Thursday, February 05, 2009


Guess what! I've signed up for a class at the end of April with Judith McKenzie McCuin and Nancy Bush in Indiana. It is going to be a three-day spinning and knitting Estonian Lace class. Can I even tell you how excited I am? I absolutely love the Estonian lace book Nancy Bush just published. Keep in mind, I haven't actually seen the book myself but I love the pictures posted on Grumperina's blog and on ravelry. Hmm, must purchase book before class so I can get it signed. Must also purchase Judith's new spinning book. Hmm, looks like that one is coming out in March.

One lady from town just took a class with Judith in North Carolina and said it was nothing like she has ever done before. She learn so much but it didn't even feel like you were learning, just absorbing information. She also said they spun from 9 in the morning until 10:30 at night with short breaks in between. She told me that the class has improved her spinning 200% and she feels like she can do so much more. I'm very excited!

So at least there is one exciting thing in an otherwise depressing future. Sorry, not to be morose but work has been difficult the last few days. I'll talk about knitting instead!

I've been on a mitten kick apparently. I've been working on that pair of glove/mittens for my cousin. They are mostly finished and are just waiting for their ends to be woven in. I hate weaving in ends with a passion. I have a confession to make. Some of the socks I've finished DON'T have their ends woven in so it is like I have a small sock tail. Really, I'm just lazy.

Drying socks and mittens in winter
(Click on picture for my Flickr picture with notes)

The mitten part of the glove/mittens

And then the fingerless gloves of the mitten/gloves

Anyway, back to mittens. When I finished that pair, I decided I really wanted to make a pair of riding mittens. Now, when you ride English, you have the reins going through your pinkie and ring finger and up across your index finger, being held down by your thumb. Regular mittens don't allow you to hold the reins correctly but they do keep your fingers warm. So I decided to keep using the Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns and make myself a pair. I just slapped on a pinkie from the glove pattern and did the rest of the fingers like it was a mitten. I think my thumbs are a little short but, eh, I can rip them out again and reknit them. The whole pair took me 2 days (!) to finish even with sleeping and other non-knitting activities mixed in. The afternoon I finished them, I broke them in with their debut ride. The horses sniffed the sheepy wool quite vigorously but the dogs didn't really seemed interested. It's possible the horses thought they were going to get treats. Knowing them, that was probably the case.

Mom keeps saying they look like the Lambchop puppet.

I'm now working on a pair of fingerless gloves. Well, that's a lie, I was working on them before the glove/mittens and the riding gloves. I knit a 4 inch cuff on them but then paused to finish the other handwear. I've just gone back to them now. They are Serpentine gloves, a free pattern. Last night, I got through half of the chart as well as teaching myself to cable without a cable needle. (It's lost somewhere or stuck in a project. Guess that could be considered the same thing at this point.) This morning before going to work out I put in another 6 rows of knitting. It's amazing how quickly something can go when you, oh, I don't know, work on it! I can't decide if I want to keep these gloves for myself or if I should be a smug little knitter and put it in the Christmas gift pile. I love the Mountain colors sock yarn I'm using for it. That little bit of mohair really keeps your hands and/or feet warm.

Oh, did I tell you about the felted mittens? Ever since the LYS had a class on felted cabled mittens I've been really wanting to make a pair. I didn't take the class but I got to see all of the lovely results. So I bought (I would use stash yarn but I don't have any feltable stuff that would work) some Cascade Tweed in a brown. See, I've also been dreaming about making a pair of those mittens in this yarn. I could just see them in my mind. When the unfelted mittens were finished, I tried them on and started laughing hysterically. These things were HUGE. I mean, going down to your elbows kind of huge. I felted them once and the mittens came out slightly smaller but not much. Yesterday morning, I threw them and some other things I wanted to felt in the washer and went to work. When I talked to Mom later, she said they were the perfect size. I never thought that would happen. They just seemed too big! I'm going to give them to Mom because I never really wanted the mittens for myself. I just really wanted to make them. Ah, the lure of cables, bobbles and mittens. It was too strong to resist.

I also knit a small bag out of my Jacob handspun for the spinning wheel. I'm hoping to put all of the little accessories like the plying tool, wpi tool, oil bottle, etc into it and hang the bag on the wheel. This bag is also supposed to be felted but the first felting run only made it get fuzzier and a tad bit smaller. I also plopped the bag into a pot of dye Mom had going in order to dye some of her shirts to a light blue. Her dying attempts didn't work out well so I used the rest of the dye. I wasn't expecting much change to the color of the yarn because the yarn is so brown but parts are lighter brown. Those parts did pick up dye and the whole thing has an almost bluish-grey look to it now. I'll throw it in the washer whenever I have another load of towels and sheets to do.

Apparently I've just been a hive of mitten-making and felting activity! I really should finish the Hey,Teach! (aka Hey, Librarian!) I put down back in October. Hmm, wonder if I can catch a sweater making bug. But I really want to make the Lily of the Valley shawl instead. I have just the right yarn for it. . .


Toni said...

I'm so glad I'm not the only one with socks that have tails! Your mittens for riding are brilliant! I need to make a pair of those for my daughter - thanks for the idea!

Janelle said...

That class sounds transformative. Do you feel like you should study ahead of time? I would!