26. februar 2011

Christmas knit along - F e b r u a r y

Just popping in quickly to tell you aobut the February gift in the Christmas gift along, Julegavesamstrikk 2011.

Which you have seen before,
The Ilsetra hat!

You can still vote, btw, but the winning chances are small... as you can see.

22. februar 2011

Mitten thumb anatomy

What is a 'sore thumb' - does it mean it sticks out? asked Mary-Lou after my last post.

Yes, it does. I have seen the expression several places. Here's an example, my "Selbu meets Holland" mittens. And here's Nanette's explication. I've mostly seen this used by American designers, but that might be a coincidence. The advantage is that the thumb does not interrump neither the back nor the palm pattern. The disadvantage is that it's not entirely anatomical, and the thumb have a tendency to draw the back pattern a little bit towards the palm (at least when I wear them).

Then there's the peasant thumb, or invisible thumb, commonly used in Latvian mittens. Here's an example I made last year.

I love the way the palm pattern continues on the thumb and makes it almost invisible. But then, this is not anatomical either. The hand is broader around the thumb than around the wrist and the fingers. So when wearing, there is more stretching around the thumb.

Then there's the gusseted thumb,"Selbu thumb" maybe, common in traditional Norwegian mittens. You can see a nice schematic of the different thumbs here. (Of course the sore thumb also have a gusset, so this is maybe not such a good name.)

I have used a gusseted thumb in several patterns, for example in the "Selbu Peace&Love" mittens, and in the Lizard mittens. I like that you can use the gusset for small patterns, like a heart or a lizard. It's also more anatomical, the thumb does not stick out directly to the side, nor does it stick out from the palm, it's somewhere in between. Hence, anatomically, I prefer this type of thumb.

Designing and knitting, I think they're all nice thumbs, it depends on the pattern.


There are also thumbs that don't fall into any of these categories. These have some kind of increase to account for the larger circumference around the thumb, but there's no gusset. Like these "Give a Hoot" mittens, where the increases are done in the palm. And in my "Blomst" mittens, the increases are made on the back of the mitten, and the thumb is made like a peasant thumb, but with increases on the back, and the placement of the thumb, this makes the mitten thumb more anatomical. (And I did study anatomy...!)

Maybe there are more thumb types too?

And probably there are more names for the types I have described here.

What do you call these thumbs?

And what do we call them in Norwegian? I don't know. My knitting vocabulary is getting better in English than Norwegian. That's a pity, really. Are there any Norwegians out there who can enlighten me and add to my Norwegian knitting vocabulary?

19. februar 2011

Mass production!

Squirrel ginger bread mittens

My latest mitten pattern, "Pepperkakevotter" has been test knitted, and is now available for purchase!

There are eight different motifs to choose from (squirrel, hedgehog, camel, reindeer, cat, lamb, snail and pig), or you can use the blank charts to make your own. The front and back of mittens are interchangeable.

Choose "Pepperkakevotter" if you want the Norwegian version, and "Ginger Bread Mitten", if you prefer English. The price is 4.50 $.

I asked on my facebook page for a test knitter for the Norwegian pattern. A friend voluntered her mother... and she made not one, but three pairs of mittens, with squirrel motif. And then she insisted on me keeping them. She worked at a looser gauge (21 sts and 24 rows per 10 cm / 4 inches), so the mittens turned out bigger than the original: circumference 24 cm, total length 26 cm, woman large/man medium, probably.

Squirrel ginger bread mittens

You can choose between sore thumb and peasant thumb.

There are two sizes, woman medium and child, size is determined by gauge:
Woman medium: 24 sts x 26 rounds = 10 x 10 cm /4 x 4 inches
Child 6-8 years: 27 sts x 30 rounds= 10 x 10 cm / 4 x 4 inches

The English pattern has been test knitted by
Hermionina, Craftzone and Marguerite!

Thanks a lot to my awsome test knitters!

Craftzone has also been doing mass production: Here are her two pairs from my written pattern.

Photos by Craftzone

But she also has made a few mittens from when I offered the charts free for Christmas, you can see them all here if you're a Ravelry member (highly recommended).

I felted one of the pairs Beate's mother made. One round at 40 degrees did almost nothing, the 2nd round did quite a lot, but after blocking they fit me perfectly. Thank you!

As you can see, I still have some ginger cookies left, and by coincidence, those are the three animals I did not chart for mittens, elephant, bear and moose. Maybe next Christmas...?

13. februar 2011

Lucky mail day!

A while ago I joined Annepålandet's blog lottery. And last week I learned that I was one of the lucky winners! I've entered several blog lotteries, but this is the first time I win. And what a beautiful yarn! A wonderfully soft hand painted sock yarn, Marilyn from Chili Gredelin, in one of my favourite colours. It arrived in my mail box on Saturday.

(Annepålandet has a small crisis, btw, maybe you can help her out: She needs some yarn from Pickles: Abuelita Tjukk Merino/Worsted, colour Lavendel 2440, Dye lot 98.)

For me, there was more to come - this yummy yarn was waiting at the post office, sent all the way from the US.

Remember the Mystery mittens? Not a mystery for very long. But the shop only take payment from a Norwegian bank. So the problem still wasn't solved for my Ravelry friend who wanted to knit these mittens. I offered to buy the kit and send it to her (she does have someone to translate the pattern for her, because it's only available in Norwegian). In return I suggested she send me some yarn - which she did. Look at this yumminess - lucky me!

9. februar 2011

Thank you!

Tusen takk for stemmene deres!

Thanks for your votes!

Merci pour vos votes!

You can now knit your own hat!

Use yarn that gives you gauge 23 for a big hat, 25 for a medium sized hat and 27 for a small hat (per 10 cm or 4 inches, in stranded pattern, that is). I used Rauma finullgarn in colours grey, blue, red, green for contrasting colours, and white for main colour.

Co 112 sts. Use needles that are 1 mm smaller than the needles you'll use for the stranded pattern.

With grey: Ribbing k2, p2 for two rounds.
With blue: Knit one round, then k2, p2 for two rounds.
With red: Knit one round, then k2, p2 for two rounds.
With green: Knit one round, then k2, p2 for two rounds.

With white, knit one round, increasing to 126 sts like this: k8, m1.

Start working according to chart.
The chart is 42 sts wide, work the chart three times each round.

Click on photo to get a larger version.

If you want a shorter hat, beanie style, omit the first row of stars and skiers.

If you want a pointier hat, continue decreasing every 3rd round after then 2nd decrease.

If you want a less pointy hat, decrease every round after the 4th decrease.
Good luck, and have fun!

7. februar 2011

The Ilsetra hat needs your vote!

The hat was made during a seminar in gastroenterology at Ilsetra, Øyer, hence the name.
Do you like it? You can vote for it here. The competition has been going on for a while, some hats already have several thousand votes, so I do need some help! You can vote, and you can upload your own hat, till the end of the Championships, which will be on the 6th of March.

More photos on Flickr.

The hat is knitted in Finullgarn on needles 4 mm. It was a fun knit. I think if you omit one pattern repeat, you can get a nice beanie type hat. I'll finish the charts and share them for free as soon as I get the time.

Edited to tell my non-Norwegian readers that "STEM" means vote. And you can vote four times a day till the end of the championships :-)

4. februar 2011

Not just knitting

3. februar 2011

Hat in progress

2. februar 2011

Destined to make a hat?

Mary Lou commentet on my last post earlier today:
"Sweet! You should make a hat with those skiers on it."

And then Judith asks on her blog:

"Want to join the world cup hat competition?"

(FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2011 in Oslo, that is).

I think I might have to make a hat..

You can vote for the hats here, or post your own hat.

While I think about the design, you can enjoy this photo of (ice) roses:

1. februar 2011

Fretex skier

I saw this sweater in a thrift store today (Fretex). Isn't that a nice little skier?

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