Monday Project Report – A Second Pair of Lettuce Knit Armwarmers

Woo Hoo!!  The Lettuce Knit Armwarmers are done!!!!

Elaine's armwarmer

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.

front horizontal view of 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.

vertical front view armwarmers

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.

back view of armwarmersI 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?

toothless with two horns

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.

misti alpaca chunky yarn and Bella pic

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.

About Shelly R.

I am a Mother, a daughter, a sister, a wife, an attorney, a crafter and the granddaughter of an amazing woman - my Polish Grandmother. My Grandmother gave me so much, through her love and her patience, her sayings and her time teaching me how to craft and to give to others, that it seemed fitting to share some of that wisdom, to tell some of her story, and to chat about life and crafts in a way that would be a testament to what she gave me.
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8 Responses to Monday Project Report – A Second Pair of Lettuce Knit Armwarmers

  1. amanda says:

    Beautiful armwarmers! And the laddering is really not noticeable with the variegated yarn… so don’t tell anyone else about it. lol Have you seen the laddering tip on my blog? it was so smart of you to do ’em in the round instead of seaming.

    And I love Toothless!!

    • Shelly R. says:

      I did not look at your tips because it had not been a problem for me before this project. I was kind of shocked when I saw it. I was hoping that the varigation would hide it but I see it soooooo clearly when I look at the finished mitts. Sigh. I am letting it go . . . . . . and checking your tip on your blog tomorrow.

      Glad you like Toothless. 😀 I do too. I wish he had been bigger and fit Vash. But my nephew will love it too.

  2. Congratulations on finishing another Christmas gift! The mitts are lovely and the hat is coming along well. 🙂

    I made a pair of the Bella’s Mitts and can’t wait to see how yours come out. 🙂

    • Shelly R. says:

      Did you use the magic loop method she recommends? I am not loving it and wonder if it is just a matter of doing it enough to get comfortable with it. I will have to look at your Ravelry page tomorrow and see yours. My sister made these and said they were quick and easy. Sounds good to me.

      • No I didn’t magic loop them. I have yet to learn the technique, it’s one of the th9imgs that is on my never ending things to learn list. 😉

        • amanda says:

          Sorry… I have to jump in here. Magic Loop changed my knitting life! The year I made fingerless gloves for the family, I tried ML for the first time on the last (#10) glove–used dpns for the first 9. ML is so much faster, and I even used the technique on the glove fingers. The trick is to get circs that have a long, very flexible cable and a very smooth transition from cable to needle. Addi Turbos were recommended to me, and they are perfect for ML. The only annoyance for me is the flappy loops of cable to manage, but you get used to it. There’s also a post with tips for ML on my blog… amandashappyhearthdotblogspotdotcom.

          • Shelly R. says:

            I am getting more used to it but I don’t see it as faster as I have to keep stopping to pull cables and push the loops onto the needle. With dpns I just kept going. Also, there seems to be a bigger pull in the center lines than the ladders I got with dpns. Putting two size 8 needles side by side creates a big space. Plus I have pulled the wrong cable at least 3 times, leaving a full line of open stitches hanging as I quickly tried to get them back on the needle. Sigh. But it is coming. I hope that it will move faster by the time I get this pair of mittens done. I am using Hiya Hiya needles for this.

  3. Barbara Antonelli says:

    Wow the arm warmers are even prettier than I thought they would be. Didn’t understand a word you said about the directions.

    Yes Chip, I want to see the pictures on what you did on the barn. You’re so amazing!

    Love you both,Mom

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