Friday, February 7, 2014

knitting with a fuzzy purpose

While I crank out a ton of fingerless gloves and other stuff every year to sell at the High Desert Studio Tour and whatever other event I attend, what delights me the most is knitting for my kids. 
One item that tops the list are wool mittens.
I admit that I didn't make any for my children when they were little (*gulp*), all to quickly was I convinced that "purchased in a store" meant "of higher quality and better warmth". 
Boy, was I wrong. 
I am not sure what convinced me, I guess at some point I must have made some and when the kids used them it was the total lightbulb effect. To this day I am so delighted by this wool-mitts-miracle, that I have to document it every chance I get ("hold on kids, I gotta take a picture real quick"):
Crusted with ice and snow, yet dry and warm on the inside

And then they end up in a wet sheep smelling bundle on the bathroom floor until they are dry for the  next time!

The lightbulb-moment-mittens and fingerless gloves are a favorite gift for my kids. They are a fast knit (except when you go overboard and make something like this out of lace weight hand spun…)..

And a lot of times you can use that odd left over ball of yarn and still get a pretty result.

Or you can quickly spin that unique special yarn because finally your son really likes something that you make. 

I have some yarn requirements though, it has to be somewhat fuzzy yarn or they are just not right!
Anything else is optional, like the little loops that can be used to attach the mitts to a coat.

 While I gladly give away most outgrown clothes, I have to keep the gloves and mittens. They all tell a story, you know, like the single one, whose brother got lost on the subway in NYC last spring.

 Then out of the blue it hit me the other day - I have a nine year old niece in Germany, who has to walk to school every single day for HALF AN HOUR…at least! She is freezing, suffering, crying, hurting from frost bite, because she has no wool mitts!! I got frantic, pulled out the stash, pulled out the left overs, nothing! Oh what to do? I'm thinking "fuzzy fuzzy" until I remember the generous amount of mohair samples from Kid Hollow Farm, one of my favorite Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival vendor.
I got to work and finished a first beautiful colorful oh-so-fuzzy bat, that just begs to be spun into mitten perfect fuzzy yarn!

Never mind that later the same day I found this very fuzzy loveliness in a basket in my bedroom!

 I'm going to have a really hard time to choose! All I know at this point is that there will be lovely and very fuzzy warm mittens soon!
Have a wonderful weekend, friends!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

new and old

While I may be whining about being done with the cold and ready for spring this sudden surprising relapse into winter finds me happy and excited. 
Our beautiful New Mexican desert is transformed into a winter wonderland! The clouds were chasing over the mountain, everything looked so fresh and bright and somehow full of promise! I guess you can call me a desert rat now  - after seven years in New Mexico! Moisture - be it snow or rain - promises growth and  flowers in the spring - soon!!

When I'm at home I rush through chores just to get them done quickly. Then I can allow myself to get back to knitting on my sweater. 
The body is done, pieces assembled and I managed a perfect neck binding. The first sleeve is halfway done, I'm getting there!

While I was rummaging through some drawers the other day, I found this small hooked piece, a zippered pouch, which I had finished some time last fall.

I am so pleased with how it turned out, but I must confess, the hand stitching annoyed the heck out of me.
The hooking part was really fun - a managable size and just letting go with various materials and enjoying the play with colors.

 I had dyed the red and purplish grey for the backgrounds and the rest is a mix of strips, yarns and various fabrics, whatever I found that worked together! 
If you have never worked with other materials in your rugs - I can highly recommend it!

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to the fireplace! Be well, friends!