Freja

I had been eyeing the Freja mittens by Emmy Petersson ever since they were released in the Winter 2011 Knitty. When I decided to teach a stranded knitting class at For Yarn’s Sake, I chose it as one of the patterns my students could pick from. Naturally, I had to make up a sample.

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Notice how I’m strategically hiding my other hand? That’s because I only made the one mitten. It’s going to live at the shop and the sad truth is that if we make pairs of things they tend to get stolen. (Let me know if you want to hear my some-people-are-jerks rant.) Single mittens, socks, slippers, etc. have a much longer shelf life.
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The yarn is Spud & Chloe Fine 80% wool 20% silk in colorways anemone and lipstick. If you’re thinking you’ve maybe heard me mention the yarn before it’s because you have. I love it. It’s soft, got great sheen, comes in some amazing solid colors, and is hands down the sturdiest fingering weight yarn I’ve come across yet.
This single mitten whipped up in about 6 days of off and on work. If I had been dedicated I could have easily finished the pair in one week.
I’m trying to put some love into a lace project that has been languishing on my needles for far too long. Hopefully I will be able to show it to you soon.  In the meantime I have several more one-offs for the shop I can show you to make it look like I’m being productive.

Syllabus

I’m teaching three classes at the yarn shop this month. The first is a class to help people get started with the Dream In Color Club kit for October. Each month in the fall and winter, Dream in Color releases an exclusive yarn and pattern. The shop I work at has decided to do a class for each of the projects to help people with any tricky parts of the pattern. This one involves a provisional cast on and grafting, so that will be the focus of my class.

This is their promotional picture. I only got the yarn 9 days before I’m supposed to teach the class, so I’m frantically knitting, but I don’t have any pictures.
The next classes I’m doing for the month are stranded knitting and intarsia (offered as one 2-part class.) For the stranding class I’ve decided to focus on mittens since they are a relatively small, low commitment project. I gave my students the choice of Winter Twilight Mitts (which I’ve made before), Douglass Mittens (which I will show you friday), Freja (still need to whip one up), and Cotton Reel Mitts which look like this:
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Since this is destined to live at the shop as a store sample I only made one. As you can see, it’s a bit oversized on the hand model. That is a combination of the fact that the hand models are freakishly tiny (not even children have hands that slender) and that the pattern seems to run a bit big. Looking at all the pictures on ravelry, these look a little roomy on most people.
I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that Ysolda suggests a US 3 needle for fingering weight yarn. I have small hands, so if I wanted to make a pair that fit me, I would probably drop down to a US 0. If you have large hands you’ll be fine as written. For an “average” hand I would probable drop down to a US 2.
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They are also meant to come down your forearm a ways which the hand model doesn’t allow for.
The yarn I used is Spud and Chloe Fine which is a seriously good yarn. It’s 80% wool 20% silk fingering weight. These colors are goldfish and anemone.
As always, Ysolda has thrown in some amazing construction elements. These start with a 7-stitch i-cord that forms the bottom of the cuff. You then pick up stitches from the loose stitch in the back of the i-cord to begin knitting your mitten. This snugs up any looseness and leaves you with a great double-thick cuff.
I would absolutely make myself a pair of these (on smaller needles) if I wasn’t so buried under other projects. Oh, did I mention that the new knitalong starts on Friday?

Fancy Socks

Ever since May, For Yarns Sake, my closest LYS, has been doing monthly knit-a-longs.  I started the May project–don’t ask–but skipped the June one.  When I heard what the July project was going to be, I just had to join again.  Per my suggestion (I don’t know if they chose because of my suggestion, but I’m pretty sure I brought the pattern to the attention of the people who did the choosing) they/we are knitting Lissajous Socks by Cookie A.
Lissajous Socks

These beauties come in both a knee-high and standard sock length.  I’m of course doing the knee-high (look at the pretty!)  I’m enjoying working on these, though they are a bit slow-going.  There’s more stitches around than a standard sock because of the calf shaping and there are 4 charts to follow at once.  It’s a good thing I’m enjoying these, because as you can see, I’ve got a ways to go…

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Why do my legs suddenly seem so much longer than usual?

I’m just over half-way through the first big chart, and I’m looking forward to the “ease” of focusing on just the cables and calf shaping for a while.

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I had a small accident in which I continued to rib even though the directions clearly (maybe not that clearly) tell you to stop ribbing after 18 rows.  I was on row 33 when I realized this.  I did no rip back.  Instead, I knit to each wrong purl column and dropped the stitches down individually for 15 rows, then picked them back up the right way.  This fix-it crochet hook was extremely helpful, and made the whole process way more painless than it could have been. Look at the delicate cables.

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Sorry my pictures are ass.  They were taken inside by me.  If these were finished, I’d have no trouble running around outside taking a billion pictures of my socks and thumbing my nose at anyone who thinks it’s weird to take sock pictures.  However, even I draw the line at running around outside with a thin stip of sock halfway up my leg holding the attached ball of yarn in one hand, the camera in the other, and hitching up my skirt to try to get a picture that shows off my twisted stitches.  For me, that’s more of an indoor activity.  Expect better pictures when/if I get these done.


The yarn I’m using is Spud and Chloe Fine.  I’m still forming an opinion about it, sometimes I love it, sometimes I’m not so sure.  I’ll give a full report after I have more than 2 inches knit with it…  I want to be sure I really give it a fair chance.

I do have one question about the pattern though…. Why the *^&$ does it make you cast on, then do make-ones in the first &(*^%$# row, then, in the next row, make you use the make-ones to do &^%#@!) twisted-stitch cables?  Hmmm?  That I’d like to know.  Why not just cast on all the stitches rather than increase on the first row?  If there is a logical practical reason I may be able to accept the maddening torture that was the first two rows of this pattern.  If there is no good reason, then the only logical conclusion is that Cookie A is a mean diabolical hateful woman who secretly plots to drive sock knitters insane.  My progress on my Pomatomous would seem to suggest the latter.