Gloves with Golden Ruffle

The last time I made a pair of gloves I swore would be the last time I made a pair of gloves. Working those fingers is just too exacting, and how many pairs of gloves would I ever need?

I changed my mind when a friend gave me the wonderful gift of her vintage Vicuña coat. It’s bracelet length, perfect for showing off these ruffled gloves.

The pattern is #27 from Vogue Kniting, Winter 2011-12 (so glad I hang on to those back issues of VK!) and is cleverly called “Gloves.” The simplicity of the name belies their fancy nature. The pattern calls for a much longer ruffle — about twice as long — with a looped, crocheted bind-off. Now that’s fancy.

I knit the body from Blue Sky sport weight, 100 percent baby alpaca — a fitting match for a vicuña coat. The yarn for the ruffle is the fantastic Silk Cloud by Shibui Knits. That is the most gorgeous lace mohair I have ever seen. It puts the rest to shame, and the cost reflects it.

Because I made a smaller ruffle, I didn’t need as much of the Silk Cloud as the pattern calls for (it actually calls for Douceur et Soie, another wonderful yarn). One 330-yard skein was plenty, although I would have been short if I’d gone with the original ruffle.

brown gloves
I much prefer the shorter ruffle.

I used three skeins — almost all of it — of the Blue Sky. After I finished the first glove, I weighed the yarn I had left, and it was 25 grams. Exactly half of the second skein. So instead of playing yarn chicken, I bought another skein, which I can’t return because I had them wind it. Looks like I’ll be buying even more and making a hat or a scarf.

The fingers on this glove aren’t too difficult, because you’re not knitting a stitch pattern. Still, it can be tricky picking up and casting on those stitches for each finger. If you haven’t done it before, I’d suggest practicing with a shetland yarn or something as stable. The alpaca slides like butter, generally a good thing but a bit of a challenge when knitting gloves.

I wear my other pairs of knitted gloves all the time in winter. Of course the last few winters have been so mild (global warming?) that the number of months that constitute “all the time” is shorter.

Looking forward to the first time I can wear these — and my wonderful vicuña coat!


Too Pretty to Remain a WIP

off white lace sock4I knit up this sock a few years back, and it’s one of the few projects I’ve started that is destined to forever remain a WIP. There once was that sweater I finally turned into a pillow, and used the leftover yarn for mittens…and a few other projects over the years have changed course once I got the yarn home. But by and large, I’ve finished what I’ve started, something my mom never would have predicted when I was a child.

So I pull this poor, pretty sock out in the hope that displaying it here will prompt me to actually start (and finish) the second one. It was a pain in the butt sock to knit and I couldn’t wait to finish it, and I have no desire to dip into that pool anytime soon. Still, I hate leaving things undone, and there’s not much use in my life for one sock.

So hopefully sometime soon you’ll see a sister post to this one showing a complete pair. This is too pretty to remain a WIP…


Image Credit: (background, leaves)© imagincy – Fotolia (background, pastels) © pixelproHD — Fotolia

Beginning, End, and oh Yeah, the Middle

gloves no bkgdQuestion I can rarely answer: “How long did it take you to knit that?”

I have no idea. I don’t keep track.

I can say it’s not an even pace through the whole project.

Nothing I like more as a knitter than the beginning of a new project, especially one with a new technique or one I haven’t tried in awhile. Right now I’m going through a fair isle/stranded phase (I got over mosaic in one project), before this it was lace.

The start of a project is my most productive. I can get the entire back of a sweater done in one or two nights, but I’ll slow down substantially after that…substantially. If it’s something like a hat, I might complete it in one evening. The first one, that is, if I actually do knit the same pattern twice (I don’t often).

nordic hat 2
This hat took about 6 hours to complete, start to finish

The hat on the left I finished in one night. The second one, identical pattern and with yarn that was only slightly more difficult to work with, probably took me twice as long, but it seemed like so very much longer.


Mom's Nordic Hat no bkgd
This one took a 100 million years, or longer

So when people ask me how long it takes to knit a sweater, I truly have no idea. One section may take me ten to 20 hours, while another section the identical size could take two or three times as long, because I pick it up and put it down again. I get just a tiny bit bored with a project after that initial rush.

That’s why I’m not one of those knitters who always has two to five to twenty projects going at once. If I did, I would have fifty WIPs (or more) just crowding my way-too-small living space and wasting my time and energy.

Well, maybe two projects going at once. Never more than three, that’s a promise.

My projects have a purpose. I rarely have a deadline, because I don’t like the pressure, but there is a relatively immediate intent (before this newborn baby hits the age of three, for example).

While there’s nothing I like more than the beginning of a project, the finish is a pretty good feeling too.