Fingerless Mittens

Fingerless Mittens
Originally uploaded by i_bugsy.

This is my new project, a pair of fingerless mittens, or gloves. Currently, it is also thumbless! However, that should only be temporary. As you can see, I've got my double point needles (DPNs) in place and ready for action.

It won't be a complete thumb, just enough to keep it cozy and yet free to use my Droid.

So besides doing a thumb, the other new thing is a cable! The other side of the glove has a cable on it! Cables are easy, managing the yarn while working the cable is a bit harder, especially when stitching the stitches on the cable needle because the tension is tight.

Fingerless Mittens Cable

It was also my first time using a knitting chart. It's also the first time I misread one! Never the less, this mitt works!

The pattern is named Medallion Mitts and is in the book "Knitting With Balls: A hands-on guid for the Modern Man" by the designer Michael Del Vecchio.

I was surprised how fast this one knitted up. Very enjoyable.


Socks: Completed

Socks I
Originally uploaded by i_bugsy.

I have completed my socks! I am so very proud how they turned out, including all of the little errors, mistakes, and tiny holes. It was a journey worth taking and I'll be taking many more in the future.

It all started late in 2008 when a friend gave me some yarn that was dyed for Gay Pride. She also thought I should knit socks! Now, my friend had just showed me how to knit. I knitted a scarf. A very, very, very long scarf, which is great to wear while shoveling snow.

But socks?! I felt overwhelmed. So I let it sit for awhile and then near the beginning of last year I decided that my goal for 2009 was to start knitting a pair of socks. I felt that was a very doable thing.

I then set took a basic knitting class, as a refresher, and knitted a nice blue scarf for my sister-in-law who was undergoing chemo therapy for breast cancer. She assures me that the scarf helped to keep her warm during chemo. So success!

I then moved onto a knitted hat, because I and SU have little to no hair on our heads and they get cold. So I took another class to learn how to knit a hat. I was the slowest knitter of the group, but not by far. As usual, I was the only guy knitting, but I'm used to that with my quilting. The hat kept my head warm and was a success!

Now I was ready to learn to knit socks! I found a couple of books: Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch, and Getting Started Knitting Socks by Ann Bud. I also found Knit Fix by Lisa Katrus, which is invaluable for new knitters to help fix mistakes.

I then started and even posted some blog entries about the first sock, so I won't go into a lot of detail with the battles and learning. Instead, I'll hit the highlights.

Being the first sock, I had lots of learning to do, but also lots of wonder. I found it amazing it was to turn a heel and how difficult it was to pick up stitches when rejoining the heel flap and heel to the socks insteps.

I learned how to rip out stitches when I messed up my first attempt at the heel turn. I also learned how to pick up stitches when some fell off the end of the double point needles (DPN). Then, I learned how to pick up stitches after I went a few rounds before realizing that I had dropped them.

This was all good and I learned a lot more about knitting. It also resulted in some weird stitch results and a few holes, but that's what life is about: learning from one's mistakes and trying new things.

The socks are just a tad big, so I'm planning on moving one size lower than I chose for these socks. I'm also more aware that I'm a real tight knitter and I'm practicing on relaxing. Yet another reason for knitting.

I have found that these socks are warm, even though the yarn is very fine. Wool is a warm fiber and breathes nicely.

I'm looking forward to my next pair of socks.


Snowpocalypse 2010

In the front yard
Originally uploaded by i_bugsy.

We've got 19 inches of snow and its still snowing!

Stay safe and warm out there!

Update: 21 inches as of 11:38 AM Eastern Time and it is still snowing!


Second Sock Gusset

Second Sock Gusset
Originally uploaded by i_bugsy.

I've made substantial progress on my sock. I've already started on the gusset, although you can't see much of it because of the angle of the photo.

I should've thought of that. This time around things went much better because of my improved understanding of the process. This has definitely brought my sock knitting to a whole new level! (Sorry, just had to include this phrase.)

This is a short post as I'm headed off to bed and I don't really have too much else to say!


Baby Hats

It's been a while since I've posted, but just can't seem to get into the swing of blogging. I really should as it is a great way to practice writing.

Although I've been errant with blogging, I have been knitting. Not only have I been working on my second sock, on the heel flap, but I've been knitting hats, specifically baby hats.

Why baby hats? Well, SU's sister-in-law's (SIL) brother and his new wife are expecting a baby! Since SU's Mother and SIL are making a baby quilt, I thought I would knit some baby items. Well, at least a hat or two.

One of the baby hats I liked had a rolled brim and looked so cute, so I joined Ravlery and searched for a baby hat pattern and found many patterns., but liked the Simple Baby Hat pattern the best.

I also had a whole bunch of KnitPicks cotton Comfy Worsted yarn that I had gotten just to see what their yarn was like. I found that the yardage on the balls of yarn were enough to do a hat.

I modified the pattern to use two different colors. One for the brim and one for the hat. I also added a round of purling after the 6th round of knitting on the hat. This adds a nice little break and the rolled brim tucks up nicely against the purls.

I made this first hat for my boss's kid who is almost a year old, so I used the toddler sized hat. Needless to say it was too big! The kid does seem to enjoy it though. Here's the hat.

Large Hat

I decided to do another hat for my boss's kid, this time using the baby size version of the pattern. I also tried out 12" circular needles which worked quite well until I had to do the round of purling. It was a bit tight and awkward trying to purl with them, but I managed to make it through. Here's the smaller version, no word yet if it fits as I just finished it last Thursday and gave it to my boss yesterday. Here's the picture.

Small Hat

I think this second hat will be the correct size. So I'm looking forward to making a few of these hats. They are fun and quick to do. Great for watching the television.

It's still snowing here and is very cold. I'm wearing my first knitted hat to help keep warm.

I'll post a picture of my second sock, although it will look a little like the first!


Winter Storm 2009

We've accumulated 7" as of 8 AM and its still snowing.


Sock Progress: Done!

Completed Sock
Originally uploaded by i_bugsy.

Well at least one sock. Also, it seems that this sock maybe alone for awhile. That's because a few months back I fell on my left shoulder and injured it.

During that time I hadn't worked on the sock, but last week I was really energized about finishing the sock and I worked a lot on it. Then my shoulder was throbbing and hurting and feeling stiffer than usual.

I had been going to physical therapy and things were looking good until now. So when I went back to physical therapy on Tuesday the therapist was a bit alarmed that my shoulder seemed to have regressed in some ways.

We figured it must be the knitting! Ick! So no knitting for me for a while. I'm a bit bummed about it as I was really excited about finishing the mate for this sock and trying another sock!

So I've turned back to my quilting, but that's going to simple stuff and no freehand motion quilting. I've got two tops that need to be finished by the second week of January. I've got both quilts ready for quilting.

So that should keep me somewhat busy.