Wednesday, February 18, 2009

An Overindulgence of Toasty Treats

A lot of big projects have stalled. Stalled is perhaps too weak a term. Crash and burn better describe my latest design efforts. Instead of pounding furiously at them in some vain attempt to make the designs work, I've decided that a dose of Instant Gratification is just what the doctor ordered. As with all wonderful little things (think chocolate morsels, petites pots de creme, and catnip mice), it is very easy to overindulge.

It started with one pair of legwarmies made out of the delicious Mini Mochi by Crystal Palace Yarns (80% wool, 20% nylon). At first glance, this yarn looks like Noro, but don't let that fool you. All it takes is one touch and you know Mini Mochi is something completely different. It's soft and fluffy. My only gripe is the preponderance of guard hairs that stick out every which way. You'd almost think there was mohair in it. The colors in this ball are a bit quirky if you aren't prepared for it. Nearly halfway through the ball, the color sequence reverses. My guess is that when you make one sock with one ball the color sequence reverses at the heel. The ball I used is in the Flame Rainbow colorway. I think it looks like a sunset and submit the following two pictures to support this claim.

Mini Mochi legwarmy in Flame Rainbow

Sunset from my back window

So far, I've made enough legwarmies for a squid with two warmies to spare. In addition to the Flame Rainbow, there are legwarmies in an assortment of bright sherberty colors. Turquoise, white, pale yellow, and lavendar. In the queue are other legwarmies in colors of comparable brightness and sherbertiness: pink, spring green, and stripes of the whole melange. Here's the pile so far.

Legwarmies for Squid+2

As if legwarmies weren't fast enough to make, baby mittens are even faster! Best part, it's a great way to use up all those little balls of leftover sock yarn. I've only used the more luxe sock yarns like Koigu, Casbah, and Baby Boom. If Huellen decides she hates these mittens, They make excellent spatula handle warmers... see, tee hee.

A Bouquet of Mittens

After finishing these mittens, a new question emerged. What to do with leftover, leftover sock yarn? A ball too small to make mittens and too nice to through away. Here's where the bunny comes into play. This pattern is so creative. The best part is all you do is knit a square of any size, perform some clever sewing, and voila! Bunny revealed.

Adorable little bunny

Bunny sits atop two Petal Bibs. Leigh Radford's pattern is ingenious. Lots of short rows and counting, but the results are worth it. Instead of an I-cord tie, I've selected contrasting shades of soft velvet ribbon. I'll get those attached... eventually.

Pink Misti Pima Cotton and Red Araucania Pomaire

All these resources for Huellen and below zero weather make me so thankful for all the modern conveniences. My gratitude is tainted only by despair for those who are not so fortunate. MamaSara informed me about afghans for Afghans latest call: they need mittens for children 4-8. Starting in early February, I set out to make as many mittens I could by Valentines Day. The end result: 8 pair. Not as many as I had hoped, but more than I thought would get done. The first pair I made are the purple-blue-green mitts (far right) made out of a Nashua wool donated by FavoriteTeacher. The second pair produced are the turquoise pair (third from right) made of doubled Arucania Atacama (100% alpaca) donated by MamaSara. The rest are Sockimo mittens. Sockimo is a lovely combination of any leftover sock yarn plus any leftover mohair. I love this combination. The two strands pulled together knit to most worsted weight patterns. On US 8 needles, these mittens went by fast.

Mittens for afghans for Afghans

I brought these to my knitting group one week to thumb the mittens (and to show off my industriousness). One lady, we'll call her MinneGranny, asked me a question that shocked me into silence. She asked me, in a tone of condescension, why I'd make mittens for those people when they don't even live where it's cold. After recollecting my wits, I managed a strangled "Uhhhhh... they have really high mountains where it gets really cold." She gave me a doubtful look. Had I been at the top of my mental game and not just had my socks shocked off of me, I would have said, "yes, parts of Afghanistan can be quite warm, but it's a large country where the weather is highly variable region to region. In the mountains, it can easily reach 0° F in January. Surely, you wouldn't begrudge children in a war torn country a warm pair of mittens under those conditions." I should note that this isn't the first time MinneGranny and I were at odds (witness previous conversations about ironing, a woman's place, and gay rights); we are as philosophically opposite as two people can get. Perhaps that is the true miracle of knitting: not so much the beautiful end product, but the way it brings together people of such diverse backgrounds.

Oh, one big project did get finished: Veil by Norah Gaughan. I used Artyarns Regal Silk, which is just heavenly. I'll have to get a picture of me wearing it. I don't know if I'll get much wear out of it, but it does feel nice against my skin.

Veil Shrug

I think I'll leave you with this little thought. No matter how different or alike we are, most of us just want a warm, comfortable, safe place to snuggle with our loved ones.


drlaura said...

love the baby squid leg-warmers esp the mini-mochi!! may i link to you and post pic on our CPY blog?

Lady Blackhead said...


Sure go ahead. It looks like a fun site.