Sunday, February 25, 2007


Thank you for your kind comments. And be careful of that ice!

I'm feeling much better, brain fog has lifted, only an occasional pause in my speech while I have to hunt for words.

I am a nurse, so while I knew what to expect with a head injury and wasn't freaked out, it was a very odd feeling recognizing those symptoms in myself.

Though adversity has come my way, I have achieved mittenage!

And the mitten fits perfectly. Now I must get busy and avoid the dreaded Second Mitten Syndrome.

I have some advice for anyone doing fringe - get some alligator clips (you can find nice ones with rubber padding in the jaws at Radio shack) or hair pins and secure the first couple of fringe stitches while you complete the fringe row. Those first ones tend to wiggle around and loosen up, and if you don't notice you're in for a bugger of a repair job. Ask me how I know this.

It is a nice day to stay home and knit, watching the snow.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Damn all Ice

I finished the body of my mitten, but have no pictures right now since I am at home and the camera is with my husband at work. I am at home because Wednesday morning I slipped on black ice in my office parking lot and hit my head on the cement. I recall thinking, very briefly, that my day would be really shitty, and I was correct. I have a concussion and it is not fun. Having neurologic deficits is most unsettling. I am assured that these will resolve, eventually.

Anyway, I did not feel confident enough to pick up the thumb stitches until just this afternoon. That went fairly well. I did discover that the thumb chart on page 38 does not seem to start at the correct row, and so have had to wing it. I am continuing the pattern up the front of the thumb, but I've fallen back on very traditional checkerboard for the back, which I think looks just fine.

Another discovery - pain medications and patternwork are not a good mix. I have some (more)frogging to do now.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Latvian meets St. Brigid...

Blogless Willi from Berlin writes: After I've seen Nessa Z's difficulties about the length of the mittens depending on the motifs I'll tentively knit them from the top. This is my 3rd try (rib,rib ribbe-di-dib, dipdip), but I do have enough yarn in stock (sigh).

Later: There is only a little progress in the mitten, because my daughter wants a second turtleneck shrug (Scarf Style). By the way, when she got the first one, she mumbled: What's that, I'll never wear such a strange thing... Now her schoolfriends admire the red one and everything changed ;-) and so I couldn't be fast enough.

Today there is a picture about my various mitten-experiments: one has been too wide or too narrow on the fingertips, the third one I disliked the passage(?) from front to the back, it was something "crumbling." So I decided to start in two extra beginnings and joined them when the width comforts me.

I can't wait still there is the picture-riddle of your fabulous mittens, love this.*

Looking forward to your next installment, Willi!!

*And stay tuned for the Mitten-Picture-Riddle Contest -- a spot the differences sort of thing using my two mittens (but first I have to finish!)

>>>>I sent out a bunch of invitations to blog on this here blog (finally). I'm sorry for such a long delay. You know, I run a pretty laid-back KAL, though, and this just proves it. I've sent an invitation to anyone who expressed an interest somewhere along the way. The more the merrier. No deadlines, no pressure, no nothin' except knitting and sharing and having fun.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Plodding progress

Things are moving along slowly, but looking fairly well. I ripped back and restarted the palm patterns. My row gauge is also not correct, but I will have to wait until I get to the decrease point to see what adjustments need to be made.

I cast the thumb stitches onto a crochet chain, instead of doing backwards loop as the book states. It should be easier to pick up later.

I tried using a strickfingerhut, or knitting thimble. I got it from Spin Blessing, and they shipped it to me very quickly indeed. It's a little coiled device you wear on your left hand to hold the yarns separated, so you don't have to use both hands, and it does help even out the tension. But you do waste some time waving your needle about choosing which yarn to pick up, and I went back to using both hands.
It may be useful in knitting larger items, but when you have to keep changing needles, it became annoying to have to take it off and put back on.

DH went out today and brought back a LOVELY Valentine's day gift - some Godiva chocolates that were marked down "quite a lot" (he can't remember exactly). Whatta guy! He knows they taste better to me when they're discount, even if I have to wait a few days.

I got a lesson from him on the Mysteries Of The Camera and Photo Editor today. These photos were all shot and edited by moi. The nicest things in life are sometimes small successes (like mittens).

Thursday, February 15, 2007

One almost down

I've completed the main portion of my first Latvian mitten! I shall take on the challenge of the thumb next. I think the design fix in regards to the row gauge issue turned out okay!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Where the mitten dabbles its toes in the frog pond

February 11, 2007


Some of this mitten must leave the rest. I am 8 rows into the palm patterns and when I tried it on, realized that the mitten would reach more than half-way up my arm if I continued.

Now, I am a middle-aged, short, roly-poly person and will never look elegant in long mittens. Besides, they will bunch up against my coat cuffs. So the really nifty middle pattern that took me more than an hour to adapt and graph must go. I will frog back to the braids - and redo the top-most braid which I managed to knit pointing in the wrong direction. This is the learning curve part of taking on challanges.

On the brighter side, my knitting has improved greatly since I read Susan's Feb. 6th post about the Modified Magic Loop method. I had tension problems and the stitches bunched up somewhat where I changed needles. The modification has solved that - the edges look just as good as the rest. It's an ingenious little trick - go give her blog a read. There's lots of other wisdom about stranded knitting there, too.

Hey, this is my first post done all by myself - Vicki posted the previous one for me. I'm rather impressed how easy this was to do. Now I have to learn how to use DH's camera and take my own pics.

Saturday, February 10, 2007


If I posted a picture every-other-day on my blog and the other every-other-day on this blog, then that really would be posting a picture every day. My progress would be a bit further along if I still didn't feel the need to try it on every few rounds. I still love it. ; )

Wednesday, February 7, 2007


Blogless Nessa Z. sent me these pictures of her progress (with cat). She writes:

I’m doing the Latgale mitten from chapter 6, but I’m borrowing elements from the gorgeous black and white you see on the cover page and plate 13e. I wanted to do that black/white as pictured, but when I counted up the number of stitches to cast on, I realized that it’s charted at some 12 stitches/inch. I’d have to use 000’s, the prospect was too appalling to consider.

So I’m getting 9 stitches/inch in KnitPicks Palette, on size 1 KnitPicks circular with Magic loop. I tried using DPNs, since I normally use them for socks, but found them too fussy to use when stranding. I didn’t swatch first, since I have made a Fair Isle tam in Palette and got 8 st/inch on size 2’s, and just cast on and got lucky. I just wish it came in nicer heathery shades like the J&S yarns. But you gets what you pays for, ‘tis true.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Maybe I'm a nerd in disguise

Or maybe I'm fooling myself and I'm not wearing a disguise at all! ; )

Here's my mitten chart! If you followed the saga on my blog over the past week or so, you know that I chose a chart (Graph 75, Plate 11f in Latvian Mittens), swatched three times last weekend, and struck out all three times. Alas, the pattern was for much smaller yarn and needles than I want to use. I paged through the book again and wrote down a list of charts that I liked and were more in my gauge range.

Tonight, I sat down with my photocopies and the book and noticed that one of the charts -- Graph 124, Plate 15f -- was almost just like the favored 75, but with a number of stitches more suitable to my gauge! I wanted a different cuff, though, and my row gauge is way different... I thought of photocopying, cutting, pasting, scribbling and coloring on graph paper, but I really prefer to do that kind of "doodle" on the computer these days.

I opened my spreadsheet program, did a little division and a lot of jiggling to figure the aspect ratio so that the grid was as close as I could get to the dimension needed for a) knitter's graph paper and b) my exact (within reason) row and stitch count. I already had a couple of knitter's fonts downloaded -- which I really didn't need since I'm only using three colors -- and I began to chart. The cuff design is based on 75, but the hand is 124 -- except that my row gauge is something like 14 stitches to the inch, so there are three repeats instead of two. Perhaps I'm wrong about that, but I don't think so... and I can adjust along the way if needed. I need to double-check the length and figure the new placement of the thumb, but I'm close!!!


Latvian Mittens. I have wanted to knit them for... almost forever. ; ) I think I'm finally ready!

I am still trying to decide which pattern(s) to use, but in the running are Charts 15, 54, 51, 97, 95, 108, 113 and 124 from Latvian Mittens by Lizbeth Upitis. I will be knitting with three colors of Jaeger Matchmaker Merino -- dark green, dark red, and sage-gray. I've been swatching... and will make a final decision, cast on and commence knitting this weekend!