Fourth time’s a charm

handknit fingerless gloves

This post could also be called “Love is a pair of fingerless gloves” because knitting tiny tubes to spec is kind of a pain in the ass.  My husband Matthew and I were laying in bed last night, having that last half hour of reading before drifting off to sleep and I was not reading but measuring my husband’s fingers in preparation of this afternoon’s knitting when his fingers would not be available.

It’s not enough that I am making these to fit (and at least now they do fit) but also going off pattern to make the finger tubes a specific length which is uniform across his hand rather than staggered to fit to each knuckle as the pattern suggests.

But then, what’s the point of handknit gloves if they do not, well, fit like a glove?  Albeit fingerless?  Which is not actually fingerless but more fingertip-less.

handknit fingerless gloves

I started these in early December with the idea that they would be a holiday gift or perhaps a birthday gift (mid-January) for Matthew.  Things did not go well.  The first attempt was plagued by gauge issues and wonky cables.  Rip.  The second attempt, using Ann Budd’s Handy Book, was way too big.  I’m not sure why but perhaps I mis-measured his hand.  Rip. The third attempt, which I am unabashedly blaming on illness, was alarmingly similar to the second attempt.  I meant to go with a smaller size and it seems like I went with… the exact same (too big) size.  Doh.

Matthew gamely tried to claim that they fit well enough but I, who am not terribly picky about fit, let’s be honest, was having none of ill-fitting fingerless glove #3. That was early January and the fingerless gloves went into time out.

I restarted these last Friday, after a pathetic appeal concerning cold hands.  Yarn is from Oak Meadow Alpaca Farm in Walkerton, IN.  I bought it at the Michigan Fiber Festival a few years ago.  It is a bit scratchy because some coarse guard hairs were left in the fiber.  Matthew assures me he wants to wear this on his hands.  Perhaps.  Hopefully.

Meanwhile, speaking of hands, I am completely bewitched by the mawata mittens seen here and here.  I have some blank mawatas a friend left with me this weekend and I have dye….  I should go put those mawatas on to soak.

Yarnivore, local edition

Michigan winter scene

The greening of the yarn industry continues apace.  Spied over at the Knitter’s Review newsletter this week was a piece about Yarn CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture; scroll down to Socially Conscious Stashing).  Clara specifically mentions one such CSA operating in Michigan, Videnovich Farms.  Here’s their Etsy shop with yarn shares for sale – natural and plant-dyed (cosmos), how cool.  While the notion of a yarn CSA is intriguing, like sock clubs I cannot afford it without saving up.  Also, I would prefer to be able buy some samples first.

This is all good reason to attend one’s local fiber festival.  For me, it’s the Michigan Fiber Festival (you must click that link!  There’s a hilarious photo on the main page), about 2 to 2.5 hours away in Allegan, MI at the Allegan County Fairgrounds.  $5 to get in but bring a packed lunch–food offerings were glaringly lean.

Last year, Jenny and I made the trek and with my saved up cash, I eeked out two special purchases.  First was a GIANT hank of gorgeous mohair from Mohair in Motion of White Cloud, MI. Betty, the proprietor, dyes it all herself and she and her husband were helpful, delightful people.  Even more exciting was the alpaca blended sock yarn from Oak Meadow Alpaca Farm (Walkerton, IN) which comes in natural colors – I got a brown and a black, both skeins big enough to each knit a pair of socks.  Nancy, the proprietor, had the fiber milled as an experiment so I hope other people are as excited as I am about this and we will see it again next year.  I haven’t knit up either yet, such is life, but have ideas for both this winter, especially the alpaca.  I will have to take some pictures this weekend so we can all drool in technicolor.