a girl and her boy

. daily life : wool obsession : bibliomania : living on purpose .

Tag Archives: knit

Mittens and UFOs. Oh, my!

I’ve been working on making mittens for Gabe and his folks lately (1 of 3 so far!) and as I wrote about earlier, I made a huge leap in my mitten making. I won’t go into it again in this post, but you can read about it here. Instead of trying to explain what I did, let me refer to you the indispensable Knitting Help article with videos on Knitting Increases. I used the third method down on the chart, M1R and M1L. Why I didn’t think of using this method for increasing on thumb gussets before? Anyhow, I’m using them now and that’s all that matters.

I was unable to get some good pictures to share for a few days as the lighting in the apartment hasn’t been the best, and it’s been too cold to go outside and get pictures in my favorite local park. I have some now, though! Here they are:

Classic Mitten for Gabe

Mitten one and mitten two on the needles.


Classic Mitten for Gabe

See what I mean about holes? When I stopped correcting the twist, I stopped making holes.


In response to my attempt at making her recipe, Chocolate-Covered Katie wrote in the comments:

Oh you are TOO sweet!! :) :) :)
Seeing this post just made my day. Your blog is adorable!

Well, thank you, Katie! I love your blog, too! I hope I can do your recipe justice soon!


On the original mitten post, Mittens:  A Knitter’s JourneyTK wrote in the comments:

I love making mittens. My favorite part is the thumb gusset–I always use the M1 or lifted increase, unless I’m following a pattern with a different style of thumb. For some reason my ease is always off and my mittens are very snug. Except the thumb, which is nearly always perfect.

I see what you mean, TK! This is such an efficient and beautiful way of making increases.


In an email to me, Jennifer R. wrote:

Thanks for updating me!  I hadn’t read your blog before and just read your latest post on mittens.  I don’t normally read text posts all the way through, but this was a very heartwarming story. 🙂  You’ve just given me such a great idea of knitting hats for charity – I just learned how to make hats and it seems like the perfect useful gift for someone!

Thank you, Jennifer R., for your kind words! It means a lot that you had such a great experience reading the post. It reminded me, as well, that I haven’t done as much charity knitting as I used to and would like to. You’ve inspired me to make that a greater part of my day!

After finishing Robert’s Scott Pilgrim hat, I had a skein of blue and brown wool left. I woke up Saturday morning and had a burst of inspiration for charity knitting! I’ll be posting a colorwork chart for baby and kid hats soon! Stay tuned!



Did you know that February is for Finishing? As stated in the rules, I must have a complete list of UFOs (unfinished objects) by February 1. I know what I’ll be doing this afternoon. (March is for making mates for all those mittens and socks!)



Tea-for-one pot, bone china cup, and citrus to fight off a cold with beauty and VitC

I’m nursing the cold I wrote about yesterday with ginger, thyme, lemon, and honey tea. Little things, like pretty tea-for-one pots and pretty bone china cups, make cold season more tolerable.


Pretty tea pot!



Gabe gave me a set of four for my birthday. He's a keeper, for sure!


Stay warm! Enjoy your Tuesday!


Egads. More Snow?

If you can’t quite tell how much it’s snowing in this picture, look at the building. This is the bank next door to my apartment building and I took this picture looking out my window because I was certainly not going out for a photo-op.

What does this mean? More time for planning the school week ahead (yes! I am well enough to return to my kiddos!) and more time for knitting (ugh! it’s become stressful now!).

Last night, after posting, I sat down with my brother-in-law’s scarf I began in January in a moss stitch and to practice my continental knitting and purling. Believe you me, this is not the best way to practice. Or, maybe it is. Either way, I spent about 45 minutes on it and decided I simply could not knit anymore because it was making my brain hurt and my fingers ache. You see, they keep wanting to knit in the old way, not this new way. It’ll take a long time to build up new muscle memory.

First Day of My (New) Knitting Life.

Michele changed my life. I walked into Fiberphilia with my lacy shrug in tow hoping to make progress on it after months of struggling with this project. I ripped out the previous work, untangled the mess of bamboo spaghetti, wound it up, and proceeded to knit the three inches of 1×1 ribbing. I get to the part where I am supposed to increase from 45 to 55 stitches in the last row of ribbing and I ask Michelle for suggestions on how to do this. “Knit the front and the back of a stitch,” she said. She suggested other methods as well, but said this would be the best for this particular project. I went back to the knitting room to work on it while she rang up the customer at the counter and then she joined me in the knitting room. She took one look at my project and said, “you’re twisting your stitches.” This, my friends, is the moment my knitting life changed.

You see, my grandmother taught me to knit when I was six years old in Byron, Maine. I’ve been doing nothing but acrylic garter stitch monstrosities up until six years ago when I finally taught myself, using the power of the internet, the purl stitch. Come to find out I taught myself the purl stitch incorrectly.

Instead of going down into the stitch and laying the yarn over the top to carry through, I come around the bottom of the needle and wrap it. I’ve been twisting my purls all these years. My life is changed! I pulled out some spare needles and spare wool and knit six rows in proper purl and it looked like nothing I’ve ever seen before coming off my needles. It was simply beautiful.

My transformation didn’t end there. I also decided that today would be the day I learn to carry the strand properly. All these years I carried it in my right hand pinched under my pinky and I’d pick it up with my forefinger and thumb when I wanted to move it over a stitch. I’d drop it and pick it up between each stitch; definitely not the most economical motion. Bravely, I learned how to not only knit, but purl, using the continental method of holding the yarn. I spent an hour at Fiberphilia practicing the continental method of holding the yarn and purling correctly. I felt like I was learning how to knit for the very first time. And my friends, I was.

I am a brand new knitter! Today is the first day of the rest of my knitting life!

The Trouble with Tribbles

I’ve been on a quest to make my life more efficient and to reduce my carbon footprint as much as I can. The next thing in the list to go is my shower pouf and shower creams. I love lathering up when I wash and that’s why I’ve used the pouf. Unfortunately, the pouf is about as earth-friendly as burning crude oil. As a knitter, I figured I could solve my own problem. And I began doing so tonight. I knit and crochet dish cloths all the time and realized, after an afternoon of making some new ones for a house warming event, that it would be easy to fold over one of the crocheted cloths, stitch up the sides, run a crocheted chain through, and make a nice little soap pouch! I’m working on numero dos of these right now. I chained 25 and worked a double crochet across all the stitches and then turned around and came back until I got to about 5 inches long. I then single crocheted the edges and then ran a chain through the openings. I’ll post pictures soon.

In addition to this, I did a Google search for knitted, and then crocheted, shower poufs, and here are the more interesting ones I found:

Tribbles by 1870 Pearl

Bonbon by  Larissa Brown

A Rose for Mother by Emily Nelson

If you come across any other interesting ones, hook me up! (HA! Pun intended!)