Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I keep making things on small needles.

It's true: most of the things I knit are made on small needles. I've knit 10 pairs of socks so far this year. If I ever finish my intarsia socks, it'll be 11. If I make a pair for my mother for Christmas, it'll be a nice, round dozen. All on 2.5mm needles. It's not that I'm especially fond of knitting thousands upon thousands of tiny stitches, it's that socks are very portable, and therefore good bus knitting. They're also inexpensive compared to knitting sweaters. A skein of really nice sock yarn can be had for $25 or so, but to purchase enough quality yarn to make a sweater in my size starts at around $100. This is why I make so many socks. That, and the (almost) instant gratification that comes with making socks.

Gloves hold a similar appeal to socks: they take roughly the same amount of yarn and use the same size needles. They take a little longer to knit, as each finger has to be articulated and there many more ends to weave in at the end, but that's a small price to pay to have gloves that fit your hand perfectly. Over Thanksgiving weekend I made lots of progress on my Glacier gloves. So much so that all I have left to do is knit the fingers and thumb of the left hand. I've finished the right hand glove, with only then ends to weave in. I ended up using 2.75mm needles for the fingers, as they were a little snug with the smaller needles. It seems like such a small difference, but that little bit was all it took!

Over the long holiday weekend I also finished the Owl-paca baby hat, which was knit on 4mm needles. That size, while larger than sock needles, would still be considered on the small side by most knitters, I think. Instead of making the owl's eyes as called for in the pattern, I used the technique from the stuffed owl I recently knit for this hat because I didn't feel comfortable putting buttons on an accessory meant for an infant. I was able to attach the eyes and the beak to the hat at social knitting and tried it on my friend's one year old, but I didn't have my camera, so I only have photos of it lying flat on a table. I'll try to get a photo of a real baby modeling it as soon as possible, so you can see just how cute it is.

Of course, no owl would be complete unless it had a mouse in its talons, so I cast on for Ysolda Teague's Mousie last night. This project is on 2.0 needles and has knit up really quickly. In two evenings, I've finished all but one ear and the eyes. I think I have four hour's total knitting in this little rodent. And it's just the right touch for the hat. Circle of Life and all that. Maybe I'll make X's for the eyes for comic effect. Actually, I think I just talked myself into it. I crack myself up.

Well, that's all for tonight. Until next time, Friends.

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