart, since forever.  So far, she’s all over this project.)

So… I set out to design long fingerless mitts that will fit my skinny barely 11-year-old now, and will still fit her (if she wants them to) through middle school and into high school.  Yet, they have to look smokin’, so they can’t be loose and sloppy for growth.  (Believe me, we go through this discussion with the jeans, and loose does not cut it currently with the 11-year-old.  But with gauntlets, it’s all about looks anyway, yes?)

Here’s my key to making it work.  See the underside of the mitts?


An insert of 2 x 2 ribbing helps keep the mitts conforming to her arm, but will stretch to fit an adult-size arm.  (Here it is on me.)


The mitt goes up almost to the crease of her elbow; you can see it’s still long but not quite so much on me.

I also shaped the mitt with decreases to conform it to the arm nicely.  Oh, and although the ribbing won’t show too much anyway, I did a knit row at the transition between stripes rather than knitting in the k2p2 pattern, to avoid ticks of color.  Keeps it looking crisp.

The hand is a bit trickier, because I don’t really like the feel of ribbing on my palm as much, and I think it interferes with some indoor tasks a little.  I have, and have made, all-ribbed mitts, but this is a smooth, sleek gauntlet.   So I changed to stockinette for the palm, but to help with conforming to a growing hand, I increased the needle size slightly (from 2.25 mm — US 1  — to 2.5 mm — what some call US 1 1/2.  This looser gauge makes the knitted fabric stretchier.  It’s less sturdy, but in a mitt, that’s acceptable (and tight and form-fitting on the hand could be a little annoying).   I’ll make the length down to the first joint of her middle fingers or so, so it’s a little long for her now; when she’s bigger, it will still be long enough.  And a little too big is OK; too small is miserable.

So far, this is going really quickly, though I messed up my own pattern on the hand and frogged that part.  The yarn and the dyeing are wonderful.  It’s kind of funny, continually trying the mitt on myself or her sister, and then again on the Gothlet, on an ongoing basis, to make sure it fits Gothlet-Now and Future-Gothlet.  But the system seems to be working!

Then I simply have to replicate exactly what I did, and do it all again for the second gauntlet.  Easy.


Getting Bloggy Again

Quick post — wasn’t going to post at all, busy with laundry emergencies, but I had to share something with you.

Yes, I know I said I wasn’t going to do any more blog navel-gazing.

However, one of my little free patterns, Piano Mitts/Mini-Mitts,

was today’s Free Knitting Pattern of the Day at The Daily Knitter.

This isn’t a site I regularly read, but apparently at least 3000 knitters do….

Here’s the proof of the citation! (formatting has gone a bit whackoid in the copying)


Today’s free knitting pattern for Wednesday, July 30, 2008, is:

Piano Mitts
Note that the pattern will open in a new window.
Missed a day? Click here for the Knitting Patterns of the Day from the previous two weeks.