Offbeat

I’ve just remembered that I haven’t yet posted photos of my Offbeat mitts.

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I am really happy with these.  The pattern was designed by Anna Elliott.  I have wanted to make them since I first saw them on Kate Davies blog here (they were designed to be  knit with Kate’s yarn, Buachaille).  There is a matching hat design, but it is the mitts which really captured my attention.  Aren’t they pretty?

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They were not the easiest mitts for me to knit; the problem arising not from the very well-written pattern but rather from my lack of skills in stranded knitting on DPNs, which I discussed in this previous post.

I noted in that post that blocking produced miraculous results.  As proof, I present the below photo, showing a blocked mitt on the left, and the rather pathetic-looking unblocked mitt on the right.

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The moral of this photo is to persevere; knitting is a very forgiving sport!

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(If you are interested in the sweater I am wearing here and in the top photo, it is the Leyfi sweater designed by Romi Hill and blogged here.)

I knit the Offbeat mitts in Buachaille – which is a lovely yarn that becomes even more lovely with each time you wear it.  The mitts are surprisingly soft, warm, and cosy.  I took them out for a walk a few weeks ago:

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I like this photo because it shows me wearing three mis-matched hand-knits, which manage nonetheless to look great together: the Offbeat mitts, my Peerie Flooers hat, and my gold Cabled-rib shawl.

For the knitting purists out there, here is the obligatory shot of the reverse side.

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I highly recommend this pattern.  And if you have a chance, you should knit them in Buachaille.  It makes for lovely mitts.  (This is my third pair of mitts in this yarn.)  It is hard to describe how lofty and sheep-y the yarn is, and how nice it feels on the needles.  And look at how the colours glow in the sunshine:

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I have come down with a flu bug.  My prescription?  Watch the Olympics and knit.  Sleep.  Repeat.

Real sweaters. Real people.

We are in Vancouver for the holidays.  On Christmas Eve, Doug always cooks a whole salmon.  We are into tradition.  Today we woke up early to go to Granville Island to buy a salmon at the market.  The Granville Island markets are fabulous; if you haven’t been, you should put it on your wish list.  They are also always crowded, a lovely, bustling, market full of happy people, fantastic food, and even more happy people.  This morning, December 23rd, they were especially crowded.  As I was pushing my way through a mass of people, I spotted something:  a woman wearing a hand-knitted hat designed by Kate Davies.

I stopped and asked her “Is that a Kate Davies hat you are wearing?”  “Yes,” she said, “And I am wearing a Kate Davies sweater as well.”  This started a nice conversation with Julie, a fellow Kate Davies fan.  She unzipped her coat to show me her sweater and politely didn’t call me weird when I asked to photograph her for the blog.  Here is Julie, wearing her Bunnet (Stranded) hat from Buachaille: At Home in the Highlands, and her Keith Moon sweater from Yokes.

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Julie pointed out that she had only put in one contrast colour in her Keith Moon, as she was using stash yarn.  I think she looks fantastic and the colour and fit is perfect.  Julie, like me, has joined Kate’s Inspired by Islay club, and is hoping to get Kate’s new book for Christmas this year.  (I know its under my tree, because I ordered it and wrapped it up myself with a “For Kelly” tag.)

Happy holidays everyone!

Spring green mitts

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I am now back in England and we had a beautiful hour or two of sun this afternoon (!) in which to take some photos of my new mitts.  These are the mitts which I was knitting last week while in South Africa communing with elephants.

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This is the pattern Wedgewood Mitts, designed by me.  I designed them to play around with a lovely shipment of Kate Davies’ new yarn, Buachaille.  The original pair, made for Leah, was in a very pretty mid-blue with white edging.  Just before leaving for Johannesburg, I tossed a skein of this lovely spring green, called Yaffle, and the remaining white from the first pair of mitts, into my suitcase.

I made a few small modifications from my original pattern.  Here is what I did:

  1. Cast on an extra 4 stitches (48)
  2. Worked an extra two rows of corrugated ribbing
  3. Decreased 4 stitches after ribbing
  4. Worked an extra 2 rows before starting gusset
  5. Worked three rows less before adding white edging

Basically, this added 4 stitches just to the cuff, to make the cuff a tiny bit more roomy.  I also made the cuff portion of the mitt slightly longer, while making the finger portion of the mitt slightly shorter.

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I am very happy with how they worked out, and am especially charmed with the combination of this spring green and the white (Yaffle and Ptarmigan in Buachaille-speak).  Obviously, I am not the only one to think so.  I had finished the first mitt and cast on for the second when I noticed that Kate Davies had designed a new hat for release at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival this weekend:

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© Kate Davies Designs

 

I absolutely love this design, which was inspired by a collection of Hornsea pottery designed by John Clappison in the 1960s; go read Kate’s post here.  Sadly, I cannot be at the festivities in Edinburgh this weekend, but I did try to alleviate my misery by ordering a kit to make this hat!  Just think how pretty it will look with the mitts.

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Happy Sunday everyone!