Making the most of the merest of sprinkling of snow to take my photos today. Perfect backdrop for my latest finished knitting project. Grey against the white seems to show these gloves off at their best. Although, I bet the hot chocolate takes the focus. It certainly kept my hands even warmer, during the photo shoot, and the contents soon disappeared. Brr! It sure was chilly out there.
But back to the gloves. It’s been eons since I last knitted gloves. Mittens are fast and furious to knit, and easy for young children to wear. So knitting mittens have been a natural course in the last few years. I have created basketfuls of mittens since becoming a mother. Seriously. Basketfuls.So why gloves now? Cold hands. Walking to school, last week, I had three choices: big, chunky gloves, fingerless gloves or nothing. None seemed to fit the bill exactly.
Back home, I dug out my Grandma’s glove pattern. I’ve used it before. Also, a couple of balls of wool picked up last year from a charity shop for 50p. ( I know, 50p!) The yarn is Sirdar Freya – short and brushed winter cotton grey. Not a yarn mixture I’d normally choose. That’s true for the colour too.
Grey is not kind to my complexion, or the increasing grey in my hair. I like grey. I even like the grey in my hair, but combining too much grey, saps all the other colour out of me.
Gloves are a perfect solution. Not near my face – well not often. I’m incredibly glad I bought this wool in the end. I was surprised at how exceedingly warm it turned out. It is described as brushed, which does seem to trap the warmth, as it should. Being a cotton blend, it has less give than wool, when you’re knitting it, but wonderfully luxurious when finished.
The glove pattern was printed in 1975. I like using it. Next time, I might down size the needles when knitting the cuff, as it could be a bit more snug.
Grandma has added her notes to the pattern. Judging by her numbers, she counted every other row and used it a few times. There is something comforting about using a pattern that she would have knitted on a similar cold, winter evening too.Something new. I used a tip I picked up on Pinterest to prevent holes where the glove splits into fingers. I usually end up stitching closed resulting holes. For those of you that knit gloves and have the same issue, the answer is to cross over two stitches, as you split the glove. It fixes the problem very neatly.
I love my new gloves. They are lovely to wear. Warm without being too chunky. Not itchy, in the least. For the ladies’s size, it uses 60g of yarn. Three balls of 20g each, according to the instructions. I like the idea that you could walk into your local wool shop and buy a 20g ball with no problem or compromise. It makes sense. Multiples of 20. Less yarn left over, as you can buy nearer to the required quantity.
For these gloves, I started with 100g of yarn, I still have about 40g left of it. It might make a smaller pair. I know my boy hopes they do. He’d like a pair too. For the school run, of course. Can you imagine? If I manage it, I’ll have made two pairs of warm, luxurious gloves for 50p. Just goes to show that sometimes those odd balls of yarn in charity shops may be a better bargain than you thought.
If that’s not a good reason to learn to knit, then I really don’t know a better.
I can really understand the concept of craft therapy. The idea of taking feelings and turning them into something tangible. Using your hands, to manipulate a craft material, is a way to change the mood. The hand’s touch feeds up to the brain and back again, turning feelings into communication, which needs no words. Allowing the moment to be lived in.
Last night, I was cross. I don’t often get cross, but when I do, the feeling rumbles on. Instinctively, I knew that once I’d done everything I could to sort out the problem, I needed to make something. The repetitive action of crocheting, knitting or concentrating on tiny stitches, calms me. A form of meditation, that settles my breathing and stills my mind. Last night my choice was needle felting. Amazing how quickly my head cleared and I could think clearly again.
I used the bits of fleece that we picked up on our walking holiday in the Lake District this summer. We walked on hillsides scattered with Herdwick sheep. After washing and combing it, the fleece is surprisingly springy. I’m used to felting merino or Jacobs which felts beautifully. With the Herdwick fleece, the body and head felted fine, but I found the legs difficult to thin down. They kept on springing back. I could have wrapped pipecleaners with it, or I wonder if wet felting might be a route. Maybe something to try next time.
I’m pleased with the face. Herdwicks have a teddy bear face. Makes you want to go up and hug them. Although of course, that would be a Herdwick’s cue to head for it’s beloved hills.
The best part is that I turned my rumbling disquiet into something I love. Crafting at its best.
The sheep that roars.
Linking up with Sara’s Craft Schooling Sunday