Things are very quiet chez Knitigating Circumstances. Emma is probably not quiet, but she is not quiet elsewhere, as she has flown back to university. Leah is back in school and mired in work. Doug has a horrible virus and can hardly get out of bed. As a result of this, I had a very productive weekend for knitting (which, by definition, is very unproductive for everything else).
I have been working away on Emma’s sweater, the Venetian Audrey, but took the time out to finish a lovely little project for Leah. As reported on these pages, I recently experienced problems with moths. This led me to rotate all of my yarn through the freezer and into plastic storage boxes. This led me to discover various skeins of yarn I had forgotten all about. A case in point is this lovely 100% merino wool yarn called Hacho by Mirasol. I had three skeins of this in a vibrant mix of greens and purples.
I bought these years ago for some project which was not to be, and they have sat since then in a bag on a shelf in my closet. I tend not to buy too many variegated yarns anymore because I have discovered that, although they look gorgeous in the skein, I rarely like the way they look in a garment. As chance would have it, the very week I found this yarn was also the week in which I happened upon the lovely pattern Flecktone, by Susan Moskwa. These are fingerless mitts with a dropped stitch pattern that just begs for a beautiful variegated yarn. As soon as I saw the pattern my mind jumped first to this wool, and second to how well they would suit Leah.
Since I was busy knitting Emma a cowl for her Christmas stocking, I decided (two days before Christmas) that I would knit these for Leah’s stocking. That plan didn’t quite work out as I ran out of time. I had one mitt done by Christmas morning, but then the next day I had the Audrey Eureka Moment, described in my last post, and concentrated on getting as much of the Audrey pullover knit as I could before Emma left. On the weekend, however, with a very quiet house, and no compelling need to rush ahead on the sweater knitting, I was able to finish the mitts. They are the absolutely perfect mix of yarn and pattern, fun to knit, lovely to wear!
The yarn is intended to be knit at a much looser gauge. The ball band calls for a 4mm needle and suggests a gauge of 22 stitches to 4″. The Flecktone pattern calls for a gauge of 30 stitches. I actually think that the Hacho yarn would not look good at a 22 gauge, and works great at this tighter tension. I used DPNs in 2.5mm (that’s a US 1.5) and I think that gave me around 28-9 stitches. (I didn’t make a proper swatch. I started knitting with a 2.75mm, and tried it on after a few inches; it was clearly too big so I frogged and started again with the smaller needle.) Worked in the slipped stitch pattern the fabric is beautiful and dense and warm. I haven’t weighed my skeins but I used less than half of the second, so the three skeins is plenty for two pairs of mitts. I might have to knit a pair for myself some day.
The pattern itself is great. It is very well thought out and well written. I should also point out that the pattern is available for free. Susan Moskwa is an editor as well as a designer, and it shows: check out her website. (I see she also has a degree in linguistics; why am I not surprised?) These were a joy to knit. I love the finished project. What can I say? A good project makes me smile.