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…

Woe Techno

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1.  Photo snapped by cell phone slightly crooked and cropped.

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2.  Image scanned via Microsoft Paint (200 res, -500 brightness as zero looks washed out)

My new HP computer came with a “basic” print driver installed for my HP printer.  I have spent countless hours trying to download and install the “full feature” print driver from the HP website.   It gets ye so far into the install process and pops up a message box that says “can’t find file” and I am pretty sure that the file it can’t find was supposed to be included in that download.  My printer is off warranty now so I cannot email technical support.  It will not let me.  They do have a “Smart Friend” support option at several price points.  I’m not paying $99 or even $14.95 (the cheapest option) to walk me through a bogus fix.  The printer is working fine… it is their software (or lack there of) that is screwed.   I tried popping the CD that came with the printer even though Windows 8.1 is not on the list of supported systems.  I was thinking that if I can install that first, then maybe it can be upgraded.  No luck.  The CD opens up to a box and a message to click INSTALL with only one problem:  there is no install button.  The only visible button is EXIT.  I downloaded and installed the HP Print Doctor, which directed me back to the download full feature driver website, so I tried to download it again using a different browser.  It is ridiculous!  What am I supposed to do?  Toss a perfectly good, less than two years old HP printer into a landfill and go buy a new one with an up to date print driver CD in the box?

Back to the Print Doctor, click, click.  Oh, what’s this?  A suggestion to use someone else’s software to access the scan function on my HP printer?  How lovely.  The example stated was Microsoft Paint.

Digital photography isn’t much of an option until I find (or buy a replacement) USB cord for my “less than ten years old but now so obsolete a pawn shop won’t take it” Minolta D7 because this new PC does NOT have a slot big enough for the camera’s SD memory card.  My sister suggested a way to wiggle around that.  She said photo machines might have a slot to fit my card.  If so, I can pay to have photos burnt onto a CD.

All this techno stuff is supposed to make everything easier, more user friendly and it is, until you hit a snag.  Trying to fix a simple problem is a major complication.

I miss the days when things were simple.  Take cars, they are all over-engineered and complicated now.  Anyone remember the straight six?  There was so much room under the hood, everything laid out kind of simple and easy to find, so even a “girl” like me could crawl in there with a Chilton’s book and do her own minor repairs.

Guess that makes me a straight six girl in a complicated techno world.  Thanks for reading.