Saturday, February 25, 2012

I said that there would be a new project

 this post, and I was right, a new pair of gloves. The spurs for this was the the Knitters study group, where meetings are very formally informal, classes are ever 5 weeks thereabouts, and the curriculum for the year is set at the start. Project lessons focus on particular traditions, styles or details of knitting. The previous classes have been on lots of different things like ribbing, Fair-Isle style colourwork, lace, cables, Peruvian hats, intarsia in the round, socks, mittens, reversible cables, slipped stitch paterns, ... all manner of things. This class is the first of two on Sanquhar mitts. When  I have time I like to do a little prep for the class, google the knitting technique or style, and look in my knitting library for any hints or projects or inspirations.

I liked what I found, especially the more modern adaptations of the Sanquhar knitting style, like TomofHollands pencil clase, and the ones with the QR code on the palm (scroll down, and as a scarf with mitts (I nearly bought this one as well but queued it instead), I also found info about the tradition and history of the mittens, about how they were hand made often to order, with the customers intitials knit into the palm side of the cuff. There are some amazing image resources at various collections online sites, Future Museum South West Scottland, and even as part of the BBC History of the world site. I liked the pattern by Beth Rinsel Brown called Compass Rose Gloves.
This is me a bare 24 hours after the class finished with the beginning of the left glove. Most of the class are working a fingerless mitt, at a larger gauge but I love that the class allows for customization of the project. In class I managed two repeats of the corrugated cuff pattern. Like all colour work this is addictive, I just want to knit one more repeat, or the first bit after the cuff or the year, and then the set up for the compass and rose pattern. The yarn is vintage Vintage Purls sock, so not superwash making it ideal for colourwork. The darker yarn is Slippery Jim, a dark grey not as brown as this shows, and the other is Now-We-Are-Two, from the birthday party celebrations of the Vintage Purls Toddler bash (when her company turned two).

The needles are teeny tiny ones, Susan Bates, sock needles, a set of five in shiny pink sized US00 or 1.75mm. Yes .... teeny tiny, and in the Susan Bates set there are four sets of five needles, 1.5mm, 1.75mm, 2mm, and 25mm. Apparently the pattern for children's, small women's, women's, small men's and men's is all the same, cast on 90 stitches, and the different sizes are achieved by using smaller or larger needles. I love the effect of the teeny tiny (sorry just like repeating that the needles are teeny tiny) needles on the gauge, here I have 30 stitches in 2.5 inches (give or take - its not being blocked yet but fits neatly). The fabric is smooth and fairly dense, I can see how these would be warm and hard-wearing, and I love the detail  - that the letters are able to have serifs and shape rather than being blocky and modern.

The Deciduous shawl is up to 20 repeats, and I've got my head around the twin tension systems of the Aura wheel ... but knowing that is so different from knowing how that I'm still struggling to put my intellectual knowledge into practice when I use it. I suspect the Aura is more wheel than I'll ever need, but she is an absolutely amazing wheel, and if I was to buy my 'one-good-wheel' all over again - I suspect an Aura would be in the running.

well - off to see if I can complete a repeat or two of the rose and compass, and finish the thumb gusset. Colour work and gloves -- all those small bits that one can tick off makes for a nice sense of achievement with a project like this.

Take care
na Stella

1 comment:

Knitting Linguist said...

Ooh, I love the mitts! Especially the numbers - it's so true that the fine gauge really allows for "drawing" with the knitting. So lovely.