It is time to unveil the second secret project! Here was all I could say about it last week:
“I am making [something practical] for [someone else] out of Knit Picks Swish Bulky in Fedora and Douglas Fir. I’m knitting to a tight gauge on 4 mm needles using a pattern of my own design which I’ve knit several times before and which I think I almost have perfected. I’m kind of tearing through this one and expect it to be done tonight or tomorrow. I need to go through the button jar to find 2 suitable matching buttons, then make a decision on how exactly to knit the last pieces (since I’m working with 2 colors, I don’t think my usual approach will work for this one). There will be a lot of ends to weave in when I am done.”
And here’s the finished gift – convertible mittens for my father-in-law.
Pattern: My own with a few slight changes. I have made these before as flip-tops for myself and as fingerless gloves for Dan and my sister’s boyfriend, so I have all the basics down at this point. But I am having a lot of fun with Cast On Bind Off so I tried some new techniques out on this pair. I used the Italian Tubular Cast On for the cuffs, the Double-Twist Loop Cast On for the ribbing on the mitteny bit, and the Elastic Bind Off for the fingers. I would say each was a smashing success.
Needles: 3.75 mm dpn’s for the tubular cast on, 4 mm for everything else
Yarn: Knit Picks Swish Bulky, just over half a skein of Fedora and distressingly close to 1 skein (I had 10 yds left) of Douglas Fir
Size: Ridiculously big if you ask me, but they fit perfectly. How do people get around in the world with such large hands? I was shocked every time I asked Dan to try them on and they actually had to stretch a little to fit him.
Finished: Xmas morning. Ahem.
I thought these would be a practical gift because my father-in-law is the sort who does things in the out-of-doors which may require both warm hands and accessible fingers. The tight gauge makes these lovelies nice and warm, the heavy yarn means the mitten flap mostly stays out of your way when it’s open, the dark colors mean they can get a little dirty without it showing too much and best of all, since mittens always do get dirty, they’re machine washable.
You can ignore everything I said last week about buttons and modifying the last pieces, though. In the end, I had no good buttons and no good matching yarn to make button loops, so those mitten tops are on their own but I’m sure they’ll be fine. I also wasn’t quite sure how much of the green would be left and I pictured possibly just doing the ribbing on the mitten tops in the brown, which would have required a change in flap construction. Once I could see the tops would need to be mostly brown because the green was running a little low, I chose to go with how I’ve made them in the past. I picked up stitches along the back of the hand and cast on new stitches for the ribbing, then knit in the round and kitchenered the top. I changed colors at the center of the back of the hand so any gap where the switch was made would still have a layer of wool under it.
Now there’s just one secret left to reveal, which I shall save for tomorrow. I also got some presents of my own I’d like to share with you. For now, I think it’s off to the couch for a bit of TV and Life-Long Blanket knitting.