Mad for Mittens

I’ve gone bonkers for fingerless mittens.  So far, I have purchased three pairs, chopped fingers off gloves, and taught myself basic knitting to make four pairs out of yarn.  I have experimented with thumb holes and partial thumbs and played with stitch counts to adjust the size.   Then I switched to crochet thread and picked up a hook to make this black pair. I like the copper bracelet on top. Should I make one for the other hand?

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I like the Bernat® Handicrafter® acrylic crochet thread because it is as soft as yarn but firmer, if that makes sense.   The light weight thread will make fingerless mittens ideal for mild weather wear in late spring so I bought “crisp linen” and the variegated “adrift” colors yesterday, as well as spool of Aunt Lydia’s® Iced Bamboo™ crochet thread in a color called Pink Ice.

I also searched the internet looking for patterns.  Tell you true – if you can knit or crochet two squares, you do not need a pattern to make a simple pair of fingerless gloves!

That’s all it is… a simple square of any stitch design is folded in half, then sewn up the side with about two inches left unsewn for the thumb hole.  (Most patterns say sew down one inch from the top, leave one and a half inches for the thumb opening, then sew the rest of the way down.  For my hands, I like a little more on top, say an inch and a quarter, with a two inch thumb hole.)  There is no “right” or “left” hand, both are made the same.

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So, how big do you make a square?  Well, that depends on your hands, if you want them to fit snug or loose, how heavy or stretchy the yard is, and if you plan to wear them alone or over a pair of gloves.  I have a seven inch wrist and the measurement around my knuckles is 7.5 inches, so a 7 inch squares turns out best for me.  My first pairs were made bigger and the mittens felt too loose. For the black pair, I used 6.5 inches square.   Of course, they don’t have to be squares.  The length can be varied.  I also prefer to knit in the round on double points for knitted versions to avoid sewing the sides.

Oh I have gone bonkers, completely mad for fingerless mittens.  The thought of sewing some just popped into my head.  Of course, the fabric would need a bit of stretch… fleece, jersey knits, recycled T-shirts?  Stretch denims? Oh… what about that velvet knit in my fabric bin?  They could be adorned with lace…

Boots on the Range

Remodeling rain boots… I was so ticked finding little girl rain boots in grown up sizes on a clearance sale rack last year that I called my sister to say, “Guess what I got?”  She reminded me why we hated wearing rubber boots as children.  It does not feel good to have rubber rubbing the skin raw on bare wet legs.  Of course, we always wore dresses to school in the 1960’s and our knee socks back then didn’t always stay up.  I could have worn these with skinny leg jeans tucked inside, but shorter with a softer edge lets me wear them with anything.

So, here is what I am doing… yes, I snapped the photo with the boots on the range (they are clean, never worn yet, and my kitchen has the best light snapping flash-less photos at night).

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Yes, I took sturdy scissors to a boot… it’s rubber, seams molded in or sealed, so it is okay.  The knitted cuff for the top was made with two strands of yarn on a cheap 30 peg round loom.  It just folds over the top of the boot shaft, with ye as much tucked  inside as there is on the outside.  Hope it stay on okay… If not, I will punch holes in rubber and sew the cuff on.  Photo below is the next cuff started.

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I don’t know what I am doing as I am not a knitter.  I bought the cheap set of looms for like twelve bucks at Wal-Mart.  They are cheap because they are made cheap.  I don’t know if you can see in this photo, but one of the blue pegs is shorter than the others because it broke off on round four and I had to fix it with a brass hammer.   I followed the basic how-to instructions that came with the loom and watched some online how-to videos about how to bind off as a straight edge.  The instructions omitted how to do that… they only tell how to take it out of the loom to close that end up to make a hat.

It is easy, but doing it kinks my spine so I’m trying various ways of holding the loom and repurposed an eraser thing into a tool to help hold the yarn while wrapping pegs.

These boots will keep my feet dry during the Great Meltdown of 2014.  We did not get nearly as much snow as friends did on the east side of PA, but we will have plently of unavoidable slush puddles here in Youngstown, Ohio.