Ok, so I’ve pretty much been neglecting my little blog. It’s that time of year when our little piece of Southern California gets icky, and I lose all motivation to do anything other than find air conditioning or take cool showers all day long. Spinning is just out of the question: little puffs of wool that don’t quite make it into the yarn end up plastered all over me, like an instant sweater. Knitting during the day is pure hell, as it’s been so humid that the yarn sticks to my fingers and messes up my tension. I’ve been knitting in the evenings, but only a few rows at a time because I’m so tired from trying to separate the moisture from the air as I breathe.
Adding to my exhaustion exponentially is the fact that Jojo, Sami & I have been doing the “Couch to 5K” program since early July (oh yeah, we totally didn’t think this one through). We run in the evenings, as much to avoid the heat as to avoid being seen (I’ve often been picked on because of how I run, and I’m not going to subject myself to public humiliation). We have one week left of the program, and depending on whose GPS you consult, we’re up to between 2.74 and 2.85 miles per run. I still haven’t figured out what a “runner’s high” is – unless it’s that feeling you get once you’re home drinking a cold glass of water while standing in front of a fan – but I kind of enjoy the fact that I am running. Not well, and certainly not quickly. But with a single exception, I’ve run on schedule for 8+ weeks, and I am getting better.
Anyway, I noticed today that a bunch of people had stopped in to look at my blog, and I felt badly that I hadn’t written in so long. (By the way, if you come here because you were looking for some specific information and you don’t find it or, even worse, end up with more questions than before, send me an e-mail or leave a comment. I promise to get back to you!!) So I thought I’d provide an update of my Christmas knitting.
As of my last post, I’d finished my first Christmas gift – the Northman mittens. I still really love these, and highly recommend them. As written, they’re giant sized…so if you need them for a smaller person, use smaller needles. They’re totally scalable, I promise!
The next item I finished was a Habitat Hat for another male-type person whose name my family got for Christmas. I’m going to have to figure out something more to give him because I’ve knit this hat so many times, and I love it so much, that I don’t feel like it took as much effort as my other gifts. We’ll see how long it takes me to finish everything else, then I’ll decide how to pad his gift.
For yet another man whose name we got (I don’t know why I ended up with so many boy names this year), I decided to make another pair of mittens. But I didn’t want to do the Northman mittens twice – these people will likely be sitting next to each other as they open their gifts, and I don’t want it to look like I was being lazy – so I went looking on Ravelry for a “manly” mitten pattern.
Manly mitten patterns are hard to find.
I eventually stumbled upon the Douglas design, which had instructions for a picot cuff and a gender neutral, plain cuff. After several tries with multiple colors and needles, I finally came up with a workable combination.
The problem with these is that the gauge is wacky. I have fewer stitches and rows per inch than the pattern calls for, but they’re skinnier (not the way it should have gone) and WAY longer (ok, I should have seen this one coming) than they should have been. The pattern calls for them to be lined, which would leave them comfortably wide enough for my hands, but they come nearly to my elbow (total length from cuff to tip is 14″). Not exactly manly. I guess I’ll have to rethink this one. Maybe he’d like a Habitat Hat too?
I’ve also finished one of a pair of socks. I love everything about this sock pattern. It’s easy to count the repeats, so I’m much less likely to end up with one short sock and one long one. It’s really very stretchy, so I don’t have to have precise measurements of its eventual wearer – just a vague idea of what their foot size is. And I really, really like the yarn. But then, it’s Malabrigo, so what’s not to like? I started the second sock, but goofed up on the cuff, so I set it aside. The instructions and yarn and everything are in my car, just waiting for me to have a moment to be bored so I can start working on it again.
(Of course, when I went outside this afternoon to take pictures of my hat and mitten, I forgot to grab the sock, so you’ll have to use your imagination in regards to their incredible awesomeness. Maybe tomorrow…)