Saturday, August 18, 2012

FO: (Modified) Mitered Mittens


I knit up these mittens quickly during the last days of July.  The pattern, a tried and true Elizabeth Zimmerman from The Knitters Almanac, suggests knitting them in May, when the winter is a fading memory and it's getting too warm to have piles of wool on your lap.  It's good advice.  Before you realize it you have something special to tuck away for when the cold winds blow again.

The pattern itself is simply a paragraph, describing the basics (number of sts. to cast on, approx. length to top of mittens, etc.).  No frills, no row-by-row instructions; your only guide being a leap faith that if you just follow her advice the mittens will turn out well.

I modified the thumb gussets using Kathryn Ivy's instructions and love the way they turned out.

The wool for these mittens is one of the skeins I hand painted in late June.  I am pretty excited to see the skein knit up, and even more excited that there wasn't any weird pooling!  I also think these would be great looking in a yarn with really long color repeats.

The mittens fit well, snug with enough give to be comfortable.  I think I could even squeeze in an upcycled cashmere sweater lining.  Sounds divine, no?

Friday, August 10, 2012

7th Birthday

My twins turn seven today - and they are full into the American Girl doll scene. 

My parents got them the camping tent (it fits two dolls), which got me thinking about the other gifts that fit with the camping/hiking theme.  Since we enjoy camping and hiking as a family, I got each girl a pair of special hiking shorts - the kind with mesh pockets, d-rings and ties.

And then I ventured back into the world of 'sewing for dolls' for a second gift: doll sleeping bags. I kept it relatively simple, with a self-designed pattern for a sleeping bag. 

But it turns out that my sewing machine really IS broken (at first I thought I had just mis-threaded it, but there is certainly something wrong with the bobbin mechanism now) so I couldn't turn them into proper sleeping bags.

As I finished them with more hand stitching then I care to re-count, I decided to call them camping rolls.  And they have been met with more enthusiasm then I could have hoped for (cue the big sigh of relief).  They didn't even realize that I made them at first - a high compliment in my book - and then I showed them photos of them as babies, wrapped in the flannel blankets I used to line the sleeping rolls, and they exclaimed, "SO COOL!"

The rolls are made with a heavy cotton exterior, flannel interior and lined with a layer of cotton batting.  They measure approximately 20 inches long by 12 inches wide.  There isn't any top-stitching (a detail I would have liked to add) and they mostly just fold over the top of the dolls.  The ribbon ties are nice and long so the girls can roll and tie them up themselves.  The pillows are sewn directly into the top seam and fold down, or up, depending on your preference.