Tag Archives: moose gloves

Return of the Moose (and the Brig!)

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I totally made it. Three days before Christmas these puppies were off the needles, blocked, and had their ends woven in, and I’m still not sure how I managed to make up that much time — call it a cliché, but this felt like a (secular) Christmas miracle.

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Because it’s basically impossible to secretly knit for the person you live with, and doubly so when you need them to try things on, L knew these were coming. I actually ended up giving them to him early since he hasn’t been able to wear the old ones and thus has had no gloves. They fit perfectly (like they were made for him!) and thanks to the denser yarn (Quince & Co. Chickadee), should be warmer than the last pair.

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I made a few other changes this time around, the biggest one being completely re-creating the chart in Illustrator. The chart in the book is impossibly small and has no numbers for either rows or columns, making it easy to lose your place. Additionally, the chart for the moose pattern on the back of the hand has enormously long floats. There wasn’t really any way around it for the actual moose (I didn’t want to make it speckled, though that does seem to be the consensus in other designs), but for the area around the moose, long floats seemed unnecessary. I charted in some little specks (a friend called them snowflakes, which is a nice interpretation), which definitely gives these gloves a different look than the other ones, but luckily it’s one that L likes.

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They go quite nicely with his Christmas hat too, which is a happy coincidence. He knew about the hat too, but I made him wait for it since he has others. This is a second attempt at Brig, and despite knitting it to almost exactly the same specifications as the previous one, it’s much smaller. L tried it on before I wove in the ends and said he liked it as it was (I offered to rip out the decreases and knit it long enough to have a fold-over brim), so I left it. It’s nice and tight around his ears, and the yarn (Swan’s Island Organic Washable DK) is lovely and soft, with really good recovery.

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I think it’s very fair to say that L is happy with his new hat and gloves. We took these pictures on Christmas day and it was definitely his most enthusiastic posing yet! (This is doubly amazing because I just realized that both of these are second-timers for him. He just likes what he likes I guess.)

Details
Pattern: The Moose at Sundown by Annemor Sundbo
Yarn: Quince & Co. Chickadee in Winesap and Slate
Needles: 2.75mm, 3mm, 3.25mm
Notes: My main changes were to the chart — adding extra specks to keep the floats from being too long (you can see the insides here) and adding extra length to the hand, which I did last time as well. I also when up a needle size for the fingers. One other thing I did when I recharted these was to make it so the beginning of the round was in the same place for both gloves. As it’s written in the book, for the left glove you knit the palm and then then back of the hand, and for the right hand you knit the back of the hand and then the palm. It’s not a huge deal, but I did notice that the tension of my floats were different on the two different gloves, and I wondered if that was why, so this time I knit both of these with the palm first. I’d say it resulted in much better tension, especially at the edges. Anyway, these are ravelled here. (And the hat is here.)

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Just about ready

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It’s not like I don’t know that December is a crazy busy month, but it seems like every year it still catches me off guard. I think it’s because December is a month where I don’t want to say no to anything. There are holiday parties, craft shows, birthdays, and so much knitting, and I want to do it all, because it’s fun and it’s festive and it’s just nice.

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Does this look familiar? Well, yes. L completely wore through the last pair I knit, and requested new ones. I’ve tweaked a few things this time around, which I’ll detail later, but basically, yeah, these are the same gloves.

Inevitably, though, that leads to a knitting crunch. We’re spending the holidays with L’s family this year, which means everything for my family needed to be done extra early so it could be mailed. Last Friday I delivered their parcel to the post office, feeling pretty good about how much of my holiday making I’d finished with two weeks to spare. Then I looked down at the gloves I’m knitting for L, and did a little math (amount of work divided by number of days in which to do it) and felt a whole lot less smug.

Why yes, I did sew that trim on by hand.

Why yes, I did sew that trim on by hand.

This time last week, the gloves consisted of one finished hand, with one finger, which I had to rip out and reknit, basically I had: no fingers, no thumb, no second glove even on the needles. I also realized that I had committed to making us stockings, and that I hadn’t even started (as in: no fabric, no pattern). I powered through on the second glove hand over the weekend (there’s nothing like a chart to motivate you through).

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I took care of the stockings on Monday. I bought the fabric, I made up a pattern (yes, the toes are a little pointy, but that just adds character, right?) and I whipped them together. The fabric is upholstery weight that I got in the remnant bin at a fabric store downtown, so it was relatively inexpensive, but frayed like crazy, so these are French seamed. It seems a little fancy for something that will really only be used once a year, but I sure beat trying to line them.

I have since finished that last finger. Now on to the next hand!

I have since finished that last finger. Now on to the next hand! (The reason they look like slightly different sizes is because I blocked the right hand — through not the fingers — to check the fit. The left hand has’t been blocked or tried on, but I fully expect it to stretch to the same size. You can really see the difference blocking makes, though, eh? Wow.)

Now I’m just chugging away on the fingers. I’ve got four finished, which leaves me four more, plus two thumbs, and just under a week. We have some driving to do, so I’m hoping I can get a finger or two knit in the car (the chart is nice and straightforward, and now I’ve basically knit it four times, so I’m not worried), which leaves me with just a few more, and then blocking and weaving in the ends. It’ll be tight, but I think I might just make it.

On the mend

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It has been really cold in Toronto. So cold, that on Monday I’m going to buy a parka (I’m not going sooner because it’s two weeks before Christmas and I cannot handle shopping in the weekend throng.) The upside to this cold is that both L and I are wrapping ourselves up in handknit warmth.

Thank goodness this wool is so sticky.

Thank goodness this wool is so sticky. L hadn’t even noticed the hole, so who knows how long it was like this.

Last weekend, after getting home from taking his sister to brunch, I noticed a hole in one of his moose gloves. When I looked more closely, I realized it wasn’t a hole exactly, it was more of a run – I used Harrisville Designs Shetland for these, which doesn’t have the high twist of a sock yarn, but is more rustic and warm. It’s a trade off. Anyway, I wanted to deal with the hole/run before it got any worse, so despite the terrible light I got down to work and thought I’d explain the process.

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To start with, you’ll need a few things in addition to the object being repaired. I knit these using 3.25mm needles, but for repair purposes, I pulled out my 2.25mm dpns (these ones are Signatures and I love them). I also grabbed a darning needle (I like the ones with angled tips, but any will do), a leftover skein of the same red yarn I used, my darning egg (which I didn’t end up using), a locking stitch marker (not pictured, but used to secure the last stitch until I was ready to pick it up), and the other glove, to use as a reference point.

Click to embiggen. On the left is the hole before building the "rungs"; on the right is after.

Click to embiggen. On the left is the hole before building the “rungs”; on the right is after.

After assessing the situation, I decided that straight-up darning* wasn’t really the best option. What I’m guessing happened here is that one of the red stitches snapped (confirmed by an inspection on the wrong-side) and slowly the line of red stitched pulled themselves out. Nothing at all happened to the stitches to either side (which makes Harrisville my top choice for anything needing a steek!) so I wasn’t too worried about the hole getting wider so much as taller.

On the inside, I found the two ends of the broken yarn and tied them (yes, knots, I know) to grey floats to keep them from moving around. Then, using a decent length of new red yarn (maybe 8 inches, leaving a tail of 3 inches) I stitched back and forth across the gap, from bottom to top, using the grey purl-bumps to anchor the yarn on either side. You know how when you drop a stitch you can ladder it back up using the horizontal bars left in its wake? Well, what I wanted to do was recreate those horizontal bars. (Don’t cut the yarn when you’re done.)

You can just see the ned red rungs through the gap. On the needle, the bottom stitch is the one that was left at the the bottom of the gap, and the top stitch is a new rung picked up through the gap. From here to the top, it's just like laddering up a dropped stitch.

You can just see the ned red rungs through the gap. On the needle, the bottom stitch is the one that was left at the the bottom of the gap, and the top stitch is a new rung picked up through the gap. From here to the top, it’s just like laddering up a dropped stitch.

That way, when I flipped the mitten back to the right side, using that last little stitch, I could ladder the stitches right back up, using the fresh and well-secured “rung” I’d built on the inside. (This is where the other mitten came in handy – I needed to know how many stitches were missing so I added the right number). Once I got to the top, I pulled the top tail of new yarn through to the right side and then through the top stitch. To seal it, I used that tail to duplicate stitch to next couple of stitches in the row before pushing the tail back through the wrong side to weave it in.

A little wobbly, but not too bad.

A little wobbly, but not too bad.

At the bottom, I used the tail to duplicate stitch from a couple of stitches before the new ones through the first couple of new ones (five stitches) and then wove in the ends on the wrong side.

Duplicate stitch looks a little clumsy initially, but L has been wearing these all week and now you can't even tell.

Duplicate stitch looks a little clumsy initially, but L has been wearing these all week and now you can’t even tell.

The whole process took about a half hour, which gave me time to duplicate-stitch a couple of other spots that were looking a bit thin. It’s not totally perfect, but I doubt many people would be able to tell repairs were done (from the right side, anyway).

Ta-da!

Ta-da! (Also, I just noticed that grey stitch in the border. Sigh. I’ll have to go back and duplicate stitch that.)

What do you think? Have you had to make similar repairs before?

*There is a great tutorial in the latest Twist Collective about straight-up darning, covering four methods, with photos. If you have socks or other sweater elbows or other garments in need of darning, head over there.

Effing magestic

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The moose gloves are done. They’ve actually been done for a week, but we had to wait until the weekend for a proper photo shoot, but L wore them for the first time two weeks after his birthday and proclaimed them quite warm, but not wind proof. He is quite pleased with the moose.

I still can't believe how much they look like moose.

I still can’t believe how much they look like moose.

These gloves were basically a year in the making – it was around this time last year that L first saw the pattern and I first said I would knit them for him if he bought me the book, which he did – and in a way they cap off a lot of what I’ve learned about knitting stranded colourwork, including a decent understanding of yarn dominance (that is, that the colour stranded along the bottom will pop the most), tension, and pattern modification. Although, that being said, of all the patterns I’ve knit out of this book so far, this is the one I altered the least.

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This is my first proper finished project of 2013, and I think my year is off to an auspicious start. There’s something nice about knowing my first project was a gift, and that it involved trying something new (I’d never knit fingers before). It makes me quite excited to see where the rest of the year takes me.

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Details
Pattern: The Moose at Sundown by Annemor Sundbo
Yarn: Harrisville Designs Shetland in Red and Charcoal
Needles: 2.75mm for the cuff and 3.25mm for everything else (I used a magic loop)
Modifications: Not too many, really. I knit these in a wooly fingering weight yarn instead of the sport weight the pattern called for, and also went up several needle sizes to achieve the right size (although, I probably could have gotten away with a 3mm needle for the hands, but oh well). The Harrisville Shetland was lovely to work with and I am seriously considering ordering a whole bunch more – it’s wooly and sticky, making it perfect for stranded colourwork with longish floats, but when washed it softens up and blooms, becoming more like a sport weight. I loved it.
Design-wise, I added seven rows of length to the hand (on the back of the hand: an additional plain row, three rows of alternating red/grey, like in the cuff chart, and then an additional three plain rows; on the palm I just continued in pattern). I also doubled the length of the ribbing and added an extra plain row between the cuff and the hand charts.
All the details are Ravelled here.

*If you’re wondering about the title for this post, it’s from this comic (not a moose, but it was still L’s reaction).

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Needed: eight fingers, two thumbs

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First, we had an amazing time in New York. Thank you so much for your suggestions! I’m still catching up a little, so a full New York post is coming tomorrow.

In the meantime, here’s a status update on the moose gloves. I did not get them finished for L’s birthday. In fact, I didn’t even bring them to New York, so on his birthday there was only one hand finished, and it was missing all its digits. Oh well. I buckled down this weekend and managed to be both social (CanLit Knit met yesterday and is still going strong), watch the entire second season of Downton Abbey, and knit the entire second hand. Where did all that time come from?

Fronts.

Fronts.

I’m a little puzzled as to why the moose look so different (is it just me, or is the one on the right older looking?), but overall I’m pleased. I’m excited to see them blocked, with fingers and thumbs, so that’s my project for this week. Ideally, I’d like to get them to L on Thursday, which would be one week late, but all in all not so bad; it’s more likely I’ll need another weekend to get them tidied away, though. I will keep you posted!

Backs! (I made a little mistake on the palm of the left glove, but it isn't bothering me, so I'm not ripping back. If I change my mind later, I'll duplicate stitch it.)

Backs! (I made a little mistake on the palm of the left glove, but it isn’t bothering me, so I’m not ripping back. If I change my mind later, I’ll duplicate stitch it.)

I hope you all had lovely weekends and tomorrow let me tell you about New York.

There’s a moose in these mittens!

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Well, okay, technically they’re gloves, but since I’m not at the fingers yet it doesn’t matter. What does matter, though, is that the moose is starting to appear, and he is looking very moose-y indeed.

I cast on for these mittens gloves (L does not wear mittens) on Saturday, which is a pretty late start considering that his birthday is on Thursday. Honestly, I was just so tired of working on deadline stuff that I wanted to just knit for myself for a few days. Of course, now I’m under the gun and L probably won’t get these on his birthday, which he says he’s okay with (I suspect he’s weighing an on-time birthday gift against my mental health, and I’m pleased to see he values the latter more).

Anyway, moose gloves. I cast on on Saturday and by the end of the day I was finished the cuff and feeling quite pleased with myself.

The red is proving very hard to photograph and, while it is bright, it's not quite this garish.

The red is proving very hard to photograph and, while it is bright, it’s not quite this garish.

I then had virtually no glove-knitting time on Sunday or Monday, but did manage to squeeze in a little time on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. I worked on them a bit this morning and am only eight rows from the top of the hand (as charted, I might add a few extra rows for safety). I have never knit gloves before, but I’ve been trying these on L as I go, and so far I think they’re working out.

It really does look like a moose, doesn't it?

It really does look like a moose, doesn’t it?

Ideally I’d like to buckle down and get this one mostly finished this weekend, but I’m going to a baby shower on Sunday and since the sweater I’m going to knit still looks like this

The parents aren't telling whether it's a boy or a girl, but I think this can go either way. (In case you're curious, it's Indigodragonfly DK Superwash in "Fringe Over Troubled Water")

The parents aren’t telling whether it’s a boy or a girl, but I think this can go either way. (In case you’re curious, it’s Indigodragonfly DK Superwash in “Fringe Over Troubled Water”)

well, I think baby knitting might take priority. On the other hand, maybe I’ll just knit a little hat for the shower and deliver the sweater later (thus leaving time to hopefully tackle at least a few fingers)? The baby isn’t due until the end of March, so in my head this seems like a reasonable plan – what do you think?

Looking ahead to 2013

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It never really feels like a new year has begun until I have a new day planner. It probably sounds really quaint that I still use paper, but I have tried iCal and Google Calendar and the calendar on my phone and, frankly, I hate them all. I like writing things down and being able to map things out and add Post-It lists, and I really like having them as a record of my year. I don’t keep a diary anymore, so instead I use my day planner to keep track of things and while most of it is boring work stuff, it’s also a record of plans with friends, holidays, and all the fun stuff in my life.

Anyway, now that the organizational side of my brain has the whole year laid out in paper-form, I thought maybe my creative side should try to do a little goal-setting too. I’m not big on resolutions (it seems the point is more to make them than to work toward them), but I like goals (they’re more active and less lofty, it seems to me), so here are a few of mine, in no particular order:

1. Complete a sweater. I came so close with Buckwheat, but the endless stockinette killed me. This year, I want to get past that. I wear a lot of sweaters (pullovers and cardigans) in the winter, fall, and spring, so besides being a milestone in knitting, they’re a super practical addition to my wardrobe.

2. Learn to knit toe-up socks. I knit a lot of socks and generally don’t feel limited by my top-down style. Still, I learned a bunch of skills last year, and I don’t want to stagnate (as if that’s even possible with knitting.)

3. Consider the stash first. Deciding to go on a yarn diet would be pointless, because as soon as I said it I’d itch to buy something. Instead, when starting something new or eyeing a new pattern, I will look to my stash first. I have a lot of awesome yarn there, and it’s easy to forget that when the lure of a new project is dangling in front of me; however, I am running out of space, and want to use the yarn I bought, so it gets first priority. If, though, I don’t have what I need, or there’s a good reason to buy more yarn (I’m on a trip, it’s crazy on sale, whatever) I give myself permission to do so.

4. Be a more creative cook. Our New Year’s Eve dinner party went really well, and I want to have more of them (although maybe with fewer people – cooking for 11 is a lot of work). I don’t cook as much as I used to, and when I do I often make the same things. This year I want to try and branch out, both in terms of what I cook and who I cook for.

5. Publish a couple of patterns. I have a few designs kicking around that I’ve been too lazy to publish, and that’s dumb. This isn’t so much a pride thing as it is about creativity and being part of the larger community, and I want to dive in there.

Alright, that out of the way, here’s what’s on my needles to start 2012:

First up, my Woodstove Season cardigan. This may well be what accomplishes Goal 1, and I really hope it is because I love the design and the wool, and I really want to wear it.

The chevrons are just starting to be visible. (I'm knitting this in SweetGeorgia Superwash Worsted in Cyprus)

The chevrons are just starting to be visible. (I’m knitting this in SweetGeorgia Superwash Worsted in Cyprus)

I picked up some Tosh Sock at Gaspereau Valley Fibres when I was at home over the holidays (I did a bit of yarn shopping, actually, but we can talk about that later) and after I finished my Cranberry Biscotti Socks, I cast on for new ones. I hemmed and hawed about the pattern, but after casting on for three different ones, I settled on Hermione’s Everyday Socks since they were simple and pretty. I like them a lot.

Tosh Sock in Jade.

Tosh Sock in Jade.

Lastly, this clearly isn’t quite on my needles yet, but this yarn will become the Moose Gloves you see in the photo (no one on Ravelry has made this pattern, so there’s no link).

This is more yarn purchased at Gaspereau – this time New England Shetland in Red and Charcoal. The gloves will be grey with red moose.

This is more yarn purchased at Gaspereau – this time New England Shetland in Red and Charcoal. The gloves will be grey with red moose and patterning. (The red is only slightly less vibrant in person.)

L has wanted these gloves since before he bought me Norwegian Mittens and Gloves (they are why he bought it) and his birthday is coming up, so I’m going to buckle down and knit them up. The pattern calls for sport-weight, but since they all run a little small, I’m going to hold this fingering weight Shetland double. In my head, this is a perfect solution – what do you think?

So, that’s three projects on the go, plus five goals – not a bad start to the year. How’s your 2013 outlook?