Woo Hoo!! The Lettuce Knit Armwarmers are done!!!!
There are a lot of reasons for me to be excited about this.
First – this is (almost) the last Xmas 2012 present I have to make. (I am still finishing up the Toothless hat for my nephew so I am not completely finished yet).
Second, these armwarmers are going to make my dear friend Elaine very happy – she has wanted armwarmers for a long time now and we worked together to pick out the pattern and yarn to make sure they would be ones she wanted.
Third – I HATE k4tog (knit 4 together) and this means I don’t have to do it anymore!!!! Woo Hoo!!!!
Plus I used up another skein of yarn from my stash. (I made both armwarmers with only one skein of yarn with enough left over to knit lips for a new Dead Fish Hat). That means that so far for 2013 I have reduced my stash by 2 skeins – or one a week!! For me, that is good. Socks take one skein of yarn – but alot longer than a week for me to complete.
So lets talk about these armwarmers.
The pattern is the Lettuce Knit Armwarmers by Grace Alexander. I found it on the Debbie Stoller Stitch Nation website. It is a pretty pattern but needed some tweaking. The yarn is Araucania Aysen – which is just a beautiful soft 100% wool in soft varigated shades. They do not overpower a pattern.
First, the pattern is knit back and forth on straight needles and then you close the armwarmers by sewing a seam along the length of them. That is how I did it the first time I made these armwarmers, which I described in this post. This time I knit these in the round using double pointed needles (dpn) and took out the annoying row of single knit stitches which only emphasized the twist in the armwarmer when you turned your arm.
Knitting this pattern in the round required minimal adjustments. The pattern is a 4 row repeating pattern with rows 2 and 4 just knitting row 1 in reverse. So the pattern just became repeating row 1 for rows 2 and 4 and knitting row 3 – the row with the dreaded k4tog and k4tbl in the pattern – as written. The only other adjustment was when finishing the thumb. Instead of increasing stitches at the end of each row, pick up those two stitches at the point where the (sl 1, k1, psso) occurs in the pattern. This will help close up the hole at that connection point in the armwarmer. Also, leave a long tail when joining the yarn to be woven into the sides to fill in the holes where the pattern calls for M1 increases used when creating the thumb gusset.
That is about it.
So here is what did not go well this time with this pattern.
I got laddering. You can see it if you look along the side edges of the front view pictures or along the center of this back view picture. For those who don’t knit, laddering is when the stitches get pulled apart at the corner point where two dpns meet. They look looser than the surrounding stitches. I did not catch the ladders until I was more than halfway done with the first armwarmer – which is the armwarmer on the bottom of the below picture. I made the adjustment of tightening the stitches at the corners more and it affected the width of the entire mitt – as you can see by comparing the bottom armwarmer with the top armwarmer - which was knit second.
I then found that, when I knit the second armwarmer, the entire armwarmer was being knit at a much tighter tension and I was afraid the top would come out too short (I had to add an additional pattern repeat at the arm portion of the armwarmer to get it to the same length of the first one) so I loosened up the knitting again – and it laddered again. (See top of top armwarmer). Sigh.
I would not gripe but I have always been really good at preventing laddering when doing 4 needle knitting so this was a wee bit disheartening. I wanted these to come out perfect, since they were a gift for a dear friend. Oh well. As I learned from Indian rug makers, only Allah can be perfect – so I guess it just proves my humanity.
Oh yeah, Toothless has his second horn. Next week, maybe an ear?
The next project on the list is to knit the Bella Mittens pattern which is – wait for it – yes!! Another free pattern on Ravelry!!! This pattern just looks like it will make such warm comfy mittens and the yarn I picked – Misti Alpaca Chunky – is soft and warm too. I am hoping they knit up quickly so I can show you them next Monday. They will be the first present made for the 2013 Xmas box.
So that is all on the Project Report. I will not be posting tomorrow because the armwarmers took up so much time that I did not get to sit down at my wheel this week. I thought I would get some time to wash up the fleece that I wanted to spin with this wool but alas, not to be this week. However Chip showed me some exciting pictures on what he did on the barn this week – well, exciting to me – so there will be a Wednesday Home blog post this week – and maybe something to show you for Hawk Studio on Thursday. Friday I am going to post the Swedish Nut Cake recipe. Addictive. The third one I have made since Xmas is sitting in the kitchen as I type this – tormenting me. It is hard to diet when you love your own cooking.
Onward and Upward.