as i was saying…

about that whole knitting with handspun thing.  a couple of our organist friends who went on the trip to france with ben and katie were total troopers – carrying luggage and pushing her in a wheel chair through the streets of paris.

so last week, i dedicated some time to making them some mitts as a thank you. mitts are organist’s, who play in cold, drafty churches, favorite knit item.

red/gold as requested. they’re adam’s fraternity colors – fun fact: also, mine and ben’s high school colors.

that means i figured out the colors,  spun the yarn fairly thin (maybe dk weight after washing?  that falkland always plumps up!), washed, thwacked, dried, balled, and then knit them.

[my project on ravelry]
adam's mitts

i ended up knitting them on size 7 needles, which created a really nice fabric.  i was playing a bit in the spinning.  the red/gold has more twist in it than the summery colored mitts.  even with the added twist, they’re not that different in softness.  but it means the red/gold pair will pill a bit less and last a bit longer (not that i predict either will wear out any time soon!).  the other thing to notice is that i spun the summery pair a bit lighter weight.

the recipient’s hands are smaller than ben’s. ben’s are a bit big for these.
adam's mitts

i was surprised to find that these mitts are a delicate and light.  it took under 2 oz of each skein to make each pair. i must say that i envisioned them with more stripes and was rather shocked when they took so little yarn.


the other thing i must note on this adventure is that although i like these, i like subtle stripes kits spun up into fatter yarns better on the whole. you can see all the colors better that way. they don’t have to be super bulky, but i will certainly never make subtle stripes in sock weight!

jacob’s mitts – he likes bright colors! [my project on ravelry]
jacob's mitts

it just seems to me that the colors are fighting a bit in the yarn rather than letting both show.  that said, i really want a dk weight subtle stripes pullover!  really really i do.

jacob's mitts

all in all, these were fun. i also declare them successful, just what i was going for weight-wise and colors that they guys will love. that and i didn’t have to knit a boring pair of mitts in red and gold stripes! huzzah.

now the question is, what do i do with the other half balls?  my brian is churning as i write ;)

10 thoughts on “as i was saying…

  1. I see what you mean about the visual difference of the subtle stripes in chunky vs. dk weights – but I do like the dk, too. Can’t wait to see that dk-weight sweater, whenever you get around to making it!

  2. Cosy!! Those are gorgeous, and what a beautiful cause! It’s so nice to know that there are wonderful people all over the world.

    And I have to say that I might disagree with you on the second set. I think those colors are wonderful and I don’t see the fight at all. Of course I’m sitting here on the other side of my monitor, and not looking in person ;-) That being said, I do think they are a different combination than what I’ve seen you work with before, maybe that’s one of the reasons you’re feeling a bit critical of them?

    And, just in case you read this far down, if you can’t think of anything else to do with that second half of the second colorway, I know where it can find a good, loving home ;-)

    • oh! i wasn’t implying the second pair was bad. i was just being generic in the comment about dk vs bulkier. i love the colors in them! really i do ;)

  3. Beautiful mitts. I love the incongruity of the second pair.

    Can’t wait to see what you come up with for the second half of the yarn.

  4. Great mitts! I get the whole subtle striping thing now. I originally thought the kits for making a Noro type striping yarn. This is cooler and more awesomely homespun.

    I know what you mean about the Falkland plumping up. It even started plumping while I was plying my latest fibre club bump. Question: how do you finish your yarns? Do you do the whole simmering on the stove thing or wash, thwack and dry?

    • i’m always surprised by the plumping. perhaps it’s because i’m slow :D

      to set my yarns, i put some cold water in my washer and put the yarn in to soak for at least 20 min. then i spin it out using the spin cycle (i’ve known people to use salad spinners for this too), when i spun less, i used to squish it in a towel to get the excess moisture out then i thwack it a few times for good measure (although i’m not nearly as aggressive as other people i know!) and hang it up to dry

      that said, sometimes they even get knit with before being set. whoops!

  5. “and it appears that i cannot stop knitting with handspun!” – You said it right…I sure know that feeling:-)
    I love your handspun hats and mitts!

    Those leftover little balls drive me crazy….it IS fun to figure out what to do with them though.

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