Hedgehog Knits

Adventures in knitting from the eastern edge of Canada.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Toasty Knits for Winter

Winter was definitely in the air last week in Ottawa, but somehow it seems to have warmed up this week enough to allow me to extend my bike commuting into November. Every year, I try to see how long I can go before I break down and buy a transit pass. But living in the second coldest capital city on earth (Ulan Bator, Mongolia is colder than us. Moscow, apparently is warmer!!!) means it's time to start thinking about warm snuggly clothes soon. This weekend I have to go and pull my woolies out of storage.

In the interest of keeping people warm this winter, I finished this toque for my dad for Christmas.

I wanted to make gloves as well, but I didn't have a pattern on hand, and couldn't seem to find anything free online for plain men's gloves in worsted weight. So I set out to design my own. I incorporated a single cable, in the same style as the hat, and came up with this:

I'm really happy with how it turned out, but unfortunately I have to go and get another skein to knit the second glove. It's pretty snug on DH's hand, but then he does have rather wider than normal hands. Hopefully it will fit Dad just fine. I think I will post the pattern here once I get it written up.

I decided that it was high time that I had a pretty hat. It's not cold enough to break out the thrummed mittens and the ear flaps just yet, so I wanted something a little lighter than my full-on winter toques. After surfing around a little, and hunting through the stash, I came up with this:

The pattern is from here, the yarn is Needful Yarns "Arte" in colour 402 (in this photo is looks sort of purple, but it's actually blues and greens). It took just a bit more than one 97-yard skein. I used a larger needle size than the pattern called for - I knit it on a 5 mm circular, so I made the middle size , which at my larger gauge, fits my 22-inch cranium quite nicely. I love this hat! The colours are gorgeous. And now I'm left with my most common dilemma - I have almost a full skein left, which would be about enough for one matching mitten. And I bought the yarn at an LYS in a little town outside the city which I can't easily get back to (I've never owned a car). I must start buying yarn skeins in 3's. It's not a waste if you can actually use it, right?

Speaking of yarn, still no sign of my eBay purchase. But here's a photo of my current stash.

Now, I know this pales in comparison to most knit-bloggers sizeable stashes, but for several good reasons, I have guilty feelings about having this much yarn piled up. Firstly, I am a frugal person by nature. And it's a good thing, since I'm a student on a very tight budget! My grandmother taught me to knit at a young age, and she was the kind of knitter who bought what she needed for a project, used it, and then bought yarn for the next project. And she made many a granny-square afghan over the years in an effort to use up every last scrap. I have a hard time justifying buying any more yarn when I have so much here already waiting to be used, and I have no idea what I'm going to do with most of it. Secondly, we live in a small apratment, and storage space is seriously at a premium. All of my knitting used to fit in that one basket. Now I have a second basket beside the couch for WIP's, and this one full of stash yarn is obviously overflowing. It's currently sitting on the floor in my bedroom - it did live on a top closet shelf, but yarn kept falling on our heads. At least it's more accessible here so I'm more aware of what I have and therefore more inclined to use it up.

So I'm going to make a concerted effort to work through some of this stuff - combining orphaned balls of sock yarn into stripes or fairisle, knitting more charity mittens to get rid of the acrylic leftovers. That way I can get on with planning a few more projects and buying more yarn with less guilt!
And speaking of guilt, I believe it's time that I left for school right now!


Post a Comment

<< Home