Flou Amour

Flou Amour” is French for “Fuzzy Love” (at least, I think it is. I couldn’t remember for the life of me whether amour was one of the words where the adjective goes before or after, so I went with my gut). Why fuzzy love? For the wonderful 100% baby alpaca of the yarn of course! When I first went into my LYS, I came across this yarn, and knew I had to have it. As soon as I had the funds (college student budgets are not yarn-friendly), I picked up a skein. Now, what to do with it? I already had too many hats, and a cowl that simply gathers dust. So I went for mittens. Unfortunately, I ran out of yarn right after the thumb gusset on the second mitten. Therefore, the mittens were frogged, I divided the yarn into two, equal balls, and proceeded with these. For the sake of saving yarn, they have neither fingers nor thumbs (that’s right, there’s just a hole where the thumb goes through, no gusset). Designed to use exactly one skein of Misti Alpaca Chunky, with only a few yards extra, they keep your palms and wrists marvelously toasty!

Needles: One US8/5.00mm, 32” or longer circular needle for Magic Loop, or two US8/5.00mm circular needles for double circ method (you could also use DPN, but the pattern is written for ML or two circs), cable needle/spare DPN
Yarn: One skein Misti Alpaca Chunky, 108yds/100g
Gauge: 4.5sts/inch, 6 rows/inch in stockinette st

CO 38 sts
Join into round
1x1 rib for two rounds
Work pattern below on 1st needle three times, ending on a round 7 for the last repeat, and K on the 2nd needle.

Pattern (round)
Round 1: K1, P1, K3, P4, 6-st RC, P3, K1
Round 2: K1, P1, K3, P4, K6, P3, K1
Round 3: K1, P1, 5-st LPC, 5-st RPC, 5-st LPC, P1, K1
Rounds 4 and 6: K1, P3, K6, P4, K3, P1, K1
Round 5: K1, P3, 6-st LC, P4, K3, P1, K1
Round 7: K1, P1, 5-st RPC, 5-st LPC, 5-st RPC, P1, K1
Round 8: K1, P1, K3, P4, K6, P3, K1

5-st RPC: Sl 2 sts to cn and hold to back, k3, p2 from cn.
5-st LPC: Sl 3 sts to cn and hold to front, p2, k3 from cn.
6-st RC: Sl 3 sts to cn and hold to back, k3, k3 from cn.
6-st LC: Sl 3 sts to cn and hold to front, k3, k3 from cn.

Right Thumb
Work 8th round of pattern on 1st needle
K4sts, K2sts, use these last two sts to BO1, K to end of needle
Now you’re going to be working flat, but in magic loop at the same time. Make any sense?
Work pattern on 1st needle, K4 on 2nd needle, TURN, P4 on 2nd needle, work wrong side of pattern (see below) on 1st needle, P14 on the 2nd needle, TURN, K14 on 2nd needle. Repeat this 8 times.
Now, work pattern on 1st needle, K4 on 2nd needle, CO1, K14. You’re working on the round again!

Left Thumb
Work 8th round of pattern on 1st needle
K14sts, K2sts, use these last two sts to BO1, K to end of needle
Now you’re going to be working flat, but in magic loop at the same time. Make any sense?
Work pattern on 1st needle, K14 on 2nd needle, TURN, P14 on 2nd needle, work wrong side of pattern (see below) on 1st needle, P4 on 2nd needle, TURN, K4 on 2nd needle. Repeat this 8 times.
Now, work pattern on 1st needle, K14 on 2nd needle, CO1, K4. You’re working on the round again!

Pattern (flat)
Row 1 (RS): K1, P1, K3, P4, 6-st RC, P3, K1
Row 2: P1, K3, P6, K4, P3, K1, P1
Row 3: K1, P1, 5-st LPC, 5-st RPC, 5-st LPC, P1, K1
Rows 4 and 6: P1, K1, P3, K4, P6, K3, P1
Row 5: K1, P3, 6-st LC, P4, K3, P1, K1
Row 7: K1, P1, 5-st RPC, 5-st LPC, 5-st RPC, P1, K1
Row 8: P1, K3, P6, K4, P3, K1, P1Rep rows 1–8.

Cable Crossing remain the same as in pattern on the round

Finish current pattern repeat.
1x1 rib for one round
BO using Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretch Bind Off

Make sure to block so that the thumb edges lay flat instead of doing the standard stockinette curl. I suggest turning the glove inside out and being sure to pin down those edges to they lay flat.

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Sixty Stitches

I've been knitting socks for over a year now. I started waaaaay back in August 2008 with a plain, white practice pair. I've knit about eight pairs total, all in worsted or DK weight on needles no smaller than threes. Now, I'm embarking on my first "true" socks: fingering weight, Knit Picks Stroll sock yarn on US1s. I've read all over Ravelry how pretty much most of the sock-knitting population's stitch count is around about sixty stitches.

Um... excuse me?

As I've been knitting socks, I've adjusted stitch count several times until I've finally found an ideal stitch count in worsted: 56 stitches (as seen in my newly-finished ski socks):

That's only four stitches less than the stitch count for sock in sock yarn for the rest of the population. Now, on my new, sock yarn socks, my stitch count is 84 stitches. A whole, whopping twenty four stitches more than the standard stitch count. This leaves me wondering, how in the world do people squeeze their feet into such tiny socks??!?! Sixty stitches only covers my first four toes, leaving my pinky dangling. Granted, I do have wide feet (and I mean super-double-extra-wide feet, thank you genetics), which is where the difference comes in.

However, this leaves me with a dilemma: most sock patterns are around this sixty stitch count, completely excluding me from the wonderful world of sock patterns unless I come up with my own. Bummer, because there are some really gorgeous socks out there. This is why I'm making it my mission to come up with some beautiful sock patterns myself for people with huge feet, like me! Sorry, narrow-footed people, but you're going to have to make some adjustments if you want my sock patterns.

On another note, my time has been eated up upon arriving home from Florida for the holidays. I thought I was going to have tons of time to sit in front of the TV and knit, just like the summer. Haha, WRONG! My time has mainly consisted of helping my dad out with finishing the basement. We're on the ceiling. In the past few days we've snapped chalk lines all around the three sub-rooms of the basement for ceiling height, and hung the border girders on the walls for the suspended ceiling. We're not quite done with that yet, but we need another 12' girder to finish, and we're car-less at the moment, so today we moved on to the girders in the middle of the ceiling! We're starting with the gym area. Hopefully we'll finish before Friday (aka Christmas), so when by brother gets a bunch of new video games, the Wii and the TV it's hooked up to won't be squished together with the couch, table, trunk, etc. and under a drop cloth, and he can play his games, and I can knit while watching him.

Oh, be on the lookout for a new pattern, entitled Flou Amour, coming soon. It's a fingerless mitt pattern for bulky, alpaca yarn. I've finished the first mitt, and I'm halfway through the second. As soon as I finish the second I'll take pics and release the pattern ;)

Warning: Photo Heavy Post Ahead

Yep. I got a lot of knitting done in the past two weeks (really, has it only been two weeks since I last posted? It seems like forever ago!). Lots of little things, and lots of big things that I've been knitting for a while and finally finished. I attribute this massive upsurge in knitting activity to the completions of my Rainbow Scarf, Kevat, and Arrowhead. They are all done and blocked. Yay!

Oh! Speaking of my cabley-rainbowness, I won a prize in the House Cup for my OWL!
I've already started it, and it's going to be gorgeous (and match most of my dressy wardrobe, which was missing a necklace, actually).
My art project went well. I finished another animal to go into the arrangement, a starfish:
I finished the actual project a few days ago, and had the critique today. It was funny, because it was too good. It made it unexciting and boring because it was so well made and perfect. Everything went together just right and it just didn't have that crazy wacky factor that all those other projects had because of my awesome craftsmanship.
I think it's like Gordana on Project Runway: she's an amazing seamstress, but none of the designs really *pop* out at you.
I got a few other small things done as well. A birthday present for Michelle (she turned 19 on the 13th):
and a good luck charm for my roommate for her calculus class:
Hmmm... what else? Oh yeah! I started a pair of ski socks for myself, out of the Wool of the Andes in hollyberry I posted last time. I'm done with the first sock, and have about an inch and a half to go before the last inch of cuff ribbing on the second sock.
I'm going to be posting my sock methodology here soon, because I like my combo of doing things and want to make it available to others. So stay tooned for a sock tutorial featuring some Stroll Shoreline Twist!
But wait, there's more! I've finished my Movie Knitting, but that's a super-secret Christmas present for a family member (none of you click that link!), so no pic here until after Christmas. Also, rather large increase in stash happened recently. I got some Alpaca Cloud, and Stroll in burgundy, african violet, and shoreline twist from Knit Picks. I also got some Malabrigo Lace, Malabrigo Sock, and Misti Alpaca Chunky from the LYS (big thanks to the grandparents for funding this yarn splurge!). I can't decide what to make with the alpaca. It's so soft and I just want to pet it forever!
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AHHHHHHHHHH! I'm so excited! I just finished binding off my Rainbow Cable Scarf half an hour ago at the Knitting Garden:

All it needs now is to have the ends woven in, a wash, and blocking. Then I'll be done! It's such a huge relief to have finally finished this. I feel like it's been hanging over my head (why I don't know) for forever. This has got to be the longest project I've continually worked on, ever. Two and a half months! Yes, I know to many people that seems like a very short amount of time, but when almost 100% of your knitting energy goes into one project for that long, it drains you.
In other knitting news, I was a happy participant in the Fox Trot Challenge last Saturday, which required me to knit my quidditch prayer shawls for two hours that day (hence the phone in the picture).
Well, I finished knitting up Arrowhead, and now all it needs is blocking. I was amazed at the yarn transformation with a wash. Pre-wash, this yarn was scratchy and annoying and a pain in the butt to knit with. I felt bad that I was giving someone such a cruddy-feeling shawl. The I washed it. Oh. My. God. I was taking the load out of the dryer, and my hand fell upon the shawl. I immediately wanted to snuggle with it to no end. It was warm, and soft, and almost fluffy. I would never wear a shawl (expect perhaps a really gorgeous lacy one with my prom dress on a cold night at a formal event), so I'm glad this lovely thing is going to a good home.

I also rescued my Kevat shawl from the clutches of broken cables and needle tips; it's all better now and well on it's way to completion! I have plans of finishing it and another project before Thanksgiving so I can have a four-day blocking session in the room (the roommate will be home, so I'll have lots of room to spread out).

But wait, there's more! I have completed Nessie, George, and Ganesha, all for an art project, meaning they will all be dismantled and combined in some wacky, crazy way!

A starfish is going to be thrown in there too, but he's not done yet ;)

Last, I got my first Knit Picks order in the mail the other day! Feast upon it's yarny gloriness:

Why do I need all the yarn? Mainly for a sweater I'm knitting for my Dad for his birthday (shhh! Don't tell!), and for some ski socks for myself. Can you guess which color is for which ;) ? I got a pair of Addi Turbo circs today for the socks, US5/3.75mm and 40". Wow, the cable is supple and flexible! [or perhaps my other circs just have stiff cables...] I can't wait to get started on them, but I have to finish my other WIP's first!
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How Harry Potter Helps Me Keep my Sanity

You think I'm joking? Twice in the last three days this happened. I suppose it's analogous to the old "walk away from it and breathe" methodology, but sometimes, you need something specific to walk away to.

Let me explain. Twice in the last three days, I reached a roadblock, a frustrating point, a point that made me want to cry on an assignment. And twice, in the last three days, I turned to Harry Potter, and my brain started functioning normally again. The first was a lab in marine science. I procrastinated for a good four hours on this lab. Why? Well, we had to research a species of zooplankton we observed under the microscope, and silly me didn't write down the scientific names of anything I observed, making it nearly impossible to find any information, let alone anything substantial and concrete. After striking out on all but one zooplankter, I finally found some info on the most common of the observed animals, but didn't think the information was substantial. I was frustrated, and was driving myself insane (can anyone say perfectionist?). You know what I did? I said, "Screw this, I'm going to go see Harry Potter."

So I went to see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince with some floor friends at the campus cinema, getting a good deal of knitting done while there. I sat down, relaxed, enjoyed the show, and afterwords made fun of how Harry was high on liquid luck, how Ron was drunk on love potion, and how Slughorn was some combo of the two by just being himself. I was at peace. I got back to the dorm, sat down, and cranked out the lab in two hours (compared to the four I had spend procrastinating before). I was done and it felt awesome.

Now to the more substantial of the two situations. English paper. I had three reviews to look over. Two were peer reviews, and both of the reviewers loved my paper. I get to the third, more important one, the one from my teacher, which basically said I interpreted the text we were writing the paper on wrong, I don't understand the argument the author is making, and essentially, I'm an idiot (OK, these are strong words, she didn't really say that, I'm exaggerating, but that's how I felt after reading her comments). I really did want to cry. I wanted to hug my mom, have her comfort me, and tell me everything was going to be alright. Just looking at the paper made me want to burst out in tears. I thought I was going to have to rewrite my entire paper, and I didn't know where to start. I was just overwhelmed by the entirety of the comments. Tears are coming to my eyes now just thinking back to a few hours ago (yes, this was today).

I covered up the paper, the assignment, everything that made me hurt, climbed up to my loft, grabbed my copy of Deathly Hallows, and proceeded to finish off my latest re-reading. My mind returned to peace from the unruly chaos it was in, my emotions calmed, and my brain became rationalized. As I closed the book and scampered off to the bathroom, I knew what I had to do with my paper. The solution was so easy. I simply had to mess around with the parts where I mentioned the author's argument, and add in a paragraph explaining the similarities and differences between our subject positions (OK, perhaps this doesn't sound easy to you, but trust me, it is quite the simple fix).

Now, my world is at peace, and I can go to bed with a smile on my face and happiness in my heart.



Who's happy that it's fall break? I am!!! Well, mainly because SCUBA has eaten up my life for the past month (not to say that SCUBA is a bad thing, it's just that I do like to sleep every once in a while). So sleeping in today and yesterday was absolutely fantastic. Of course, the world can't all be happy at the same time, so life decided to give me a wicked scratchy throat to compensate for my ability to sleep in this weekend...

On the knitting front, all it well. I finally have my knitting in order. You see, I'm a very monogamous knitter, as in, I can only really work on one project at a time, and work very intensely on that project. With the House Cup on Ravelry, I am required to work on more than one project at a time, which has messed with my knitting brain. It has caused me to not really knit my awesome rainbow scarf at all during the month of September, and as that needs to be done by 29 Nov (so I can block on the 30th), I sort of went into panic mode. From the first of September to last Tuesday I knit up the first set of yarn bobbins. In the past week and half (last Tuesday until last night), I knit up the second set of bobbins. Essentially, I knit the previous month and a half's worth of work in a week and a half, so I'm now at 29" out of 72".

You can attribute this massive increase in pace to a few distinct things:
1) I ordered my knitting schedule so I'm knitting the scarf four days in a row, encompassing some of my most knit-friendly days.
2) I ditched the flexible straights thing, as they were just catching on the yarn constantly, and went for a circular needle, which has worked much better.
3) The scarf has gotten to the length where I can roll it around the yarn when I'm not knitting, greatly decreasing the tangling of the yarn while traveling.

All of this allows me to get into a knitting "groove." Aka, I doubled my knitting speed on this scarf (1"/h to 2"/h).

I also made a wonderous fish hat for the cup, and everyone loves it. I have a theory that if I wear it to a football game I'm going to get on TV...

I mean, seriously, what TV camera guy would be like, "Girl with fish hat!" (it helps that the fish also happens to be in Miami colors...)

On a sad note, the RA on my floor had to resign due to personal issues that made her feel like she wasn't being a good RA anymore. I made her a Hugo as a goodbye gift:

It was only after I gave it to her that I realize he was the color of an alien, and that our floor's theme is outer space. I'll miss our RA so much... <3

Well, I know it was a short entry, even though it's been a couple weeks. That's what happens when I have big, long term projects to work on, and not the million free knitting hours of the summer to get them done. 'Til next time!

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La Mathématique

I am supposed to be studying for my linear algebra exam tomorrow at the moment. If you are reading this, you can obviously tell that I am not, in fact, studying, but writing a blog post. Much better use of my time, don't you think?

Good news for a special friend in Arizona! I finished her moomoo:

She needs it so badly, because her anxiety and depression are really getting to her. I can only hope that this adorable, turquoise moomoo cheers her up and alleviates her pain for at least a little while. I really wish I could be there with her, but it just isn't possible. I really hope she is, if slowly, getting better, because she really needs it.

You know what was extremely frustrating and sad a few days ago? Well, I was on the bus to lab at the marine campus, and was planning on finishing Kevät, my first prayer shawl for quidditch in the HPKCHC. I only had about four more pattern repeats to go (two repeats is one center diamond). So, I reach into my bag and pull out my shawl, noticing that one of the needles had "screwed off" (yay interchangeable needles...). So I pick up the point from the bottom of the bad, and to my horror, discover that it hadn't screwed off, it had broken off with the little screw part with the threads from the cable stuck inside! Not only could I not finish my shawl on the bus (or back at the dorm for that matter), but I now have to wait 4-6 weeks for the replacement cable and needle tips to come in! So Kevät is currently sitting on a looong piece of waste yarn, waiting for my shipment of replacement parts.

Luckily I was using two joined cables, so one of them was fine. The other shawls I was planning on knitting used a different size cable, so I rescued the living cable from Kevät and cast on Arrowhead. I'm only one repeat in and it is looking gorgeous. Luckily, someone from the Hufflepuff Common Room is sending me another cable, so I can hopefully finish this shawl, and others, while my points and other cable ship.

Other than that, I've made some awesome progress on my OWL:

I'm a mono-knitter (aka I can only really focus on one project at a time), so I was having trouble getting around to knit it. Yesterday I divided up the week so I have OWL knitting days and days for everything else, so hopefully now I'll get some real progress in :) I'm about 1/6 of the way into it, not including blocking and weaving in ends, and I'm still on my first bobbins. I'm going to have a ton of leftover yarn from this, but I don't mind since I'll have yarn in all the colors of the rainbow! That's all, for now. ;)
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Étudier, pas Tricoter

It may seem like I haven't written in forever, and you would be right in making that assumption! My knitting pace has slowed down considerable, mainly due to the fact that I don't have endless hours to sit around, watch TV, and knit like I did during the summer (best summer ever BTW). I do have time to get projects done here and there though, mainly at work. I work at the info desk in the University Center, and there is always one day I work when it's too busy to just do my homework, yet not busy enough that I'm constantly running around. Those days I bring my knitting. I can get a few rows/rounds in, put it down, and then when I'm free again, come back to it. This means, of course, no fancy intarsia, fair isle, or lace work will be brought to work, as that requires more serious concentration (which spells trouble for my rainbow scarf, as I can't really take it out of my dorm room due to the amount of bobbins, and all my knitting time seems to be outside the dorm). Here are a few things I've accomplished though:

A single (that's right, single) cable-lace short fingerless glove (the pattern can be found here). I had knit the first one from the original pattern for Catie, but they didn't have a thumb gusset for some reason, so I didn't bother with the second. Catie, however, still like the glove (it fit her hand a little better than mine), and took it to college with her, and I promised I'd knit her a second. So I redesigned the pattern, giving it a thumb gusset and making it a little more DPN friendly, knit the second glove (which I think turned out nicer than the first), and sent it off to her. She hasn't written me yet, so I don't know if she got it. I would think she did, and people just procrastinate writing letters back (I know I do). Plus, it took at least two weeks from when I sent a package to another friend to get her thank-you letter back, and it hasn't been two weeks yet.

It's a Utopia Hat! Except it's knit in Red Heart Super Saver Mexicana (aka rainbow), so you can't really see the cables that well. I knit it for potions homework for the Harry Potter Knit & Crochet House Cup on ravelry, but I didn't know who I'd give it to (goodness know I have too many hats already). Fortunately, my new friend Joshua (who is very into the whole gay-rights thing :D) wanted it when he first saw me knitting the first few rows of ribbing (best part is - he knits too!). So he's happy with his rainbow hat :)

Exciting venture for me: my first pair of toe-up socks! I'm now a total toe-up convert: they fit so much better than cuff-down!, and are fairly simply to make (best part: I don't have to carry around a ruler to make heel and foot-length measurements). I was originally steered to make these because I was going to make a pair of wavy socks using a lacy pattern I found for Charms. Unfortunately, the pattern didn't work backwards, as I would have needed for cuff-down, so I learned how to knit toe-up. I'm not going to knit those socks anymore (for charms, anyway), but now I have a nice new pair of purple socks!

Last, but not least, this little guy. Yes, another Hugo. You see, Joshua's birthday was Sunday, and I'm in college, so I wasn't about to go buy him anything. Since he enjoyed the hat so much, I decided to make him a Hugo out of the scraps (I ran out of yarn just as I finished the first foot, so the second foot is green). Even better, this also doubled as DADA homework :)

As for stuff I'm working on right now, I've made some progress on my rainbow scarf (it's 16cm long, so I'm 8% done!), but that's suffering because I can't really take it anywhere due to the massive amount of bobbins. More critical than the scarf is a moo moo I'm making for Sam. She needs it badly, because she's been having some bad episodes of anxiety and depression. I've filled my queue with a bunch of moomoo-related items to send off to her in Arizona. I've also started on my quidditch prayer shawls. I've never made shawls before, and I'm wondering how I'm going to block them (and they will need blocking bad, I can already tell). We do have a carpet in the room I can block it on, though then it will be in the middle of the floor. Perhaps my bed? Then comes the problem that I don't have any pins or blocking wire (never blocked before)...

That's about it. In all: expect less frequent posts, because, as a college student, I won't have that much time to post, and I'll have less to post about. I bid you adieu! (for now)

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I am so sorry I haven't written in forever, but I wanted to finish Joanna's second pair of gloves before I posted again, and of course, I finish them, and then I have to pack madly for college, drive down to the university (with a stop in South Carolina along the way), move in, go through orientation, the first few days of classes, etc. - more on that later. Anyways... here are Joanna's lovely Natalya gloves:

I must say that though these took quite a bit longer than the lace-ups, I like them much, much better. They're more practical as well. The proccess of knitting them also taught me so many things. I can now knit on the round with two circular needles (which I will not be doing again unless absolutely neccesary). I can also now cable without a cable needle, a very handy skill to have. I know a new way of binding off that is much looser than the one I was using previously. I also now know how to knit fingers on gloves. Overall, it was a very educating experience. (Sorry for the over-exposed picture BTW).

So... I'm at college :D. Not telling you where, because there are always weird stalking people out there that want to kidnap you, but here are some pics of campus:

Yes, this is a college campus. Great huh? My classes are absolutely amazing. I know this might sound mean, but I enjoy having teachers that are actually competent and know their material. Dorm life is good too. I'm good friends with at least half my floor; I'm so glad we all get along, for the most part - it's amazing. I've also made some really great friends in my marine program (I'm a marine bio major); we had this s'mores BBQ (basically you roast the marshallows over a grill) the other day, and the four of us just clicked right away. We spend the next hour and a half talking outside, then moved to Michelle's room and talked for at least another half an hour, if not another hour. It's absolutely great.

Speaking of the dorm life, I've discovered that the bowls I use to microwave my morning grits get really hot in the microwave (yay Walmart dishes), prompting me to make these:

I tried knitting a potholder using double knitting, but quickly discovered that I despise double knitting. I figured that a potholder would be something you could crochet in about two seconds, so I searched online and found this wonderful pattern. I love the things! They're so great!

More exciting (and geeky) news. So, I'm in this group on Ravelry called the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup. Term starts in a few days, and when it does, I'm going to attempt an OWL in potions. The potions OWL requires a large project with creative and complicated use of color. I'm going to knit a Persephone Scarf, except that each "rope" in the cable is going to be a different color, and the border and backgrounds are different colors. Here's my rainbow circle of yarn that I'm using for the project:

And my pattern swatch, in the lovely iris shade of Caron Simply Soft:

I simply can't wait to cast on, and for term to start. Everything is so exciting right now! :)
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Birthday Bash

I haven't posted in a while, mainly because, in the back of my head, I wanted the next post to be when I had both of Joanna's gloves finished. Well, I finished one, the lace-up opera gloves.

Let me tell you, I do not like this pattern. It's made for someone with twigs for arms. If I ever make this again (highly unlikely), I'll add at least ten more stitches, and buy a bunch more ribbon. I also have a sneaking suspicion that Joanna will never actually wear these. Mind you, she'll think they're awesome the first time she lays eyes on them, but she'll never actually wear them. It's like me and the cowl. I thought it was awesome when I was done, but then I felt stupid every time I wore it out in public.

The other pair is proving interesting. I don't own a pair of size 8 double points, but I did have two size 8 circulars laying about. Well, I discovered I vastly prefer double points to two circulars, and I am a huge fan of metal needles. One of my circulars is bamboo (mainly because it was the only 16" I've ever found, for hats), and it was driving me nuts. I was really grateful that I soon acquired another metal circular needle (more on that later). Other than that, the pattern is pretty, and I have no clue what increases they're referring to for the thumb gusset, so I'm experimenting with different increases each round until I find the one best suited for the glove.

Speaking of frustrating patterns, yesterday was my best friend's 18th birthday. I realized the day before that I didn't have a gift, so I thought I'd whip up something nice on my needles. I saw this awesome, seemingly-simple-and-quick, fingerless glove pattern.

Not only was the pattern complicated and time-consuming, but the designer has no clue about glove construction. There's no thumb gusset, the thumb hole wouldn't even fit my pinky at first (I had to frog the thumb rounds and just bind off the live stitches in order to make it wide enough), and the rest of the glove is HUGE. It's really too bad because I used a really pretty blue - actually my first ball of yarn ever. Now there's not enough on the ball to make anything really other than a granny square or a Hugo. I decided to re-structure the pattern. As soon as I knit a pair of the restructured gloves, I'll post the pattern, don't worry.

Anyway, instead of the ill-fitting gloves, I made my friend a starfish instead.

Quite lovely, and it almost used up the rest of the awesome multi-color yarn I had purchased for my squid and lobster. He came from a book I recently purchased, and I can't wait to knit more of the little guys that are in there. Speaking of which...

Monday was my birthday!!!! Of course, I got lots and lots of knitting related items, including these:

I also got some stitch markers (though they weren't actually what I wanted; they'll probably remain unused) and a set of stitch holders. The biggest things I got were a set of interchangeable needles :D
And with some of the money I got, I went to Barns & Noble and bought this book:
which is where our delightful starfish friend came from. That's all for now. Back to knitting those cable fingerless gloves for Joanna...

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