Baby, It’s Cold Outside (so I can’t knit)

The title of this post is definitely misleading.  It’s a wonderful 63 degrees farenheit outside, and I’m wearing jeans and a t-shirt.  But it WAS cold outside, and it really was too cold for me to knit while waiting for the bus in the morning.  Very sad.  Mix that with a skein of hand-dyed sock yarn from my wonderful monthly subscription present — have I mentioned Herself’s wonderful and enabling gift? — and I decided to take a break from the three other projects I was currently working on.  Of course, the day I finished the gloves, I replaced them by casting on three new projects, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

I usually don’t really like the color yellow.  It is amazing for daffodils, and lovely on dandelions.  Goldfinches would be unnoticable without it, and orange juice would just look lost without yellow.  But it’s very rarely a color I choose to work with.

Hand-dyed sock yarn, however, comes in whatever colors it comes in, and one says “thank you!” and “it’s lovely!” and sometimes over time one comes to discover that it really is lovely, after all.

But it doesn’t always start out that way.

The yellow was more toned down mixed in with the blue and the gray, but I still didn’t think I’d like whatever I knit out of it.  But there it was, and I couldn’t NOT knit, and it was really cold outside.

So I found a nice pattern on Ravelry, this one, and cast on fingerless gloves.  Being me, of course, I cast on both gloves at the same time, using both ends of the skein.  This is not as simple as it is for toe-up socks.  With toe-up socks, you cast on the first sock, and then the second sock, and you don’t have to worry about it.  With gloves, or cuff-down socks, or anything else two-at a time with an opening at the cast-on, it’s harder.  Cast on half of the stitches for the first glove.  Cast on all of the stitches for the second glove.  Bend the cable of the needle in half (you were doing this on circulars, right?), and using the yarn from the end of the cast-on of the first half of the first glove, cast on the second half of the first glove.

Did that make any sense?  No, I didn’t think so.

Let me try it this way:

11111111111111&    222222222 22222222      &1111111111111

Cast on 1/2 of first glove, all of second glove, bend the cable so the ampersands are next to each other and cast on 1/2 of first glove.  Or to show it with the cable bent already:

→1111111111111111111& → 2222222222222↓

111111111111111111& ← 2222222222222←

Do the little arrows come out on your screen?  Can you follow them around and see where the different parts are?  Doing something like this is the best way I have found to knit two identical circular things with and open end at the cast on.  I’m knitting Herself legwarmers using the same idea.

Ah, well, moving on anyway.

So I cast on these gloves, and knit merrily away.  The first thing I discovered is that I loved the knitting pattern.  Most cable patterns involve crossing these two (or more) stitches over those two (or more) stitches.  The end result is lovely, but not very stretchy.  The crossing pulls the fabric of the knitting in and tightens it, which is frustrating on socks, for instance, which need the be stretchy.

This cable pattern is created using increases and decreases, and is almost as stretchy as plain ribbing.

I won’t bother explaining the pattern, because the author does a very good job of it, and deserves much credit.  I’ll just bubble about it some.

But the gloves.

The striping!  Look at that striping!  Totally unplanned.  But look at how lovely it is!

And it’s not even from one glove to the other.  Ah, I love hand-dyed!

They would have been done much faster, but I followed the pattern which told me to repeat the main part twice before starting the thumb gusset, and then I tried them on and realized that I wanted my wrists to be warm, not my entire forearm!  So I frogged a bunch, and started again.

And here they are.

I was pleased that up until knitting the individual fingers, even the thumb gusset (although not the thumb), everything was quite possible on the circular needles.  I own dpns, and used them for the fingers, but I don’t usually like them very much.

Also, I’m not sure if you can see the wonderful ‘cable’ pattern clearly, but it’s just amazing!

I think I’ll use it on everything else that would have been stockinette stitch forever.

And now my fingers are warm and I can knit at the bus stop on the several other projects that had to wait for these to be done!

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