I’ve never made an actual pair of mittens, but I’ve made a couple pairs of fingerless mitts. In fact, one of the first project that I made when I was first getting back into knitting were a pair of Doctor Who themed mitts with “POLICE BOX” written across the top of the hand. I made two pairs of these – one for a friend, and one for myself.
The pair for myself I actually sized down, which in retrospect is incredibly impressive. I was, for all intent and purposes a new knitter at that point. I’d only just relearned how to knit after messing up my technique for years, and that was one of my first dpn projects. Not only that, but it was colorwork! How I figured out how to decrease the amount of stitches in just the right places so that the pattern stayed true to its design I’ll never know, but being able to do that when I was a relative newbie is part of what has inspired me to attempt pattern making now. If I could manage that way back then, I can certainly manage pattern writing now, with all my experience.
I do have yarn in my stash that is earmarked for a pair of mittens. It’s a kit for some stripey mitts, and it’s been sitting in my stash for about two years now. But I will definitely get to it eventually!
Silk is one of those fibers that I’m just not sure about. I mean yes, it’s super strong and soft, but it has the price tag to go along with those benefits. And honestly, whenever I’ve felt up a bit of silk yarn, it hasn’t given me the cozy vibes that are so integral to my knitting enjoyment. I’ve also heard that it can be a little difficult to work with, because it’s quite slippery.
Now, cashmere, that’s a luxury fiber I can get behind. It’s so soft and smooth, and it makes any project feel like the expensive piece that it is.
Of course, I’ve never actually worked with silk yarn. Maybe if I actually put it on my needles I’d feel differently, but it doesn’t have the wide availability of a lot of other wool blends. I see tons of merino-cashmere blends when I go to fiber festivals and yarn stores, but silk is harder to come by.
I also think that silk has a fairly specific use. I’m not about to make socks or mittens out of silk and while I’m sure it’s very possible, I’m not going to make a sweater either. A silk shawl does sound pretty lovely, though.
I would consider purling to be the knitting equivalent to a frenemy. It’s essential to most patterns and makes for some truly gorgeous pieces, but I don’t love it. Not like I love a knit stitch.
Again, this could be my inexperience talking. I’ve been knitting for years, but it’s nothing compared to the decades of many Knitters. And my preference for knit stitch colors my pattern choices, so I don’t get as much practice with purling as I would if I were less biased. So one day I may purl just as quickly and easily as I knit, but I’m certainly not there yet.
It was actually thanks to purling that I realized, many years ago now, that I needed to reteach myself to knit. For years and years all I’d done was knit stitch, making scarf after scarf. Only when I tried to do a purl stitch and found that it was impossible for me to move the yarn to the front did I realize how oddly I was holding my needles.
I’m still not 100% certain that I purl in the most efficient way. Ideally, I would simply slip the working yarn back and forth seamlessly, but the way I do it now I fully release the yarn and pick it back up. It’s nearly seamless, but not quite. This is probably why I dislike it so much, honestly. It’s also why it makes my index finger hurt when I purl – too much contact with the stitches on the needle. But it’s just so hard to teach an old dog new tricks.
Considering how much purling stockinette stitch can sometimes entail, I imagine that you already have an idea of how I feel about it. That’s right, it’s another love-hate relationship.
Stockinette in the round is a dream, of course. Just knitting. Round and round and round you go. Like I said before, I don’t get bored of endless knit stitches, so easily my favorite part of my latest sweater – the No Frills sweater I spoke about in a previous post – was doing the body after having finished the raglan increases. Well, it was my favorite until I made it too short and had to pull it out and redo part of the body, of course. And now I might have to do that again…
Ugh, no, I won’t think about it.
Stockinette in straight knitting, though – much less fun. I’ve done it on a shawl or two and in a few stripes of a baby blanket. It’s not as tedious as say, seed stitch, but it’s certainly no picnic, especially when your stitch count is in the hundreds. I’ll fly through the knitting row, then look sadly at my project when I realize that I’ve forgotten to enjoy the smoothness of the knit stitches before having to move on to the clunkiness of the purl stitches.
I should clarify, I don’t hate purling. I’m sure it certainly seems like I do based on this post! I love what you can do with a purl stitch. It makes for some truly gorgeous knitted items, and it’s obviously essential for any knitter. It’s because it’s so essential that it makes it so easy for me to come up with things to complain about. But truly, I’m not about to make a book full of patterns that require absolutely no purling or anything…
That would be crazy.
This one is a very, very easy word for me. Seriously, I’m kind of the slipper queen. Not because I’ve knit a lot of different designs or anything – I’ve found a slipper pattern that I like and I’m sticking to it. But I’ve knit dozens of slippers in this pattern.
The pattern I’m referring to is the Simple House Slippers by Simone A. And the reason that I’ve knit this pattern so many times is because of a tradition in my family.
My great grandmother, my mom’s grandma, used to make Christmas packages for every single member of her family, from grandchildren to great grandchildren to cousins. In the packages she’d include something useful, like a kitchen utensils or pair of work gloves, some homemade apple butter, and a pair of crocheted slipper.
Now, I did try making a crocheted pair of slippers like she would have, and it’s not excessively difficult, but I’m just more of a knitter. I like my needles over my hooks. So I found the Simple House Slippers pattern and I started making slippers for my family.
I’m not nearly as ambitious as my great grandmother. I did make slippers for all my aunts and uncles 2 years ago, but it was a LOT of work. Now I stick to my immediate family, including my soon-to-be in-laws. That’s still 9 pairs of slippers, mind (including myself and Taylor and her husband, because she’s essentially a sister to me). It’s still quite a bit of work, but everyone seems to love them so much that I don’t mind.