September 29, 2010
Spunky Eclectic fiber is awesome. Amy's colorways always make me happy. I especially fell in love with Twenty-Ten. I bought 4 ounces in superwash BFL. When I got it in the mail I couldn't help but smoosh it.
It wanted to be a chunky, chain-plied yarn. I obliged.
And that soft, warm and bright yarn wanted to be fingerless mitts. Again, I obliged. I mean really, how could I not?
I call them Happy, as in 'They make me'. I designed them with the new spinner in mind. The yarn required is chunky; a much easier yarn for a new spinner to produce. Because it's plied the flaws in the singles don't show up as readily. And it's quick. And fun. And Happy.
I spun the yarn on the very first spindle I ever owned; a bottom whorl, 2.5 ounces. I call her Old Faithful, my workhorse. She is the spindle I pick up when I've got a fiber I've never tried before. I pick her up when I'm frustrated with one of my other spindles. I can ply up to 4 ounces on her. She has been dropped many times and doesn't mind it. A little bit of fluff shimmed in between the shaft and the whorl and she is as good as new.
Fiber used: "Twenty-Ten" on Super Wash BFL by Spunky Eclectic
Yarn details: Singles spin direction-Z, 22 wpi, Chain plied, spin direction-S, 8 wpi,
Method of finishing: Warm soak in a wool wash, warm rinse and light 'thwacking'
Fiber prep: Started with combed top, split down the middle to preserve color progression, enough pre-drafting to loosen fibers
Drafting method: Short forward draw
Spindle used: 2.5 ounce, bottom whorl
Yarn classification: Bulky
Suggested commercial substitutes: Mirasol Yarn Sulky, Plymouth Encore Chunky, Rowan Purelife Brittish Sheep Breeds Chunky, Noro Iro
Yardages: I spun 4 ounces in two skeins of about 46 yards each. I used 3.8 ounces for the mitts and had about 12 yards left.
Happy Fingerless Mitts
Gauge-4 stitches and 6 rows=1 inch
Needles-US 8-5mm, or size required for correct gauge
90-120 yards Aran or Bulky weight yarn
Notions-stitch markers, tapestry needle
Approximate finished circumference, measured around palm, just above thumb-8 inches
Both mitts are made exactly the same and each mitt can be worn on either hand.
Stitch definitions and techniques
M1F: Pick up bar between stitches and place on left hand needle so the 'short' leg is in the front, knit the short leg, this makes a left leaning increase, also called M1L.
M1B: Pick up bar between stitches and place on left hand needle so the 'short' leg is in the back, knit this from the back, this will twist the stitch and make a right leaning increase, also called M1R.
Visual tutorial here
CO 32 sts, join for working in the round.
PM at beginning of round and work K2, P2 rib for 3 inches.
Change to St st and increase 1 st in next row, 33 sts.
Work 2 more rows in St st.
R1. K16, pm, M1F, K1, M1B, pm, K to end of row.
R2. K 1 row plain.
R3. K16, sm, M1F, K3, M1B, sm, K to end of row.
R4. K 1 row plain.
R5. K16, sm, M1F, K5, M1B, sm, K to end of row.
R6. K 1 row plain.
Continue alternating increase rows with plain rows until there are 15 stitches between markers. Last row should be a plain row.
Usually at this point, when making mittens or gloves, you put the thumb stitches on waste yarn and work the rest of the hand. I wanted to preserve the colorway progression of my yarn as best as possible; I didn't want to come back to make the thumb in a totally different color.
Next row: K16, slip these 16 sts onto waste yarn, K across thumb gusset (15 sts), slip rest of hand sts onto waste yarn, they will not have been knit this row. They will be the first sts you knit when starting the hand.
Join 15 thumb sts for working in the round.
K 4 rows even.
Work 2 rows in K2, P2 rib.
BO in pattern.
Starting at thumb, return stitches from waste yarn to needles. Beginning of row will now be where the thumb is, pm. Join for working in the round.
Join yarn and K 1 row.
At end of row, PU and K 1 st to close gap between thumb and hand, 33 sts.
At end of next row, K2tog, 32 st.
Continue in St st for about 1.5 inches or until mitt is 1 inch shorter than your preference.
Work 4 rows in K2, P2 rib.
BO in pattern.
Weave in ends with tapestry needle. All they need is a damp blocking to look awesome! Rinse and repeat for second mitt.
Don't they make you Happy too?