Saturday, September 10, 2011

Handspun Mittens ~


I'm back! I'm back!  What?  No one noticed I was away?  Gee whiz.  I thought you might like to know that I've been through a bout of poison oak (severe), a late summer heatwave, out of town company, and work hassles, only one of which was enjoyable.  In any event, I'm happy to be back in my space waffling on about knitting as usual.  This time about my rock n little handspun mitts.


I'm a huge fan of handspun yarn, and although I don't have the time to spin I find it a treat to knit.  Especially so when it's spun by a special person whom you probably know as Smoking Hot Needles.  I love this project because it is a great example of how the internet connects knitters and fiber enthusiast all together.  The yarn was dyed by an indy dyer; it was spun by an indy spinner; the pattern is by an indy designer; and I'm the indy knitter/blogger who, as improbable as it seems, is wearing woolen mittens in sunny Southern California.  All thanks to the internet.



I knit these mitts to be shorter and more slouchy than I typically knit mittens because I wanted them to be causal and comfortable to pull on in the morning when I take Simcha out for his walk. And yet.  I still wanted them to have a classy look so I could wear them out for coffee or wherever.   That's where the genius of picking the right buttons comes in and upon whom my dear friend, Murielle of Murielle Knitwear I rely.  My first thought was to choose either wood or leather buttons but she immediately suggested something black and shiny, and that was the right call.


Particulars: Based on Albina Armwarmers pattern by Vera Brosgo (Verabee); handspun by Monika (blogs as Smoking Hot Needles); indy dyer Spinning Aewsome Good Fiber BFL colorway Awesome Boyfriend colorway; US 3 needles.  This is a great pattern and has a very helpful formula for using all weights of yarn as it's designed for handspun yarn and not any specific weight.  The designer also has written a similar free pattern called Easy Handspun Mittens.  I followed the cuff and placket as per the pattern but modified the thumb gusset to better suit my fit preferences and, in broad strokes, I made the increases every other row (instead of 2 rows plain between increases). Rav Linky.


Spinning A Family Tradition ~


I read once that if you are the child of a knitter you are more likely to be a knitter yourself.  That happens to be true for me.  I also have a great grandmother (picture above) who was a spinner and my grandmother (picture below with my mother) was also a spinner.  My grandmother, Ruth, taught me to crochet as a child and I proceeded to hook an afghan at a speed that startled people.  But it didn't take and I've never crocheted since.  My mother many years later put needles in my hands and taught me how to knit.  But she did not teach me how to follow patterns as that was never a strength of hers, as I allude to in my post It's a Vintage Thing.  I guess it really is in the blood and maybe someday I'll spin too.



Until next time, be well and love well.  The heat has finally broken here and I hope everywhere so that we all can all enjoy an early Fall!

27 comments:

LuisaM said...

Welcome back! :)

Anonymous said...

Just love your mittens! The tonal striping in them has given me an idea as to how to use a teeny amount of much loved handspun too small in amount for even short fingerless mitts. It would be enough to make the cuffs of fingerless mitts and then proceed with other yarn in a coordinating colorway forming tonal stripes, similar to yours. That way they would always be at hand (sorry!) and make an impact even in their skimpiness of quantity. Thanks, Claudia! And so glad you are over that poison oak.

Kathy

Monika said...

Oh Claudia! I love how this yarn knit up! I'm so pleased to see those mittens, and I think the buttons are perfect! I'm happy that I still have some of that fiber in my stash.
I agree with you. It must be in the blood. My great grandmother showed me once how to spin, when I was about 4 years old, even then I was quite interested. My mother had a fake spinning wheel, just for decoration in a corner, and I've been spinning the wheel just for fun when I was little.
My grandmother, and mother did knit a lot, so it's no surprise that I learned how too. I'm glad that my daughter knits occasionally, and enjoys it when she has the time. Oh, and of course we missed you! I'm glad you are O.K. again. :o)

Bridget said...

Claudia, I for one am glad that you are back, and the icky things are behind you.

Those are beautiful mitts, and the you re correct, the button makes all the difference!

My mother didn't do any handcrafts, being of a generation that was proud that they didn't *have* to. But to her credit, she was extremely appreciative of those who could!

Sue said...

Lovely photos of your family knitting. Glad the heat wave has broken for you and I guess I will be wishing for the same thing in a few months.

Lost City Denise said...

Gorgeous! The gloves and the photos!

Welcome back!

Allie said...

Hi Claudia, I've missed you! I love your mitts, the colors are wonderful and the buttons really are perfect. I've decided I'm going to learn to knit this winter....I've crocheted since I was a kid [self-taught] but I love the look of knitting better.

Glad you're feeling better, poison oak is not fun!!!

Kocurek said...

Claudia - this mittens is lovely.
Beautiful yarn , beautiful colours.
Excellent:)))

jillian said...

Beautiful mitts, especially being handmade from start to finish. Love your family pictures, too.

Knew you were up to your ears...glad that has passed (poison oak in particular!)

Lap Dog Knits said...

Yes, I noticed!! Welcome back.
Love, love LOVE the mitts!!
I'm sure these will be on my needles in short order.
Always enjoy reading your blog - have a great day, I still think about how sweet the teddy bear is you made for your husband.

SissySees said...

Of course we missed you, but life does happen...

Love the mitts and the family fiber history. I come from a line of knitters on my father's side, but I don't have photos of anyone in action, so yours are a real treat.

Kristen said...

Welcome back! I missed you!

Tracy said...

So HAPPY to see you back here, Claudia! And hope very much you are better from that nasty bout of poison oak. WONDERFUL hearing about your family history with fiber! And LOVE, love, love that handspun you used for these mitts--very pretty that blue/brown color way. Handspun is such a treat to knit with--so much more tactile then mass produced yarns. My husbands family on his father's side has fiber ties, as the women past did spin their own yarns to knit with. My own family has few knitting claims, sadly. I taught myself to knit--and am still learning in many ways. I'd love to spin, but like you, feel I lack the time. Thankfully there is much handspun to splurge on now & then. ;o) Happy Days, my friend ((HUGS))

Renee said...

Gorgeous mittens! The button really compliments the pattern and handspun perfectly.
Hope you are fully recovered and feeling well!
I come from a family that loves to cook, but not so much the needle crafts, I learned to knit from an aunt that married into our family. Unfortunately, while I've taught Nicole how to knit - she's just not yet interested. Maybe someday, until then she likes when I knit for her. lol

Hege said...

Beautiful mitts!
And I love those old pictures.

Willow said...

Yes, yes, I noticed you were absent! I thought you might be in SC, but I read that sadly you were working and sweating. Love love love those mittens AND the photos of your fibery heritage. Yes, there were knitters and spinners in my ancestry too.

Re the photo: spinning in the SNOW??

Mr Puffy's Knitting Blog: said...

You guys are so sweet and make me laugh!!! I wasn't really serious you know! More tongue in cheek ~ with everything I've had going on it feels like I was gone for a much longer time but it's actually about the same as usual ;) But getting sympathy is always nice - LOL

Kathy I LOVE your idea of using your small amount of handspun for a cuff ~ and if adding the placket seems like a hassle you could even just sew a button on for effect. I'd love to see how that looks if you are up to sending me a picture!

kessainstitches said...

Your mittens looks good on you! Looks like a great idea to use handspun yarn. How much yarn did this project take?

Kristyn Knits said...

Welcome Back Claudia! So happy to hear you're poison is gone and you're knitting is back! Love these!! And your family history of knitting...what a wonderful connection you have!

At Home Mommy Knits said...

Welcome back!! Of course you were missed terribly :).

I love your mitts. I can totally picture taking an early morning walk this fall wearing those mitts. Beautiful color. I am so envious of the knitting history in your family. You must have so many beautiful and special handmade items from your mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.

raining sheep said...

They are beautiful Claudia, perfect for here right now :) It is very cold in the mornings. Just wanted to pop in and say hello.

Hilary said...

Those are great! I always think fingerless mittens are the perfect use of handspun yarn. They don't take a huge amount of yardage, and they're something that you get to look at when you wear them! Yours are so pretty and look cozy as well. I love the button choice, too.

How neat that you have those photos of your great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother spinning/knitting! Don't you love the feeling of continuing a long tradition? I think a wheel is in your future...

Willow said...

Claudia,
That sand dune is one that only military personnel will see at the Coronado base beach--the backside of the dune there.

gMarie said...

I did notice you were gone - hope that means work has settled down. The mitts are lovely, the buttons perfect and as always the photo shoot is fabulous. g

Anonymous said...

Happy to send you a pic, Claudia if (a) ever I finish the project and (b)can figure out the uploading technology. In the meantime picture a seed stitch cuff using a glowing tomato red wool with golden undertones and probably gold buttons. I'm more a wine and silver person but that's the beauty of mitts - they don't have to complement your facial skin tone so you can indulge yourself with other colorways. Thanks for your encouragement! Kathy

Jules said...

I somehow missed this post, but I did notice you were gone! Glad you're back and sorry about the not-fun things that happened over the summer. That looks like a great pattern for handspun--yours turned out so cute. Thanks for sharing the vintage photos. My mom taught me to knit when I was maybe 12, and I'm so glad she did.

knittingdragonflies said...

The mitts are lovely! I really like the yarn!
And the photos! Yes, I think it is only a matter of time before there is a spindle in your future!
Vicki
Glad to see you back!