Of Rats and Jen (Inactive)

Tales of a Perpetual
Work In Progress

First FO of Ought-6; New Idea for Counting; and, Where Folkcat Knits

Filed under: Knitting — folkcat at 4:12 pm on Monday, January 9, 2006

Finally, I’m done talking about Christmas! Well, Christmas ’05, at least.

I finished all my Christmas knitting on time. Though I brought knitting supplies and a WIP (Wearable Hug 13) with me to Syracuse, I really didn’t spend any time knitting at all – we were just on the go too much.

I did have a knitterly mission while in Syracuse, though. A friend had asked me to do a variation of the Freedom Mitts that she could give to another friend. The variations – knit in a worsted weight instead of a bulky like the originals, and knit for a much smaller hand than mine (at least an inch or more smaller). And they had to be machine washable.

The other most important quality was that they needed to be purple. Not muted purple, not dusky purples. Definite purple. No-nonsense purple. Purple purple. Blatant purple.

So I was on the lookout for suitable yarns while on the trip. Actually, I finally found the one to use at A.C. Moore after getting back to New Hampshire, but I got myself lots of fun yarn while I was looking! It looks more blue than it should in these pictures, but here’s what I wound up with when I finished knitting this weekend:

Fingerless Mitt on Willing Model
Miss Thing Models the Fingerless Mitt

I didn’t want to photo them on my own hands for fear of stretching them out.

Secret Message for you-know-who: They’re on their way to you as of today!

The Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease. Less than one skein total for both mitts.
The Pattern: Folkcat’s own Freedom Mitts, modified to use a lighter weight yarn. I also used a baby cable rib pattern to add interest and texture to the solid color.
Needles: Addi Turbo size 8, 40″ circulars

The lighter weight yarn combined with the smaller target size meant I cast on the same number of stitches for these mitts as I did for the original Freedom Mitts, which were knit with Berocco Foliage. However, I had to alter the number of rows I did before creating the thumb hole to create a longer finger sleeve. I also slightly altered the placement of the thumbhole, and cast off more stitches to create it than I had with the bulkier yarn.

Fingerless Mitts with Wrapped Label
Wrapped in their gift label
“Handknit especially for you by Folkcat”

I made an attempt to knit both mitts simultaneously on 2 circular needles, but gave that up after about 6 rows. Too much time got eaten up by adjusting mitts and needles everytime you switched from one to the other. I wound up knitting both on Magic Loops on separate circulars.

It was important to knit both at the same time because of the alterations to the pattern – especially since this was a commission for someone else. I wanted to be sure that I repeated the changes correctly. So I knit the first mitt to the thumbhole, then the second. Then did both thumbholes. Next, matched the decreases after the thumbs, then knit the same number of pattern repeats for the wrists.

I used a new way to keep track of pattern repeats and rows in the pattern for both mitts. Gaming Dice, as purchased at a local comics and gaming store. These sets include the following dice: (1) 4-sided, (1) 6-sided, (1) 8-sided, (2) 10-sided (one #’d in tens, one in one’s, so you can use both together to roll 01 – 100), and (1) 20-sided.

They’re available in a multitude of colors and finishes. I’ve now got white, royal blue, and purple, all in a nice pearlized finish. With different colors, I was able to use a different set for each mitt as I worked. To keep track of which color dice went with which mitt, I added a stitch marker to each mitt in a color that matched the dice.

Sets of Gaming Dice
Gaming Dice at Work as Knitting Counters

I used the 4-sided dice to keep track of the 4 pattern rows in the baby cable. I like baby cable, but I’m always losing track of how many rows I’ve done since the last time I crossed the stitches. This solved that problem.

I used the 20-sided dice to track how many pattern repeats I had done since the end of the thumb decreases, so I could get the wrist lengths to match.

In the picture above, the purple dice show that one mitt is on pattern row 4, and I’ve done 2 repeats since the thumb. The white dice show the other mitt as on pattern row 3, with 1 repeat.

I had originally bought the dice so I could use them to choose number of rows to knit for random width stripes. The counting function is a nice bonus, and may actually see more use from me. Though my next WIP on the needles is a ruana, with random-stripes knit in 8 yarns that I’m also choosing randomly… Pictures later this week, right now it looks like a too-short, very anemic scarf.

Where Folkcat Knits

I’ve found this meme slowly making the rounds of the blogs, and actually thought I’d participate for a change. Here’s the spot where I park my butt when I’m knitting:

Where Folkcat Knits
Folkcat’s Knitting Spot

I think it’s mostly self-explanatory, though perhaps I should point out that this is our living room, which is at least half my crafting studio. (Unseen to the left in the photo is my crafting table and desk, with more shelves and supply storage.) The parts of the room you don’t see here are mostly stacks of boxes filled with crafting supplies and books.

What Folkcat Sees When Knitting
Folkcat’s Knitting Scenery

My sit’n’knit spot is conveniently located in front of my tv, which is well-supplied with interesting things to watch by my Tivo and a good collection of DVDs. For those times when downtown gets a little noisy (I live next door to Town Hall in a New England small town), I have wireless headphones I can park on my head to shut out the cacophony. You can see some of the stacks of boxes here, just above the tag that says “WIP”.

I’ve been finding it interesting to see our different work styles. I won’t tag anyone special, since I think memes are best left completely voluntary. But if you feel inspired to share your workspace with the world, why not post your own pictures? Let me know in comments so I can come see, too!

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