Yan, Tan, Tethera, Methera…

Tardis Mitts. Feeling like I’m stuck in a time loop…

Well progress hasn’t been as good as I might have hoped, and it isn’t all down to getting distracted by other easier projects (well, easier for me, anyway – I know some people would balk at lace knitting and bobbles and whatnot, but I’m doing a wonderful scarf at the moment – look out for the Seahorse Scarf coming to a post near here soon!).  No, my battle with colourwork has taken a rather predictable turn, getting the tension right. Or, rather, wrong. Three times.  I’ve ripped back to the cuff three times, and am no further than the pic in the previous post shows.  So no new pics of a fantastic tardis-patterned UFO.  And so I can’t really allow myself any more gratuitous pics of Christopher Ecclestone, either.  Pah.

So this is a bit of a non-post.  But I thought the world should know.

Oops, changed my mind…


The Tardis Mitts Project, Part the First

I’ve just embarked upon my first colourwork project for a very, very, very long time, like about 30 years…

I’ve got several colourwork patterns squirrelled away, so the obvious thing to do would be to start with one of those, wouldn’t it?  Pattern tested and set out for me, advice to hand in the pattern and on Ravelry, no need to work out the gauge etc…
So to make life easy for myself, I am improvising a pattern, pretty much from scratch. I’ve made loads of pairs of fingerless mitts, no problem at all, just getting the stranding etc right, how difficult can it be, eh?

The Concept

My nephew J is a big Doctor Who fan, so I want to make him some Tardis mitts. I’ve never made him anything before – made loads of stuff for his sisters but boys are so difficult to knit for, aren’t they?  Then it just came to me that something Doctor Who related would be ideal.

The Tardis, nicely framing the Ninth Doctor. Scrummy.

So I hit the Ravelry pattern library, but couldn’t find anything that hits the spot. I’ve now been mulling this over for months, I’ve found the yarn and I’ve got to bite the bullet.

The Yarn

So the general idea is for a swirly blue-ish space/time continuum sort of colour for the background and, obviously, a dark blue Tardis.  Ideally sock weight to get sufficient resolution, preferably both in the same yarn. Already had some Araucania Ranco Multy in variegated blues, but too dark to set off the Tardis.  Trawled the internet yarn sites but struggled to find a suitable variegated yarn and a navy blue in the same yarn – loads of gorgeous variegation out there but no accompanying solids.  Until I was mooching round the Wool & Craft Shop in Swanage, Dorset and found Regia Extra Twist Merino and Extra Twist Merino Color – perfect navy blue and a bluey grey (greyey blue?), sock yarn merino with a bit of nylon, soft but hardwearing.  Gotcha!
The Pattern
I had a rough idea of what these were going to look like, had found a couple of charts people had made before but nothing that was really right.
I started off with a full knitted-in-the-round swatch of the Regia to get an idea of the gauge in stocking stitch.  I knew the colourwork would pull the fabric in so (I hoped) took account of that.  Worked back from that to get a snug cuff size (J has long thin hands, so don’t want them falling off).
Normally I’d make mitts two-at-a-time on one long circular needle, but decided from the start that this was not a sensible way to approach colourwork. When I’m making mitts 2AAT I work from one centre pull ball – I couldn’t begin to conceive the mess that this would get into if I was switching colours all the time AND sharing 2 balls between 2 mitts.  Might as well get the cat to make ’em…
The Knitting
So finally this weekend I made a start.
CUFF:  I cast on 48 stitches using both yarns to create a nice thick welt.  Worked it in K2 P2 rib, working the K stitches through the back loop.
HAND: Worked one increase round in stocking stitch still with the 2 yarns together, increasing to 54 stitches.
Then switched to the colourwork schedule – all stocking stitch:
Back of hand (pattern side): All done in the variegated yarn, floating the navy behind
Palm side: Alternating navy and variegated stitches, a sort of eye of partridge without the slipped stitches.

Well, that’s how it’s turned out the second time around, cos the first time round I was a bit vague about how to mix up the 2 colours and tried to do it randomly.  Found this was quite difficult, either to make it random enough to look ok, and to remember the floats etc as well.  All a bit of a mess.  I realised I shouldn’t have any navy in the background on the tardis side as it was just distracting.  And then I discovered that my floats weren’t, well, floaty enough.  Far too tight.  So I had to rip back to the end of the ribbing and start again. Sigh.

Anyway this is what it looks like so far:

Cuff and first eight rows, Tardis side.

Palm side, alternating yarn pattern.

Progress updates to follow between now and Christmas!

Mitts Madness

I’m now 5 pairs into the 11 pairs in 2011 challenge in Ravelry’s Fingerless Gloves Fanatics group, with another 3 pairs on the needles!  My latest pair is a black lacy number, part of another Ravelry challenge to create a pair of Fmitts from a sock pattern.

Guess what friends and family are getting for Christmas this year?!

More Fmitts in my Projects Gallery.

~ ~ ~




UPDATE: 20th November 2011

All 11 pairs are finished (and a few more) and I’m up on the wall of fame! Here are some more gratuitous pics of fmitts:

Apricot Pinkberry Mitts





Animal Experimentation

Results of the Unicorn/Pegasus hybridisation project:







and a bit more animal stuff:








Hedgepig is made from the North Ronaldsay/Silk mix that Gill gave me (the oatmeal colour), plus the lovely handspun BFL/Silk I got from the Southampton Uni Craft Fair last year.

Mamma 4 Earth — Pegasus Unicorn Knitting Pattern (PDF)

Mamma 4 Earth — Pegasus Unicorn Knitting Pattern (PDF).

Have just splashed out on this pattern – have been eyeing it up for weeks.  It will go to a good home, of course – better not say where, you never know which little eyes might be watching…

~ ~ ~



Scrummy Shawl Pins

Wood Shawl Pins – The Shawl Pin Store.

Better get cracking on those shawl patterns that are backing up in my Ravelry queue!

New toys

I have taken possession (temporarily as it turns out – read on) of my Christmas presents from my SO. Yep, finally got round to inspecting a swift in the flesh and confirming that it fitted the bill, and got the ball winder to go with it.

The shopping expedition was part of a weekend in the smoke with my lovely friends which culminated with a trip to I Knit London.  I really don’t know how, but I managed to resist buying ANY yarn at all – poverty has never got in the way before!  But Gill made up for it by deciding it was time to learn how to make a Möbius scarf and getting 4 skeins of fabulous Fyberspates Scrumptious. Then we got back to Wimbledonia and tried out the new kit.

Skein loaded on swift and ready to go

How have I managed without a swift for so long?!

The ball winder is great too, and the yarny patterns it makes as it winds are quite hypnotic, like spirograph (how that dates me).

So all of Gill’s yarn was balled in a trice and I looked forward to getting stuck into some serious swifting at home.

Gill's yarn wound on the ball winder

Best laid plans and all that… the bag with the boxes is still languishing chez Judith, having hidden itself from view when it came to car loading time.

Sigh. Another trip to Wimbledon beckons.

However I do have a whole bag of lovely North Ronaldsay/Silk 4ply to play with – birthday present from Gill – and several commissions to be getting on with – thank you Barovas, you know who you are!

Update Aug 1st:  Finally got my stuff back!  No stopping me now…

Yantangle emerges blinking into the sunlight…

Yan, Tan, Tethera, Methera, Pip, Sethera, Lethera, Hovera, Dovera, Dick

Or any one of dozens of variations on counting rhymes used in the sheep farming districts of England, also once used for counting knitting stitches.

Knitting, spinning and related stuff will probably be the principal feature here, and sheepy stuff too, but why the “tangle”?  Well Tangle was my first idea for a name that puts over the idea of knitting, spinning and other fibre related crafts such as felting, but Tangle is, it seems, well used in the blogosphere by crafters, so having thought awhile I put it together with Yan Tan Tethera etc, and well there you have it.

I can’t promise regular entries (Lord knows I procrastinate on the web enough as it is) nor earth shattering insights, and it may be more for my own amusement than anyone else’s, but I guess I’m not alone in that!  I hope anyone who happens to stray across it finds something to amuse or inform them.

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