Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Lorna's March Challenge

Each month, Lorna Miser issues a challenge to the members of our knitting guild to take a pattern or idea and "make it our own." The challenge for the month of March was fingerless gloves. The photo above shows a group of knitters who brought their finished projects to the April meeting. What a variety we had!

Before Lorna's challenge, I had never done fingerless gloves before, and really couldn't see the point of them at all. But I decided to make a pair just to see what all the fuss was about.

OK. Now I'm a believer. These things are fun to make, and, after wearing a pair on coolish mornings driving to work, I like 'em! I think of them as kinda like a top-down sock leg — with a thumb gusset. :)

When I set out on my first pair, I knew that whatever I did with these mitts, I wanted beads. I tried beads with the "Wine & Roses" fingerless glove pattern from Winter 06 Interweave Knits, but didn't like the look. Finally, I just decided to try a simple ribbed pattern, and that worked. The only part of "Wine & Roses" left in the finished product is part of the lace pattern in the hand portion.

I used leftover Lorna's Laces in the "Tahoe" colorway, with purple AB glass beads. The beading on the hand is only on the back of the hand, and I sewed those on afterwards.

But the "leftover sock yarn" aspect was just too appealing, so here's my second pair in Vicki Suan's Watermelon yarn.

For these, I really DID make sock tops! I used my favorite feather & fan pattern -- with size 4 needles instead of size 0. Every time a black "seed" came up in the yarn, I purled the stitch in front of it, dropped 3 beads, purled the next stitch to lock them in place, and continued on in pattern.

These aren't the only two pair I've made, either! But since the others are destined as gifts, I won't show them here! :) But, as you can tell, I've really become a fan of fingerless gloves. I never would have bothered to try them without Lorna's Challenge — but I guess that's what she's trying to do: nudge us out of our comfort zones and encourage us to try something new. Thanks, Lorna! :)

Monday, April 09, 2007

April Socks

So before too much more of April slips away, here are my April socks. They are Claudia Handpaints yarn in the "Just Plum" colorway. The pattern is my favorite Wendy's Generic Toe-Up Socks, with feather & fan patterned legs.

Here's the knit-in stitch marker.

It's getting warm here in Sacramento, but we're supposed to have a couple of cooler days this week. This might be my last opportunity for a while to comfortably wear my handknit woolen socks, so I intend to make the best of it! But, like a squirrel storing nuts for the winter, I will be sock-knitting all during the warm weather, stocking my sock drawer to insure warm feet at the first sign of cool temperatures. :)