Friday, January 29, 2016

Because Knitting With US 11 DPNs is Such Fun

No, I haven't figured out what to do about the thumb yet. I've decided I deserve a break instead. Any sane person would opt for something the polar opposite of stockinette in the round (aka knit every stitch) with big yarn on big needles. A nice fingering weight shawl perhaps. Or a sweater.

But, you say, it's been so much fun knitting with bulky yarn or its equivalent on big fat needles.

Well. I never claimed to be a sane knitter. As a break from Lamb's Pride Bulky stockinette (aka knit every stitch) in the round on big fat needles, I have -

Kitty Pi. The second one actually. Knitting stockinette (aka knit every stitch) in the round with Cascade 220 doubled on - yes ma'am - big fat needles. Truly deeply boring. More boring than repeatedly knitting thumbs on Sasquatch mitts and ripping them out.

Just in case the monotony of that starts me fantasizing about using big fat DPNs for kindling, I also have a Garter Squish Blanket going (have I mentioned this one, I think I may have). 

It is garter stitch (hence the name, yes?) knit flat (again, aka knit every stitch) with Cascade 220 doubled on big fat needles. Addi turbo circulars here rather than dpns, but you say tomato, I say big red fruit that grows on a vine.

I may need to rethink my idea of alternate knitting.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

All Thumbs

Way back when, in my first Stitches Midwest class, I made an oven mitt. Once I got home, I made a second one. Made of Lamb's Pride Bulky and knit on huge needles, they started out looking like something for the giant in Jack and the Beanstalk, but after a couple of hot water washes zipped in pillow protectors, they felted down to a reasonable size.  They have been in constant use since then, the best oven mitts I have ever had. I am so enamored of them, that when a dear niece got married last spring, I made a pair for her.  It is time and past time to replace the original pair.  That, and I want  a pair in red and one in green for Christmas baking, since that store-bought (hey, I wasn't knitting back then) pair, the ones that only come out for a couple weeks each year, are also dying.

Just one problem.  I've lost the pattern. Twice. We got the original as a handout for the class. I lost it.  Early in 2013 I contacted the designer and bought a second copy.  Lost that one too (apparently the pattern never made it to a downloadable version, otherwise I would have the pattern on my computer).  When it came time to make the pair for the niece, I fudged from three other patterns I found on Ravelry (this one, this one, and this one) and the photos I had posted on the blog of the original pair.  They didn't any of them quite sync, but I took notes.

Just not, apparently, very good ones. So here I am, trying to recreate the pattern, because when I consider that I paid for it once as part of the cost of the class, and again (the designer charged $10) for the replacement hard copy, I feel I've paid enough.  Besides, somewhere along the line, I acquired a hard-copy of the same designer's pattern for felted mittens. I'd feel like an idiot contacting her again. 

I've got a picture of the cast-on, it's clearly 36 stitches. I've got pictures of the mitts before they were felted. I'm pretty sure I've got the right number of rows for the body of the mitt.  It's the thumb that I can't seem to get right.  It looks like I might have 13 stitches held from the thumb gusset.  But it might be 11. The mitten pattern says to pick up 7 stitches and then decrease by 4 until 4 stitches remain.  11 = 7 =18, not a multiple of 4.  I tried decreasing 2 and then by 4 until 4 remained. The thumb looked like a flattened ping-pong ball -  too short and too round.

You'll have to take my word.  I'm so out of touch with blogging that I forgot to document that screw-up. Just the carnage after.  

So I figured I'd try 13, since 13 + 7 = 20. That's divisible by 4.  Ripped back. Re-knit. Closer, but the thumb still  looks a little short and too wide, at least when I compare it to the original photo. 


I figure the next step is to pick up just from the 3 stitches I cast on to bridge the gap over the thumb gusset and hope that I don't end up with huge gaps between the saved stitches and the picked up ones.  Or maybe I need to cast on the 7 stitches and then K2tog at the joins.  Or I could split the baby and cast on 5 stitches and see what happens. No matter what, I think I have to knit even for more than 6 rows (another direction grabbed from the plain mitten pattern).

I am keeping better notes and by the time I've knit six of these I hope I'll have worked out the kinks. Until then, I guess I'll go back and rip out the thumb again.