Category Archives: Fingerless Mitts for Fall KAL

Unwrapped!

The last presents were opened today, as old friends of ours stopped by before leaving town. But of course, the best part of Christmas was the time we spent together with family and friends. Including my friends just mentioned above; today was their 20th wedding anniversary! And my husband and I were their best man/maid of honor; 20 years ago. Wow, what a concept. Wait, the picture’s up on the fridge. Let me get it and scan it for you.

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My husband (boyfriend at the time) and I, December 26, 1987. Note the 80’s glasses. (Mine were just as big, but I had put contacts in for the occasion.) We were just babies. Good heavens.

Happy 20th Anniversary, Jackie and Shaun!

Yesterday, we had a relaxed morning, having gone to the candlelight Lessons and Carols church service the night before; then my brother-in-law and his wife came over, bearing fudge and presents; then dinner at my folks’, which we usually do potluck style. Now my husband is the literal chef in the family, having been a sous-chef in a fancy restaurant in one of his former lives. But there were two recipes from knitbloggers I was anxious to try, and wasn’t able/allowed to at Thanksgiving. So I made Corn Souffle as shared by Kay at Mason-Dixon Knitting, and Southern Living Pumpkin Pie which Wendy makes every Thanksgiving. They were both well-received, though my daughters unflatteringly questioned that I had really made them. Twice. “You MADE this, Mom? YOU made it?” Gee, thanks, girls. Ah well, at least they liked it.

Speaking of things that were liked: the hand-knits were also well-received. I shamelessly stole borrowed Steph’s Unoriginal Hat idea. Except that even though her Blue Moon Fiber Arts Leticia and my Misti Alpaca Super Chunky are supposed to knit to the same gauge — they don’t, in my hands. There was no way I was going to achieve the same gauge. So I heavily modified the hat, therefore now I supposed it’s an Extremely Unoriginal Hat. Or a Plagiarized Unoriginal Hat. Anyway, inspired by the above, here are the girls’ Extremely Unoriginal Hats:

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The Gothlet didn’t take her purple hat off all day.

The Preteen didn’t take her fingerless mitts off all day, except to eat:

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These pictures were her idea, and she particularly requested the following photo be posted!

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She is über-cool, not?

So all those that received hand-knits were requested to model them:

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My husband’s brother, who could stand in for Santa, if Santa were a mathematical genius;

and my sister-in-law, my brother’s wife, who liked her Twisted fingerless mitts and Pioneer Braid scarf:

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The gloves were a little loose on me, so I wasn’t sure they’d fit my sister-in-law, but I thought she’d like the colors, so I took a chance. And they fit her perfectly; her hands are a bit bigger than mine. It was meant to be, apparently.

My brother got a present on the needles:

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And actually, that was a good thing because I could try them on and fit them to his hand. I knew he had big hands, but even so, I think I would have made them too small; he’s 6’2″ with hands that are proportionate! My husband’s hands are broad but not as big all over.

But I frogged after the above picture; I was hating the flashing. I like the stripy effect at the cuff, but with the gusset, the “pool” was widening and spreading, and it looked like it was just going to keep on going. So I ripped back almost all the gusset. I divided the yarn into two balls, winding by hand, making sure to wind in the same direction. And now, for the gusset, I am alternating every two rows with the two different balls, making sure I originally started at a different spot in the color sequence, and it’s better from my point of view.

I have a little more to share, but it’s getting late and I have to work way too early in the morning. So I will leave you with a couple final Preteen shots (I think she’s working on her 8 x 10 portfolio):

First, I Love My Hat:

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and I Love My Presents:

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Hope your holidays were happy too!

Road to Ewetopia

We pause in the ongoing chronicles of the Wedding Pi Shawl, to bring you this account of a recent road trip to a new(ish) Southwestern Wisconsin LYS.

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Ewetopia is a yarn and roving shop in Viroqua, Wisconsin, about a 45-minute drive from where I live. My friend Lee and I had been itching to check it out since it opened earlier this year, but with family and work, it’s hard to find the time for a road trip. Especially when both of us work a lot of weekends.

The shop is open later on Mondays, and I thought I could get done with work a bit early (NOT, as it turned out!), but in any case, we eventually headed out in Lee’s car, accompanied by her small knitting (and weaving) daughter.

The roadside was beautiful, even though it was cloudy:

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Lee drove (thanks, Lee!) so I got to point my camera out the window as we rolled along. When I wasn’t finishing Fetching.
This is Coulee Country! Coulees are small valleys tucked in between bluffs, which are the remnants of both ancient mountains and ancient seabeds, depending on where exactly you are. Coulee comes from the French word ‘coulée’, from ‘couler’, to flow. (I’m thinking named from the small streams often flowing at the base of the valley. The coulees were carved out by glacial runoff from Up North, but I’m speculating that the French explorers didn’t know that.) The glaciers didn’t make it this far in the last Glacial Period, so the bluffs and coulees result in gently rolling, fertile land throughout the Coulee Region.

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So we got to Ewetopia as it was getting dark. I was so excited I forgot to take a picture of the storefront. But here it is inside:

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The yarn in the low case right in the center, as well as the skeined yarn in the foreground is all locally raised, handspun, and/or hand-dyed/hand-painted yarn. I really value supporting local fiber artists, so was delighted to see these. Of course, I had to put my money where my mouth was. . . you’ll see that later.

They have as much Cascade as I have ever seen in one place, I think:

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This isn’t even all of it.

The owner and her assistant were friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful without being obtrusive.

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Check out the “Our Founder” photograph above them! We kept them there a little late, I’m sorry to say; I got a work-related phone call as I was ready to have my purchases totaled up; and there may have been just a few things that needed to be totaled!

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Here are the highlights. First, some lovely local handspun:

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Then, this Skacel Merino Lace, which I have designs on for dyeing:

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Especially after seeing Astrid’s results with some blue-gray yarn, I’m curious to play with it. And this was $12.95 for 1350 yards; less than a penny a yard, such a deal for a whole shawl’s worth of fun! It’s a nice, soft, light merino which should be enjoyable to knit with.

Speaking of dyeing, this intriguing combination of brights and neutrals by the Great Adirondack Yarn Co. proved irresistible.

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I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do with it. Perhaps “My So-Called Scarf“, which breaks up color runs with its slipped and knit-together stitches. But it’s cool, regardless.

Then this Kid Seta by Madil, which is the same kind of yarn I used for the Pink Fuzzy Cardigan:

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One variegated blue and one solid blue; I’m planning to hold them together and knit a lace scarf.

Then the two purchases I’m most excited about:

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Tiny Chibis! I realize that’s redundant (apparently Chibi means “small in the sense of dwarfed” in Japanese) but I have trouble finding these smaller bent-tip yarn needles, whereas the Jumbo ones (think about that — “Jumbo Chibis”? “Jumbo Dwarfs”?) are much easier to find. It was the last set the store had. . . .

And this pièce de résistance, right after I said to one of my friends that I didn’t see a lot of sweaters in my near future (much like Grumperina), while the kids and I were all as busy as we are in our lives:

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The blue yarn is locally hand-dyed merino in a worsted weight. I loved the colors (china blues, light teals and purples) but thought it might be a bit busy solo. But I had this vision as I looked at it; as the second color in stranded colorwork, the shifting blues would be gorgeous! Set off by white or off-white, I thought (black would also work, but I think I had this Delft thing going on in my head).

So, a little scurrying around the store fondling yarn and comparing weights, and I came up with the Cascade Lana d’Oro, a marvelously soft worsted wool/alpaca blend, which is going to set the blue off beautifully.

So I’m picturing a Norwegian style sweater; probably a cardigan for more wear opportunities (plus it will be WARM with the alpaca, and I think a sweater would be too hot for usual indoor wear). Yoke, hem and sleeve edge patterning; I’m not sure if I might do a ljus pattern on the body (probably not, that will make it less drapey and even warmer to wear, and might be too much visually; on the other hand, that means miles of unrelieved stockinette. . . .). I’ll keep my eyes open for a pattern I like, but might design it myself.

I think this could be my first steeking experience. Yikes. Not until after the holidays, for certain. But this would be pleasant to work on in the depths of the January chill. The blues remind me of the blues of the sky and of the blue shadows on the snow in January. But without the subzero part.

Speaking of chill, we still have not had a hard frost, which is freaky, but it was close this morning at 33 degrees F. There was frost on the mom-car frost-on-the-minivan.jpg [which actually my husband drives]) . Anyway, here are the finished Fetchings to ward off the fall chill for The Preteen!

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Knit in RYC Soft Lux, pattern from Knitty.

Mods (of course there are modifications, I can’t stand to leave well enough alone!)

I decreased down to a K3 P1 rib for the body of the glove, as people seemed to be reporting this running big, and visually this made the ribbing the same width as the cable. I haven’t cared for the look of the picot bindoff as written , truly; it to my eye just ends up looking a little loose and sloppy . So I had decreased to K3 P1 ribbing again for the edge then cast off in purl. I could have done a sewn casting off too, but this was faster when you have an impatient Preteen waiting for them. Plus, I was just coming down with this virus as I cast off the second glove; managed to weave in the ends even though I was not very competent in any other way right then; but simple was good.

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Also, I did the afterthought/forethought thumb, but I’m not sure I like it for a glove. With the tighter hand-hugging fit of a glove vs. a mitten, and the fact that one is potentially doing tasks requiring manual dexterity (hence the actual need for the fingerless glove), I find this way of making a thumb rather binding across the thumb side of the palm in real life. So I think if I knit this again, I’d do a thumb gusset instead. I do always like this technique in and of itself, though; it’s knitting magic!

Here they are on the pleased recipient:

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(How do you tell when a Preteen is pleased? It can be difficult, but when she puts the gloves on immediately and wears them out the door even though it’s 20 degrees too warm for them — and even says “Thank you!” — that seems like a pretty good indication.)

Thanks for the good health wishes! I still sound like Marlene Dietrich, without the accent, and felt poorly enough to stay home from work yet again today. This is what I’ve been doing for the last two days:

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But my brain is a little less mushy today, so I got some lace knitting in and this post done — by doing a little at a time, and taking a break when I needed to. That’s how we need to take all of life, eh?

Like this little guy. A blade of grass at a time.

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And here — this bud’s for you.

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Nicely, Nicely

The title being a continuation of the movie musical theme which often finds its way into these virtual pages (Nicely Nicely Johnson is a character in Guys and Dolls — he’s the one who sings, “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat”).

Today, however, no boat’s being rocked; the post is in recognition of Astrid nominating me for the Nice Matters Blog Award!

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Awarded to “those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world. ”

Here’s the corollary: “Once you’ve been awarded, please pass it on to 7 others who you feel are deserving of this award.”

Not that I don’t know seven other bloggers who are deserving, but 7 is reminiscent of chain letters to me, so I will limit my nominees to those that spring immediately to mind. And they do not have to feel obliged to pass it on. I would have nominated Lisa, the Tsarina of Socks, and Beth at Chocolate Sheep, but Astrid and Lisa (respectively) beat me to them.

First, Lisa at knitnzu.com shares an interest in the natural world (especially of the Northern United States) and knitting with me, and is generous with information and thoughtful comments. Her blog has crazy funny dogs, glimpses of talented family members and life in Maine, and fun knitting.

Second, Sarah-Hope at whatifknits [“ideas, inquiries and irreverence”], a fellow Cotton Commando in the recent DishRag Tag, writes an articulate blog full of wonderful knitting, original designs, art, travel, and cats. I always enjoy reading her well-written and intriguing posts from the opposite side of the US from Lisa!

Bonnie at Très Bon Babble is an amazing sew-er and great knitter as well; some good food to be found in her pages here and there too! I am in awe of her ability to whip up a sewing project. (All I can think of is my Home Ec days; the only sewn project I’d still be willing to be associated with, is the initial pillows that spelled out my name….) She is also a fellow Cotton Commando (you become friends when you strategize together, not?) and a very Nice person. She sent me a cheer-up card recently, when I was feeling sorry for myself — it worked!

Another most Nice fellow Dish Rag Tagger (what can I say, we all bonded!) is Marcia Louise at AndSewKnitBegins, who just started a blog, inspired by Dish Rag Tag and (she says) my posting of her kool Kool-Aid dyeing projects, when she was blogless. She is an warm and awesome person, the epitome of Nice. Her blog is brand new and hampered by a recent crashed hard disk, but she definitely deserves the Nice Matters Award! She also sucked me into turned me on to the International Scarf Exchange 5! Which is really fun!

One last Dish Rag Tagger, who deserves the Nice Matters award, is Laurie at Knitting Garden, who had captaincy thrust upon her by random draw by Emily, and who gracefully rose to the unasked-for challenge with enthusiasm and positivity. She also independently knit the Mystery Stole 3, and signed up for the International Scarf Exchange 5 as did I, so we have much in common! (Except she’s finished her Mystery Stole and I haven’t…) Her blog is full of knitting and family, always enjoyable.

An enabler of the highest water, a sock artiste and a very friendly blogger is Deb of Cashmere Dreams (on a Kitchen Cotton Budget) — a blog title we all can relate to!  It is only because of her that I am the proud owner of some beautiful Wollenmeise.  Not only did she make the ordering happen, and let me in on it, but she tenderly hand-washed all the poor waterlogged yarn that had met with shipping disaster.  And she and fellow members of the Como Saturday morning knitting group made me feel so very welcome on our trip to the Twin Cities.  Now I’m coveting Kauni. . . . don’t tell my husband.

And lastly, I haven’t seen on her blog that she’s been nominated, so I am hereby awarding the Nice Matters Award to Wendy of WendyKnits, who is generous with free patterns and knitting advice, as well as breathtaking knitting, original patterns to beat the band, and beautiful Lucy the cat pictures. Like Steph, she’s also used her blogosphere name recognition to benefit a worthy cause and is unfailingly polite and — well, just Nice, a pleasure to read! The interactions I’ve had with Wendy have been always smile-inducing.

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Thanks, you guys! You’re great!

SOOOOO — I promised some current knitting, as opposed to yesterday’s featured knitting which was 15 years old!

I have been knitting a pair of Fetching fingerless mitts for The Preteen:

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The yarn is RYC Soft Lux yarn. I’m liking these, and more importantly, The Preteen is too. (She is in love with green currently, and she asked for a pair of “fingerless gloves with cables”. Hmmm; you don’t think she saw the pattern for Fetching which I had printed out and left lying around, do you?) I’m about 1/3 done with the second one.

Here’s my other work in progress (besides Oktoberfest, which is still awaiting full healing of my knuckle; the Irish knots are just under so much tension to do, that they make the little finger knuckle laceration feel quite unhappy).

Earlier this week, it was a tiny dreamcatcher:

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Yesterday, it was a snood:

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I would gladly wear the Harmony needles as hair jewelry, wouldn’t you?

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Today, here it is, an apparently tangled mess in lovely shades of autumn colors:

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I put a lifeline in right after taking this photo. . . .

So this will be a wedding shawl for a friend, who also is my pastor! The yarn is mill ends of Cherry Tree Hill Suri Alpaca lace weight, overdyed twice by me to get the effect I wanted. As I mentioned, I am designing the pattern based on Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Pi Shawl, with assorted lace patterns that I liked/fit the stitch and row requirements reasonably well, and that had some significance. This post is already rather long, so I will detail the dyeing adventures and the designing work at a future time. But this yarn is lovely to work with, lustrous, richly colored and soft. Which is good, because I anticipate working on this pretty intensively for the next several weeks. Why, yes, the wedding is three weeks away — how did you guess?

Since Astrid talked up my flower pictures, I’ll leave you with one:

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Some confused lavender which is re-blooming now. ‘Sokay!

Four FOs

Well, two pairs of FOs, but it all counts!

I finished the first pair of socks I ever started!

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These were started, then were put aside, then misplaced, then found but neglected for more exciting projects — it’s been years. (But they were not my oldest UFO: that will come out when Beth asks us to show our oldest UFOs in the near future. If I can find it….)

This is a Knitty pattern, Straight-Laced. Yarn is some old vintage Paton’s Kroy sock yarn, 75% wool, 25% nylon. Knit two at a time on two circular needles. I got better at the technique of avoiding Gordian knots by the end. My gauge changed sometime in the last four years, fancy that, but it didn’t make much difference (the top, where I started, is looser than ideal, but given the ribbed laced, it still stays up). Hey, I’ll wear them, imperfect though they be! (My current socks are much better, though.)

Another view, hangin’ out with the socks on the front porch in the brief glimpse of sunshine we had between the rain showers:

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Yesterday, I finished a modified pair of Piano Mitts for my husband. They’re for him to play guitar when it’s cold (which he was supposed to do this weekend, play outside, but rain cancelled the music part of the event). So I suppose they are Guitar Mitts. He wants them this short so they don’t interfere with playing; I would usually have knit them to at least cover the knuckles. He graciously modeled them despite his aversion to paparazzi:

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They are the same elann Baby Cashmere which I first knit these mitts in, very light, soft and warm; my own pattern.

My next project is a wedding shawl for my friend and pastor, who is getting married in less than a month. I am designing the shawl, following Elizabeth Zimmermann‘s Pi Shawl basic framework, but putting in a different lace pattern between every increase row. It will either look hideous or wonderful. The yarn is certainly wonderful; I’ll show you that tomorrow when I can take pictures of it. The yarn has its own story….

I have been thinking about this shawl for a long time. This weekend, I sat on my bed surrounded by lace books and stitch dictionaries, scribbled notes and calculations (I forgot to bring the calculator up with me). What’s ironic is that with perhaps 15 to 20 books that I was looking at, I ended up taking all my stitch patterns out of Barbara Walker’s Second Treasury of Stitch Patterns. (There were a couple in vol. I and vol. III that were contenders, but they didn’t make the final cut.)

I still have a couple final decisions to make about which patterns and which order; I’m going to photocopy the lace patterns and cut them out and rearrange them so I can see which I like next to which; the patterns should harmonize as far as style, but not be too similar one next to another, and with either roughly equal openness, or alternating a little more open with a little less lacey perhaps.

Also, as I convert patterns written for flat knitting to knitting in the round, I am becoming fonder and fonder of charts. (It’s easy when the wrong side rows are just purling, of course, but was I thinking about that when I made pattern choices?? Not on your sweet bippy!)

This will be my obsession for the next three weeks; I’ll have to put my ISE 5 scarf and even the Oktoberfest socks aside for a bit. I’m really excited to finally be knitting this shawl after thinking about it so long.

Here’s the Flower of the Day:

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Lance-leaf Coreopsis at Night.

Mini-Mitts and Piano Mitts pattern!

Plain and slightly fancy fingerless gloves, of amazingly soft and warm alpaca/merino/cashmere yarn (elann.com Baby Cashmere).

They look better on:

I’m providing the pattern for free, below. (Sorry for the delay; I went through a fair amount of gymnastics to make a .pdf file, and now I can’t get it uploaded. So please do that copy and paste thing if you like the pattern).

But I have a request. If you would, please consider, in exchange, making a donation to the Red Scarf Project. The Orphan Foundation of America does wonderful things for young men and women, who also are accomplishing wonderful things, with very little support. A dollar or three can make a difference in someone’s life. Here’s Norma’s (of Now Norma Knits) main blog and Red Scarf Project blog, which have buttons to donate directly. And if you e-mail Norma to let her know you donated, she’s having prize drawings here and there! Talk about a win-win situation! Of course, if you’d like to knit a beautiful Red Scarf for the project, here’s the information you need for that (only 3 more weeks to do so!).

Thanks for thinking about it, and enjoy the pattern!

 

Fingerless Piano Mitts

And

Mini-Mitts

 

One size fits almost all.

Yarn requirements:

Piano Mitts: 1-2 skeins elann.com Baby Cashmere (60% baby alpaca, 30% merino wool, 10% cashmere; 25g skein, 109 yds/100 m)

Mini-Mitts: 1 skein elann.com Baby Cashmere

Elann.com Baby Silk (80% alpaca, 20% silk) or any soft and warm fingering weight yarn may be substituted. Most sock yarn comes in 50g or 100g skeins, so will make more than one pair.

Gauge: 28 stitches per 4 inches (10 cm). These are designed more for indoor wear, so the gauge is looser than one might otherwise knit socks. Also, yarn that is a little too fragile for hard wear as a sock will work well in this project.

Needles: I used size 2 (3 mm) needles, but I am a loose knitter. Others might use size 3 (3.25 mm) to get gauge. You may use two circular needles, a set of double pointed needles, or the Magic Loop method at your discretion. You may wish to use one size smaller needles on the ribbing.

Accessories: 2 or 3 stitch markers.

Pattern notes: The Mini-Mitts take exactly one 25g skein of Baby Cashmere (as in, you will probably need to unravel your swatch if you make one). The Piano Mitts as knitted take barely over one 25g skein; perhaps just one if you make the cuff short. Three skeins will make two pair of mitts with plenty left over. It would be easy and fun to dress up the backs of the gloves with a lace motif or a cable. If so, remember that the pattern will look best not centered, but placed a few stitches to one side of what seems to be center, since the thumb is more towards the palm. Also remember to do a mirror-image for the second one, since the motif will make them asymmetric, left and right hands. Otherwise, they are completely symmetric as written.

You may use the increase of your preference for the thumb gusset. I would suggest paired lifted increases (also called Make 1 Right, and Make 1 Left), see tutorial here:
http://www.knittinghelp.com/knitting/basic_techniques/increase.php

 

Piano Mitts and Mini-Mitts

Cast on very loosely 40 stitches. Divide as desired among needles, and join to work in the round, being careful as always not to twist. Place marker to mark beginning of round, if desired, or beginning of round may be between two needles.

Cuff:

For Piano Mitts:

Round 1: Purl.

Round 2: Knit.

Round 3: [k2 tog, yo] to end of round.

Round 4: Knit.

Round 5: Purl.

Round 6 and following: [K2, P2} to end of round.

For Mini-Mitts: Round 1 and following: [K2, P2] to end of round.

For both: Continue in K2 P2 ribbing for 2 – 2 ½ inches (5 – 7 cm) or desired length.

Then you will be changing to stockinette (knit every round) for the Palm.

Round 1: K1, place marker, knit to one stitch before end of round, place marker. You may remove beginning of round marker if you wish.

Rounds 2 & 3: Knit.

Round 4: K to first marker, increase one before marker, knit to second marker, increase one after marker, knit to end of round. (Increase round.)

Repeat rounds 2-4 six more times. You will have 54 stitches total on the needles, and you will have 16 stitches between the two markers.

Repeat rounds 2 & 3 (knit).

Now, knit a final increase round as follows: K to first marker, slip the marker and increase one AFTER marker. (If you are using the lifted increase, K1 first and then increase.) K to second marker, increase BEFORE marker (again, if using lifted increase, increase before the last stitch before marker). Knit to end of round. 56 stitches on the needles.

Repeat rounds 2 & 3 (knit).  [As written, the glove really does fit almost all, but for an unusually long or wide hand, you could knit more rounds at the point, until the glove just reaches the ‘crotch’ of the thumb.]

Hold Stitches for Thumb: On next round, k to 2nd marker and remove marker. Slip next 16 stitches to waste yarn to hold for thumb (8 between 2nd marker and end of round, and the following 8 stitches between end of round and 1st marker). Cast on 4 stitches, i.e. with overhand loop method, onto right-hand needle, then join to rest of live stitches and continue knitting in stockinette for the hand stitches (total of 44 stitches on the needles).

Top of Hand: Knit approximately ¾ inch (1.5 to 2 cm) in stockinette (knit every round), then knit 6 rows K2 P2 ribbing. Bind off VERY LOOSELY in ribbing pattern. (Could also use Elizabeth Zimmermann’s sewn bind-off.)

Return to Thumb Stitches and place 16 held stitches on your needles, dividing as desired. Join in yarn, leaving a long tail, and knit these stitches. Pick up and knit 1 stitch into the small gap between the held stitches and the 4 cast-on stitches (try knitting into the back of the stitch you pick up). Pick up and knit the 4 cast-on stitches. Pick up and knit 1 stitch into the gap between the cast-on stitches and the held stitches on the needle. Join in the round (26 stitches on the needles).

Knit one round until you reach the first picked-up stitch. Knit 2 tog. Knit 4. Knit 2 tog (or SSK). (24 stitches.)

Knit 1 round.

Change to K2P2 ribbing for 6 rows. Bind off VERY LOOSELY in pattern.

 

Weave in ends, using the long tail at the thumb gusset to neaten up this area as needed.
Pattern copyright 2007 Catherine Ryan, all rights reserved. Permission granted for personal use.

Proof that one size fits almost all, almost miraculously:

9-year-old hand  * * *  Guy hand

Same glove on everyone, I promise!

Mo’ Mitts

Here is more visual proof of the amazing one-size-fits-pretty-much-everyone nature of the Piano Teacher’s fingerless gloves:

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The husband actually consented to allow a hand photograph, though perhaps the lacey edge is not his style. I assure you, his hands are not small.

But I had to tweak the pattern. Here’s Mark II, The Mini-Mitt, more streamlined above the wrist:

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This was made deliberately shorter, so as to be able to knit two mitts from one skein of the Baby Cashmere. Hence “Mini-Mitt”.
I also like the thumb gusset shaping better. I’ll write up the pattern in the very near future. Hopefully tomorrow!

The Gothlet requested I take a picture of this fascinating bug on our Painted Daisies. (This is a new insect to me. Lisa??)

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An insectless view of the Painted Daisies in the evening light:

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Chilly Saturday Sky (and more fingerless mitts)

Frost warnings this morning. There wasn’t any frost on my roof or car windows, but others in town had some. We usually don’t get a frost for a couple weeks yet. Cold as it was, there was a chilly fog:

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Someone has their furnace on already, see the smoke. Can’t blame them. It’s sure not my friend, who doesn’t turn the heat on till November 1 (unless maybe it snows). She was raised a hardy farm girl!

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Then the fog started to lift:

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And by the time I was done with work at lunchtime, of course it was a gorgeous (cool) day:

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Now, just like last week’s Saturday Sky, let me tell you that there’s usually a bluff in some of those pictures. Actually, let me show you. Just for you, my blog readers, I went back and took more pictures after work of how things usually look:

(Thumbnails, click to enlarge if you wish.)

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Yes, really the same view, look at the trees in the foreground and the conifer just behind the smaller tree on the right.

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This is Grandad (or Grandad’s) Bluff, the highest bluff in the area, and the visual focal point of my city. I can see the bluff out our eastern windows, so when I get up, I check to see which way and how hard the wind is blowing the huge flag at the top of the bluff, to get a weather preview. (See the flag in the righthand picture just above?)

Apparently, Grandad’s Bluff is mentioned in Mark Twain’s Life on the Mississippi.

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(I’ll have to look that up for myself some time.)

How about a bit of knitting?

Here’s the pattern I’m working on, the piano teacher’s mitts, knit from elann.com Baby Cashmere (alpaca/merino/cashmere fingering weight):

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They fit me (and the intended recipient) pretty much perfectly. But here they are (before ends were woven in) on my 9-year-old, and they fit her too! Amazing!

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I even made my husband try them on; he does not have small hands at all; but they pretty much fit him as well. It’s like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants!

So I’m going to knit these mitts again, refining the fit a little with the second pair, and then maybe write the pattern up. It’s simple, obviously, and these could be embellished easily with a lace pattern or cable on the back, but they’re very soft, warm and comfortable. Very suitable for indoor wear for those of us who don’t turn the heat on September, or who keep the heat low the winter through.

First Fingerless Mitts for the Fingerless Mitts KAL

Here are the Gothlet mitts in action:

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I didn’t set up this shot, this is just what she decided to do after I gave her the finished fingerless gloves.

These are based on the fingerless gloves from “Last Minute Knitted Gifts” by Joelle Hooverson.

I modified them by using fingering weight yarn

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Merino/Tencel blend, colorway “Goth”, from etsy seller Ashabee05

with 48 stitches on size 1 needles.

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This is basically a tube in spiral rib stitch, with a slit for the thumbs. The spiral rib has so much elasticity that these fit me as well as my nine-year-old. I started these on the walk for breast cancer research last weekend and finished within a couple days.