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!