Tuesday, March 11, 2008

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  • The Last Tuesday of Winter

    If there comes a little thaw,
    Still the air is chill and raw,
    Here and there a patch of snow,
    Dirtier than the ground below,
    Dribbles down a marshy flood;
    Ankle-deep you stick in mud
    In the meadows while you sing, "This is Spring."
    -Christopher Pearce Cranch

    Now that we're getting all excited about spring around here (and let me assure you - this week has done San Diego proud with beautiful weather), I thought Time Machine Tuesday could revist a last bit of winter. You know, for those of you freezing in snowdrifts elsewhere. Hi Mom! Hi Dad! Hi to my inlaws!

    Anyway, I did live in Rhode Island for the first 4 or 5 years I knit, so I had my fair share of knitting for cold weather. And mittens were my first-ever non-scarf project. (Gosh, I love a good hyphen!) The entire first year I knit I made nothing but garter stitch scarves. Literally. They were all made of Lion Brand Homespun on US10 needles. And then I looked around, and everyone I knew had a garter stitch scarf. (This problem was exacerbated when I taught my college roommate to knit, and she did the same thing.) So I hit a make-or-break point.

    Lopi Mittens, circa 2001
    Pattern: Basic Mittens from Folk Mittens
    Yarn: Reynolds Lopi
    Needles: US 4 dpnsNotes: great first mitten pattern
    Best Thing About This Project: The snowball fights.

    And I picked up the book Folk Mittens from the local library. The mittens on the left are the second pair of mittens I ever made. The first pair is not still in my posession. In my infinite early-knitting wisdom, I made them out of kitchen cotton. Oh, and they are radically different sizes. Gauge issues with my first dpn experience. But it was fun. It had a shape. And a thumb. I was hooked. So I looked around and found some Lopi yarn that I had originally thought would make a good scarf (it wouldn't), and cast on. These mittens are the same size, and mine, and I've been wearing them solidly for a good 6 years. The Lopi is perfect for mittens - a nice halo, nearly waterproof, and warm.

    But not always quite warm enough. So after a little contemplation and a spring break trip to PEI in the middle of a blizzard, I had my roving and I thought some thrummed mittens would be in order.

    Thrummed Mittens, circa 2002
    Pattern: don't quite remember, but probably a free online pattern
    Yarn: a 3-ply aran weight wool and colored roving from McAusland's Woolen Mill on our PEI trip
    Needles: US 6?
    Notes: Thrums are fun. I can see why people are hooked. These are so bulky though that I never really wore them enough to get them all nice and matted on the inside
    Best Thing About This Project: Well, we are planning a trip to Calgary next winter. I think that may be the place cold enough to really appreciate them.

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    4 Comments:

    Blogger JayJay said...

    Very nice! They do look toasty warm and very practical for places such as Calgary. My first mittens were for two little boys in Rhode Island (you know the ones ;).

    3/12/2008 7:21 AM  
    Blogger knitseashore said...

    It is hard to imagine needing to find a place cold enough to wear mittens, since it's been so cold here. The blue and white ones look especially warm though, for Calgary.

    3/12/2008 8:20 AM  
    Blogger Nonnahs said...

    I love mittens! I wish I had more of an opportunity to wear them. And yes, the weather lately has been phenomenal!

    3/12/2008 10:54 AM  
    Anonymous Mom said...

    Hi T, Your polka-dot mittens are soooo cute! Enjoy the spring weather and get some well deserved sleep.
    Love, Mom

    3/13/2008 2:16 PM  

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