Monday, October 20

smitten with my mittens ...

darn and double drat, 
i cannot find what i am looking for in my archives to share. this will teach me, for i am pants at archiving and thus i am now pants at sharing a link. therefore i will not share a link and just tell you about it instead.

so last winter Tara Dearie knitted some marvelous mittens (Maize pattern by Tin Can Knits) for our one skein holiday project at Tolt Yarn and Wool. well they were mittens of the utmost kind, in green wool no less. before i went on my travels home for the holidays i left a note pinned to them saying if ever they were lonely or looking for a home to be loved, i would surely take them in. upon my return from my homeland, said mittens were waiting for me! Tara had kindly thought they would like to live with me. the rest of the winter i wore them and quite sensibly made a string for them so i did not lose them. i did however spend most of my time getting tangled up especially in the car door because of my safety string. 

between then and now i came across a japanese craft book which had knitted mittens with a jolly bit of embroidery upon them. my heart skipped a beat, i had mitten envy like never before. i have carried the thought of embroidered mittens in my cogs for many a long time. every now and then i revisit the thought, ponder how i would go about such a task and then put my pondering thoughts away again.

until friday that is, when i had done my sorting out of woolly goodness to wear upon my hands, my head and around my neck these coming chilly days. i put on my green mitts and decided there and then we would risk it for a biscuit. 

first off i removed the string. then i decided to lengthen the wrist bit as it was a tad short for me by adding a few rows of crochet. 

one round single crochet, one round half double crochet and one round picot stitching into every other stitch below (all US crochet terms). 

i liked it tres muchly and it spurred me on. i rustled around in my stash for leftover yarns in pleasing colours and then i wound little bits around cotton reels to make them even more pleasing.

then i decided the key to successful 'twin' embroidery was to work on both mitts at the same time. i cut out a little hand scribbled flower template, pinned in place and did a bit of running stitch around the edge to give me an idea of where i would do my main stitches. 

i reversed the template and did the same on the other mitt. then with yarn in hand, i started to fill in the main flower with stem stitches, not particularly uniform, just filling in as i went.

oh and i must tell this too for those that may well try the same on their mitts. 

my mitt insert is all knowing and all seeing but is quite the silent fellow

the besty best thing i did was make a cardboard mitt insert, thus i could stitch away with no fear of my needle going through to the other side of my mitt and also keeping my fabric flat to work on.

i proceeded to carefully fill in my flowers, being sure not to pull tight. after which i pondered where to go, so using couch stitch i went off to the other end of the mitt near the cuff and added a side view of the flower, using the template from before, just chopping off 2 of the petals. once again reversing it for the other mitt and working at the same time. i then did a bit of natty french knotting, long stitches and some little stitches that are like giant single chain stitches and after all that, i stood back after midnight and i was without a doubt, smitten with my mittens.

i love my mittens so muchly now i fear i cannot wear them out of the shed in case of a loss. i told my man in a fire i would grab my mittens first, he said "what about me?" i told him he was a responsible adult and would need to look out for himself, for my mittens were quite helpless and would need me as they could not move on their own. 

i love my mittens so muchly i have pinned them on the wall next to the blue lady so they may be admired by any passing bods. 

i love my mittens so muchly i fear which of my children will inherit them, will they fight over them, will i have to embroider 4 pairs of mitts to make it fair or wait to see who looks after me best in my old age? 

i would like to do more embroidery upon knitted goodness, i am thinking thriftstore sweaters would like it too. however i am wondering if this was a moment, a moment when the crafty gods got together and shone down on me, everything aligned perfectly and my crafty hands will never quite be able to live up to this one truly glorious moment in my crafty lifetime .... 

Friday, October 17

a 'woolly & warm & tres long' scarf recipe ...

recently when i came across my thrifted coat upon the racks of despair i knew i wished to make her feel welcome in my world by making her a scarf. 
not just any scarf but a 'woolly & warm & tres long' one 

one which i may wear a multitude of ways depending on the weather and the days.

if you too would like to make a 'warm & woolly & tres long' scarf then here is my recipe

nitty gritty:

* my scarf is made with quince & co worsted weight yarn, Owl and Owl Tweet which is 50% american wool 50% american alpaca, found at Tolt Yarn and Wool 

* i used 5 skeins (1 x sooty, 1 x abyssinian, 1 x canyon, 2 x nuuk) and each skein had 120 yds/110ms on it. so all together you will need approximately 600 yds of yarn if you are wishing to make your scarf not only woolly and warm but tres long

* the scarf is colour blocked and i choose to use 2 skeins of one colour to create a large block of colour. you can choose to do whatever pleases your colour blocking heart :)

* you can use any yarn but i would consider using one with some drape to it

* this scarf is crocheted in a slanted shell stitch hence it creates a fabric that stretches on the bias, yet the chains along the edge do not stretch. therefore i suggest you do not do your edge chains too tight. washing and gently laying flat to dry, being careful not to flatten the stitch pattern will make all the difference

* finished measurement of scarf is 5.75"/14.5cm x 92"/234cm after washing

* you can wear this scarf long, you can wear it wrapped around a multitude of times or you can wear it folded in half and then looped at the front of your neck.

* the stitch pattern is #174 in the brilliant book The Complete Book of Crochet Stitch Designs by Linda P. Schapper (a musty must for any crochet lover)

* all crochet is written in US terminology

a Mr Hook size 5.0mm
approximately 600 yds of worsted weight yarn

row 1: (single crochet, chain 2, 4 double crochet) in 2nd chain from hook, *skip next 3 chain, (single crochet, chain 2, 4 double crochet) in next chain; repeat from * across to within last 4 chain, skip next 3 chain, single crochet in last chain, turn.

row 2: chain 3 (counts as double crochet), 2 double crochet in first single crochet, *skip next 4 double crochet, (single crochet, chain 2, 4 double crochet) in next chain-2 space; repeat from * across to within last chain-2 space, single crochet in last chain-2 space, turn.

1. take your first skein of colour and make a chain of 24 plus 2
2. crochet row 1 of pattern above
3. crochet row 2 of pattern above
4. continue repeating row 2 of pattern above
5. when your skein comes to an end, join the next colour at the begining of a row and continue upon your merry way repeating row 2 of pattern as you go and changing skeins as they run out

6. when you are all out of yarn, finish off and weave in all your ends. wash gently and lay to dry flat but try not to flatten out the stitches.

and voila! 
a 'woolly and warm and tres long' scarf is yours!

please feel free to add your scarf to Ravelry if you are on there. 
you can find me under dottieangelLTD if you like.

Thursday, October 16

my thrifted winter coats ...

i am all set for chilly days thanks to my pile of thrifted woolly friends and two rather nice other finds. 
one is a coat and one is a jacket and both are wool.

the coat is perfectly disheveled and i am liking very muchly how it fits a little sack like. i am muchly liking the lining and the rather tweedy pretty fabric. 

even the buttons made me happy. my coat is not an old coat as such, perhaps only a few years as the label says GAP but i like how someone else broke it in for me and now it looks perfectly disheveled in every way. i loved my new to me coat so muchly so, i wished her to know just how much i did, thus i made her a scarf. 
i will share my scarf and how i made it, tomorrow if i maybe so bold

the jacket i am thinking is older, the fabric and the lining has that older feel about it, but i could be wrong, i do not know the maker on the label and when i looked it up it pointed to leather companies. she is quite simple and i am thinking perhaps once upon a time she had a skirt to match. 
as she did not have a skirt, i gave her a pocket so she may get over her loss. 

i found a knitted pocket lurking upon a scarf i had made donkeys years ago, i re-purposed my pocket and with a medal and a granny brooch 
(of which i will be selling at the holiday makers market coming up)

 i am thinking she is perfectly suited to layering over my already many layers i wear. she has a few creases where i believe she lay in storage for a time, i am wondering if these will drop out with wear or not. i wonder why i wonder about these things. i am thinking this sweetie may need a knitted something or other just around the neck under the collar to tuck into the chest area on days when the wind is a little blustery. 

altogether my two new wool coats cost a total of $34 which i think is tres jolly good when you see what new wool coats are going for in the stores.