Monday, 7 July 2008

I’m a Fingerless Glove Fanatic!

When I joined the Ravelry group of the above name (FGF) I had knitted just two pairs of mittens but in the last few weeks I have upped my total considerably. I went through my sock phase, like many before me and now I’m knitting hand warmers galore. I mentioned Robin Melanson’s Knitting New Mittens & Gloves in my last post and now I have the pictures to show my efforts from this book.

I’ve already posted pictures of my first project from this book (Glaistig purple gloves) and I’ve got four more to add.

The Gothic hand warmers were a lovely little knit and very satisfying, particularly as I got the RYC Silk Wool DK for 50p from the John Lewis Clearance bin (I love a bargain!). They are knit on 4.5mm and 4mm DPNs and the only bit which is at all tricky is the little diamond pattern. I opted for a string of beads rather than sequins. They feel great on and are a good way of using up a leftover or bargain ball of yarn.

The Filigree gloves were knitted with some old yarn I found in a charity shop - Phildair Chatoga (2 balls). It is a soft cotton in an extremely bright turquoise with very strange little acrylic rainbow sections. I’m not sure how much I’ll wear these but they were fun to knit and the colour made me feel bright and happy (unlike the current weather). I used 3.75mm DPNs rather than 4mm and they were finished in no time.

Next comes Tapisserie and the chance to learn a new technique- knitting fair isle in the round . I had tried knitting continental style once before and ended up with my left hand feeling like a claw but using both hands, continental style for the green yarn, throwing the yarn for the purple, it worked reasonably well. I have pulled a bit tight but for a first attempt it’s not too bad. These are a little big to wear on their own but are just right to wear over a long sleeved top / sweater and I think they’ll come in handy in winter.

Now, to my latest effort from this book, Box Pleats. I have knitted one glove so far using Rowan Damask (another sale purchase!) in a green colour way. I’ve never come across this type of pleat before (you distribute the stitches on 3 needles, bend them back concertina style and knit off all 3 at once) so that made it interesting. The pattern calls for beads but I decided against this. I quite like the first glove, although the yarn is a little strange. It looks quite pretty and it is reasonably soft, but it has a straw like quality which I found slightly odd.

Why knit so many fingerless gloves / pulse warmers? Well, I was getting a bit fed up of the things I was working on and these quick, fun projects reminded me knitting is fun. A few days and you have a finished item and can move on to a new colour, new type of yarn and new technique. Also, the more I wear them the more I am convinced that protecting, warming and adorning your wrist area is comforting and satisfying and it has been done for centuries! My Dad even requested a pair of wrist warmers and says they make him feel cosy and warm when he meets a friend for coffee outside (Glasgow can be damp and miserable , even in summer I’m afraid). So I’m sure this will not be the end of my fingerless glove fanaticism.