Madalina Mittens

Madalina Mittens

Check out my new mittens! Well, they’re not new to me because I knit them way back in the Spring. But they’re new to you, because the pattern is in the new issue of Knitscene Magazine. The issue will be on newsstands beginning October 25th, and like most issues of Knitscene, there are a lot of knittables in there!

Fore more details, you can view the Madalina Mittens on Ravelry. Don’t you love the name, Madalina? For the record, I had nothing to do with naming this pattern. I let the experts over at Knitscene take care of that.

Madalina Mittens by Mandy Powers

Image © Knitscene

The yarn is Louet Gems Sport Weight knit quite firmly on a US 1 needle. I-cord cast on. Sore thumb gusset. Pointy at the top. I’m quite proud of them.

on mittens

When I did the color workshop with Brandon Mably, one of the things he insisted on was manageable lengths of yarn. If he was choosing a color, he would unwind a length of yarn between his outstretched hands and rip it from the ball without even using scissors. Since we were knitting small sections of color, that one- or two-yard length was enough. When it ran out then it was time to change colors.

With this new project I’m working on, I keep repeating it over and over in my head: manageable lengths of yarn, manageable lengths of yarn

manageable lenghts of yarn?

manageable lengths of yarn. The idea is actually helping me and I would have thrown in the towel on this project from the start without the mantra playing continuously in my head. Despite the mess above, the yarn is not tangled, it is manageable, and I’m enjoying the challenge.

My Dad requested a hat that would look like the old Buffalo Bills helmets. I found this web page that has served as my guide. I’ve been thinking about it in my head for some time now, and with my Dad visiting I finally found the motivation to cast on. At the moment the whole thing looks like crap.

To distract you (and me!) from the mess above, I’ve decided to show you some mittens.

handspun mittens

Pattern: Family Mittens by Lucy Rogers from Homespun Handknit (Ravelry project page*).
Yarn: My own handspun, from Ashland Bay merino top purchased at a local fiber festival in the Fall.
Start: Nov. 30, 2007.
Finish: Dec. 2, 2007.
For: Maggie.

handspun mittens

These were the first mittens I ever made! I liked that the pattern had you use one strand of yarn for the ribbing then double yarn for the hand. Very warm mittens.

The next pair I made were given to Jerry for Christmas, and photographed at the park a few days later.

pirate mittens

Pattern: Mittens for Children and Adults from Sandy’s Needle Nook (free online, Ravelry link).  I drew the skull chart myself.
Yarn: Cascade 220 in black and white, knit very tightly on size 3 needles.
Start: Dec. 19, 2007.
Finish: Dec. 23, 2007.

I love how these came out, and they fit Jerry perfectly.  There are long floats on the inside that he gets caught in when putting the mittens on, but it’s not a big deal.  The big deal is that we have no snow and it’s barely cold.  Mittens see little action around here.

But that’s not really the point.  The point is that I can knit nice things.  While I work on the Bills hat and it looks really, really bad, it’s okay to look back on little mittens to remind myself that I am a good knitter, remember to breath calmly, and repeat my mantra: manageable lengths of yarn

*I’m going to link to Ravelry because I’m guessing most folks have an account now. If you don’t – Noreen! Mom! Anyone else living under a rock! – you should get on the waiting list. You won’t be disappointed.

more gifties

First off, thanks for all the owly love! I seriously cannot wait to try the sweater on Maggie (but I must wait since I wrapped it already). For anyone interested in some other cute hooter knit wear, Merete and Malin pointed me to two other designs. Thanks, gals!

Here’s something that may not be news: I am an idiot. I keep clicking to my blog and looking at the owl sweater picture, or going to my flickr page…with Maggie on my lap at the computer. The other day I was looking at this picture:

Frock

Maggie got all quiet and her eyes widened, and then I remembered it’s supposed to be a surprise! I think it was just a thumb nail version of the pic, so maybe she didn’t put it all together. Somewhere in her 21-month-old brain, she knows that her doll was wearing a sweater, sitting on the picnic table in her backyard. I am an idiot.

At first, I thought that the owl sweater would be the only hand knit gift of the season. But then I got all sorts of plans in my brain about clothes for Sweet Cheeks and mittens for Jerry. Secret knitting commenced.

Besides the frock pictured above, Sweet Cheeks also has pants. Tight pants, but luckily she won’t get any bigger. My scribbled notes in my knitting journal read something like this: “cascade 220 on US 6, 5sts/inch, gauge questionable.” I checked my gauge, but apparently the swatch lied.  So tight pants it is.  The last thing I need to do for Sweet Cheeks is make a hat.  It will likely have large pompoms.

Jerry is getting some mittens with a pirate design on them, at his request.  Mitten number one is complete, mitten number two is half finished.

I’m confident that these last minute things will all be ready for Christmas morning.  I’m trying to remain calm and composed.  Will it work out if I keep saying it?