Tag Archives: fingerless mitts

Warm hands


Without fail, there are a few weeks every fall and every spring when I wish I had fingerless mitts. I kick myself for not knitting them sooner, I swear that next time it will be different, I plan for them to be the next article I cast on, and then the weather either gets cold enough for full-on mittens or warm enough to forego them entirely and they never get knit.

The pattern is mirrored on the other mitt, which is one of those design details I'll always appreciate.

The pattern is mirrored on the other mitt, which is one of those design details I’ll always appreciate.

Last year I whipped up a speedy pair of Camp Out Fingerless Mitts, wore them camping, where they got very dirty and slightly felted, and swore to myself I’d replace them (I mean, the whole pair only took a few hours to knit, so no big deal, right?). Yeah, I never replaced them, even though I thought about it over the winter, and then again in the spring, and once or twice in the summer. A few weeks ago, though, the temperature here dropped and my hands were cold, and I was in a restless place with my knitting, and I decided it was was time. I looked through my many knitting books, and through my many (many) favourited patterns, trying to decide on a pair. It’s fall, so the weather is getting colder (unlike spring, when it’s getting warmer), so I decided that the mitts I’d been planning to knit probably weren’t the best choice right now (in March, though, I swear I’m going to knit them and be ready for spring!).

Then I remembered that last year, when I reviewed Audry’s book, I did so with the full intention of casting on the Motoring Madness mitts more-or-less immediately. I even had the right yarn (The Fibre Company’s Acadia) in my stash, all wound up and ready to go! That pretty much settled it. I finished the first mitt in an afternoon (minus the thumb), and even though it took me the rest of the week to knit the other mitt and two thumbs, they’ve been seeing lots of wear since finished them (a little over a week ago now).

Knit in The Fibre Company's Acadia, in the Douglas Fir colourway.

Knit in The Fibre Company’s Acadia, in the Douglas Fir colourway.

I modified the pattern a little (you can see all the details here on Ravelry), but really only for length, since I wanted a longer cuff and I also have long hands (and, lets face it, probably knit these at a tighter gauge than written, despite going up a needle size). I love how well this colour goes with my array of navy blue jackets, and also that the pattern is interesting and pretty without being too loud/likely to snag on things. I’m also really impressed by how well the yarn is holding up. I thought the alpaca might cause pilling or fuzzing (you should see the state of my Hodgepodge mittens, which are very warm, but also absurdly fuzzy), but I haven’t had any problems at all, which makes me really want to knit something larger with Acadia. I have two more skeins in this colourway, so I was thinking of knitting a matching cowl or something — what to do you think?

Big, exciting news


Remember before, when I was knitting fingerless gloves that weren’t for me, but I said they were “for an upcoming fun something”? Well, that something has just about arrived, so here it is: There’s a new yarn shop opening in Toronto, and I’m helping. The shop is being opened by Claudia Quintanilla, and it’s called EweKnit (as in “you-knit,” not “ew, knit?”).

Oh, you thought I was done with the fingerless gloves? Nope! Details here.

My role isn’t huge, but I have to say that helping start a business – and a knitting business, at that – is exciting and daunting and exhausting and wonderful. Essentially, my job at the moment is to run the advertising campaign (something I’m totally new to and finding hugely interesting) and help set things up in the shop. Once we’re open, I’ll continue doing the advertising, as well as start and run a blog, work in the shop, and teach some classes. I am beyond excited.

This all came about, weirdly, because the National Post, where I work as a copy editor, announced in May that it will be cutting its copy desk in the near-ish future. This means that I will be out of a job, as will the rest of my colleagues, and while that hasn’t happened yet, I was feeling some pressure to figure stuff out. I mentioned this to Natalie (formerly of Lettuce Knit), and when Claudia asked Natalie to help with the store, and then decided they needed a third person as well, Natalie asked if I was interested. I was, and I met with Claudia at the beginning of July, and it all went from there.

The only reason I didn’t mention any of this earlier is because it seemed almost too good to be true (I mean, I get to work in a yarn shop, keep my current job for as long as it exists, get paid to knit some interesting stuff, and squish pretty yarns? Pinch me.) and I wanted to make sure it wasn’t before I said anything. That, and I wanted to make sure my bosses at work knew about this, since sometimes they read the blog.

So, what does any of this matter to you (besides, hopefully, acting as an explanation for my erratic blogging)? Well, first of all, you’re all invited to the shop’s grand opening, which is this week! If you’re in Toronto, please drop in – check out the yarn, have a glass of wine, and come say hi (the proper invite is below). Secondly, I would like to assure you that I am still knitting – knitting like crazy, even – and that this blog will return to its usual assortment of posts after this crazy week is over.

The gauntlet


Taking pictures of your hand is a little tricky. Sorry.

I finished the first Noro “wrister” this morning (isn’t that a bad name? I think gauntlet is both more accurate and less fetish-suggestive, but whatever). I’m not knitting these for myself, though. Instead, they are for an upcoming fun something, about which I will write at length when the time comes. Until then, be prepared for a smattering of knitting that looks unlike the stuff I would normally choose.

Anyway, I don’t have the ball band for this yarn, but it is Noro (I think Kureyon) in a pink/purple/brown/black colourway. (This is such useless information; if/when I find out what it really is, I’ll update this). The pattern is from Noro Magazine‘s fall 2012 issue, which is actually a really pretty magazine with lots of lovely pictures. The amount of entrelac is frightening, but if you can get past that, it’s kind of like InStyle, but entirely knitwear.

The wrist part looks disproportionately giant, but I assure you it looks less so when worn.

This is my first time knitting with Noro and, well, it’s a little different. It is fun to watch the yarn change colours (and this particular pattern seems to be written so that each block of colour last for about one chart repeat, which is pleasing), but it’s also a little like knitting with a dreadlock. It isn’t unpleasant (which is weird, given that description), but if you’re used to smooth sock yarns, it’s a very big change.

The striping is surprisingly hypnotizing.


The pattern wasn’t difficult, but it was an interesting knit because the cuff is knit flat and then you join the piece in the round to start the ribbing and knit the hand. I haven’t knit mittens like this before, so it was kind of fun to try out a new construction technique. Also, even though you can’t quite see it in the pictures, the pattern involves both a sort of faux-cable and lace, which shows up like a little surprise when you put them on.

They may not be my style now, but I know my 8-year-old self is deeply coveting them, so perhaps you know someone who would just die to add these to their back to school wardrobe.

CanLit Knit is this Sunday! I am reading Better Living Through Plastic Explosives by Zsuzsi Gartner right now and it is excellent and interesting and weird. I promise I will have more astute observations on Sunday. If you want to come but have not yet rsvp’d (in the comments, through e-mail, or via Twitter), please do. We’re hoping for lovely weather and an afternoon of knitting and lit chatting in the sun, so you should probably come.
More details here.