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.

 

 

The Hats

I joked on Twitter yesterday that I was going to get out all the things in my house that I’ve knitted, and it would be shocking and awesome. There are a lot of knitted things that live in my closet, and I don’t feel bad about it. I knit for pleasure, but I also knit as a business. I knit for my immediate family and a few other folks.  I just don’t give my knits away as gifts.

Today I did get all the knitting out, but it seems reasonable to just blog about hats today. The number of mittens is obscene and they deserve their own day to shine. Here are all the hats that live in my house that I could locate:

The Hats

From top left, clockwise.

My self-published designs: 9
Self-published in The Red Collection: 13
Elizabeth Zimmermann hats: 5
Hats for which designs should appear eventually: 5
My designs published elsewhere: 4
Hats under surveillance for moths (in the plastic bag): 1
Improvised hats with no patterns: 9
Hats I keep, but were not made by me: 2 (more about these below)
Knit from other people’s patterns: 16

If my math is correct, that’s 64 hats on the table.

According to what’s been recorded in Ravelry, there are 2 hats not pictured that should be (one is in Gerald’s work truck, one is missing). I have knit 15 hats that were given as gifts, donations or samples.

I have at least 3 hats that are currently on the needles.

There’s gotta be plenty more that I don’t have a record of that are hiding in the house, or given away pre-Ravelry, or who knows what.

I like knitting hats.

About the two pictured above that I didn’t knit: The pink one is the one Maggie wore home from the hospital when she was born. It is handknit and had the world’s saddest pompom. The brown and orange one is from J.Crew. I borrowed/stole it from a guy I once knew in college. I’ve lost touch with him, but he was one of the coolest and most fun guys I ever had the pleasure of knowing. I keep the hat to remember him, and because it looks really good on me.

Warning: Tomorrow is mittens, and there are a lot.

 

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