The Mittens

Let me be honest here. I thought there would be more mittens. Last year I felt like I knit all mittens, all the time. That would mean a mountain of mittens, but it’s only just a mound of mittens. It’s still a lot. Let’s count them.

The Mittens

Clockwise from top left (for ease, all fingerless or wrist items are referred to as mittens for now):

A few of my own design samples: 4 pairs (8 mittens)
Failed design that I am still trying to work out: 2 pairs + 1 (5 mittens)
Samples from The Red Collection: 7 pairs (14 mittens)
The Worst Pile – Mittens with no comrades: no pairs (11 mittens)
Bag of pulsewarmers in various stages of completion: 4 pairs (8 mittens/not really but whatevs)
Mittens and gloves that live in the Mitten Bin and get used: 6 pairs (12 mittens)
The Best Pile – Baby Maggie mittens: 3 pairs (6 mittens)
Other people’s patterns that don’t get much wear anymore: 3 pairs (6 mittens)
Gifted mittens (from my sister and from Elinor): 2 pairs (4 mittens)

The math says that’s 31 pairs of mittens and 74 mittens total.

Like yesterday, I can only assume there are some mittens in my house that I cannot locate, and I know of at least one mitten on the pins. There are probably more half-knit mittens that I have hidden in a bag and stashed away somewhere deep.

I took another picture from the side, to show the extreme height of some of these piles.

The Mittens

Here’s a confession: I actually think I need more mittens. But more specifically, I think I need more mittens that fit the kids. Assuming it snows (and some years it doesn’t) the kids go out to play for 20 minutes, come in for hot chocolate, then want to go back out. But their mittens are then WET AND COLD. So they need at least two pairs each, and three would be better!

Okay, writing that last paragraph made me feel slightly insane. But I’ll probably knit more mittens anyway. I HAVE A PROBLEM.

On the other hand, the other categories (sweaters, socks, scarves, shawls) are totally under control. No really.

 

 

Mitten Maintenance

trimming pills

After being used frequently last winter, my Fiddlehead Mittens were looking very ragged. They’re knit with Cascade 220 and handspun and they are so pilly! I went through the wool basket this morning and found a few other mittens and mitts that were also in need of some pill maintenance.

My Girdwood Mittens in Cascade Eco:

trimming pills

The Mallory Mitts knit with Nature Spun Sport:

trimming pills

And my Zigzag Study Hall Mitts knit in Reynolds Whiskey:

trimming pills

My method of dealing with pills is to snip them off carefully with scissors. If you have read The Knitter’s Book of Yarn by Clara Parkes, then you know that for many fibers, pulling the pills off will only lead to more pills. By snipping the pills off with scissors (or a sweater shaver if you have one) you leave the surrounding fibers undisturbed. Clara discusses it much more eloquently in the book – it’s on pages 64-65 if you own the book. Read it again, it’s worth it.

After snapping my “before” pictures, I did some careful snipping.

trimming pills

The Fiddlehead Mittens look dramatically different after their haircut!

trimming pills

Nice, right? It just takes a few minutes of attention, plus some vacuuming, and my raggedy mitts and mittens look like new again!

trimming pills

 

All Wooled Up

Wooled Up

It was 29 degrees out at the bus stop this morning! I brought the wool basket down, gathered some of the recently finished knits and everyone bundled up against the cold. The newest item being worn was the Noro Scarf that I was working on a few days ago. I blocked it yesterday, and because my room gets super warm with the door closed at night, it was dry this morning!

More info about the Scarf for Jerry on Ravelry. When Jerry comes home today I’ll have to weigh the yarn to see how much was used. The yarn was a gift and already wound into balls, so I’m not sure of the exact yardage. If I had to guess it would be maybe 3 skeins?

Wooled Up

Jerry is also wearing his new Asheboro Hat.  The mittens are the Girdwood Mittens in Cascade 220 knit in the Big Kid size. Remember the Girdwood Mittens? The pattern comes in all sizes and would be a quick knit for Christmas gifts! Just sayin!

Wooled Up

If you’re wondering about the way he’s posing in this picture, he was being a robot. It has something to do with Looney Tunes I think.

And now for Maggie’s ensemble! She beats Jerry by one point because she is wearing a hand knit coat!

Wooled Up

The coat is the recently completed Tomten. Yesterday was a cold morning, too, so I put her Tomten out where she could see it and told her it was cold. I don’t want to force her to wear the knitting, but I want to make sure she remembers that it’s an option. And yesterday she chose to wear the knitted coat! I was so happy.

Wooled Up

Like Jerry, Maggie (doing robot moves) is also wearing Girdwood Mittens and her Asheboro Hat.  Her mittens are undocumented on the blog and Ravelry because they were a Girdwood prototype. She loves them, but the mittens are…imperfect. Luckily for us Maggie is like the honey badger. She don’t give a shit that her mittens don’t match.

The scarf that Maggie is wearing is a simple lengthwise garter stitch scarf knit with glorious Baby Alpaca Grande. On Raverly, it says I finished this almost exactly 2 years ago! Imagine that.

Wooled Up

So maybe Maggie is not technically all wooled up, but partially alpaca-ed up. Even better!