Thursday, February 28, 2008


And here are the felted oven mitts! I loved them and was so pleased with how they came out. I definitely will have to make some for myself in the future!

Hello, we are nice and felty.

I realized only after I had given the mitts away and was preparing these pictures that I probably should have thrown in the quarter again for scale. Oops. The finished mitts came probably 4 to 5 inches past my wrists, just like regular oven mitts should.

As I've said before, it took me a while to figure out the proportions of the mitt. Technically, the top part of each mitt (for the fingers, above the thumb) ended up being longer--i.e., had more rows--than the bottom part (below the thumb). Unfelted, it looked a little strange, unintuitive, and top-heavy. My gut instinct was to make the bottom part longer, because I think of oven mitts covering a good part of your wrists and forearms.

During felting, though, the mitts shrank in size perfectly. I think the proportions are just right, and the fabric is nice and thick. Yay!

Pattern: My own
Needles: 16" US10.5 Inox circular; US10.5 Brittany Birch DPNs
Yarn: 4 skeins Cascade 220 (I don't have the skeins with me, so I don't have the colorway number, but . . . they're red, obviously)
Recipient: Newlywed co-clerk and hubby!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


One of my co-clerks got married this past Saturday. She's mentioned before that she'd like to start cooking more often after she gets married, so to get her started, I bought her a red Dutch oven (brand = Tramontina--one of Cook's Illustrated's top-rated Dutch ovens) and made her a pair of matching felted oven mitts. It was hard to get the red just right in the pictures, but it's a nice deep red; hopefully you can imagine it even if it doesn't show up right on your monitor.

Here is GPG's artsy-fartsy rendition of the unfelted mitts:

And here is a plain old documentary-style post, with quarter thrown in for scale:

I only realized as I was preparing the pictures that position of the quarter on the top mitt makes the mitt look a little like a red guppy with a fat lip! The quarter probably doesn't provide much scale, but basically the mitts were big enough almost to reach my elbows when I put my hands in them.

I'm very pleased with the way the mitts turned out post-felting. I fiddled around with the pattern and frogged at least three times before I was satisfied with the position of the thumb and the general proportions of the mitt. Pictures of the felted mitts, plus a pattern (written mostly so I don't forget what I did), will come soon!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Eye Candy Friday: Log Cabin Edition

Remember all that Noro I posted about before? I'm using it to make squares like this:

Pretty, no?

I'm planning on making a blanket like this. I never thought much of log cabin blankets until I saw KathyMarie's afghan on Ravelry and fell in love with it. So I'm merrily log cabin-ing away these days.

But only at work! I generally try to keep a mindless project at work to knit on when I have to read boring things, so these squares are my current work knitting. I keep a pair of US8 needles in my office and bring in new balls of Kureyon as I need them. I kind of like having the idea of making an afghan that I'll always remember as my "clerkship" afghan.

I've made 6 so far and am working on the seventh, so you can expect to see posts about squares every now and then.

Hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day! Have a terrific weekend!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

WIP: Endpaper Mitt the First

Waaaay way way way back at the beginning of the New Year, Undyed Yarnpire and I embarked on a two-person knit-along for the famous Endpaper Mitts. I'd had yarn stashed for this project for well over a year. Undyed Yarnpire and I "met cute" on Ravelry; we both had the Endpapers queued up; and eventually we decided to start knitting them together.

Unfortunately, the whole "knit along" concept has sort of fallen by the wayside. At least, it's a little on hiatus. Undyed Yarnpire has been plagued with fit problems and yarn problems. I struggled with the Italian tubular cast-on, and since an amazingly productive burst of knitting when GPG and I went to Steamboat, I haven't had the time to knit a single stitch on this project. In addition, the whole idea of blogging my progress obviously never really materialized: this is my first post on the whole shebang.

Still, posts in general are better late than never. Although I haven't touched the mitt in a while, I'm quite pleased with the progress so far, which is three repeats of the charted pattern, just before the thumb gusset increases begin. I followed the sage advice that Kelp gave me and took out the purl "seam" that runs along the pinky side of the mitt. To do this, I had to rechart the pattern to run continuously around the entire mitt. Now the jog between rounds, plus the small disconnect in the pattern (since the mitt consumes less than a whole number of pattern repeats), are partially hidden at the purl "seam" on the thumb side of the mitt.

The first mitt is currently on hold while I try to knock out some presents, including some felted oven mitts (wedding present) and at least one Baby Surprise Jacket (new baby, obviously). But I'd like to get back to this WIP soon--I really want to block the finished thing and see how my colorwork turns out.

In the meantime, though, Happy Valentine's Day to all!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A public service announcement for Texans

The Texas primaries are coming up on March 4. Early voting--when you can vote in any precinct, not just the one you are registered in--begins next Monday on Feb. 19 and ends on Feb. 29. This is especially useful for students and other folks who don't live too close to where they're originally registered (like me).

Unfortunately, the deadline to register to vote in the primaries is over. But if you're already a registered voter (here's where you can check your registration status), you're able to vote in one party's presidential primary this year. You don't have to be a registered member of the party in order to vote in that party's primary. Just be aware that if you vote in a party's primary you become affiliated with that party for the rest of the year, which means you can't vote in any other party's primary and you can't sign an independent candidate's petition to get put on the ballot. But, even if you vote in one party's primary, you're still free to vote for a different party's candidate when November's elections roll around. You aren't bound by your party affiliation in the actual election.

Here's a PDF showing all the primary polling locations in Houston, plus the schedule for voting. I hope everyone will find some time to vote in the March 4 primary!

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Noro stashing continues . . .

How about starting the week off with a nice jolt of Noro goodness? The skeins below are my most recent Kureyon acquisitions, this time courtesy of Webs.

I finally took a few pictures of what I'm actually making out of all this Kureyon. Those will come later this week!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Spinny goodness

As promised, over the weekend I took some photos of some of my latest spinning endeavors. The "Burning Bush" singles that I spun up turned into this:

I looooove the finished yarn. It's soft, thick, and I am a big fan of the barberpole effect. I ended up with a little over 100 yards or so of chunky-weight yarn.

The shock of red-on-red that you see in one area is the very end of the yarn, where I ran out of single on one bobbin. The remaining yardage of the longer single I had was all red. I wound the remaining single into a ball on my ball winder, spit-spliced the end of the red section to the end of the single where I had run out of yardage, then continued plying the red section on itself to get the most yardage out of the fiber.

Eeee! Have I mentioned that I love making my own yarn???

My next spinning attempt was 4.4 oz of superwash Shetland roving from Pigeonroof Studios in the "Plum Blossom" colorway. I tried to spin the singles thinner than the Burning Bush fiber, just to experiment. But because my spinning was a bit uneven, one singles was thinner than the other--not by much, but by enough that the finished yarn didn't fluff up as evenly as the Burning Bush yarn.

I'm still happy with the yarn, though. It's about 205 yards of DK-ish weight, venturing into fingering/sock-weight every now and then. This is my second time spinning with Pigeonroof fibers, and I love, love, love her stuff. (I just wish I could catch her shop updates so I could actually get some more!)

Each spinning attempt is really a new adventure--I'm experimenting with spinning at different thicknesses with each new batch of fiber. I'm striving for consistency in my spinning, but because I'm still pretty much a newbie, I never know what I'm going to get. Sometimes this is frustrating, but mostly it's fun.

And, because it needs to be said: all my spinning fun is due entirely to the patience, generosity, and--most importantly--enablement of Teresa of Gramma Knits. Thanks again, Teresa!

Hope everyone had a good weekend! Have a great week!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Not by the hair of my spinny spin spin

I've been such a bad blogger that I haven't even blogged about the most recent exciting development in the Seedless Grape repertoire of fibery pursuits! In January, I got . . .

. . . a spinning wheel! Eeeee!

It's a Lendrum DT ("double treadle"), and I loooove it. I bought it second-hand from another spinner in Louisiana, and at first I refrained from blogging about it because it took a while to get the wheel into my hot little hands. I didn't want to post anything about it until I actually had it. After I got it (probably about three weeks ago now), I didn't blog about it because, well, I'm a bad blogger.

But I've been spinning on it a little every week, and I'm having so much fun! And late blogging is better than no blogging. Here are some singles I spun recently:

It's 4 oz. of Corriedale fiber in the "Burning Bush" colorway from Spunky Eclectic. I was immediately enamored with this colorway when I saw some of it on Jared's blog, so I snapped it up when I saw it on the Spunky Eclectic website. I love the combination of red, blue, and orange.

I've plied the singles and washed and whacked the yarn since taking this picture, and I'm extraordinarily pleased with how it turned out, especially for only my third attempt at spinning on the wheel. I love making my own yarn! There are also lots of other spinny projects constantly on the bobbins, so I promise there'll be plenty of spinning posts sprinkled among the regular knitting/(not-so-regular) cooking posts in the future.

In the meantime, I hope the first month of the new year treated everyone well. Here's hoping for a great February! Have a great weekend!