Back from visiting Florida, my mom and sister (plus her family).  We had  a great time, feted like royalty on progress.  Special thanks to all, especially my mom, and to Chef Terry who pulled out all the stops for the holiday meal.


Sitting and chatting with mom did allow Motley to grow.  In order to keep color distribution even, I have been adding to both ends:


I’ve got some snippets of hers now in there, too.  I’m about two thirds of the way through the center rectangle, and am very pleased at how it’s turning out.

Muffattees (Fingerless Mittens)

Also, while we were there my two nieces expressed a desire for fingerless mittens.  I’m not quite sure why they’d need such a thing in Florida, but teenage fashion whims (when reasonable) can be indulged.  Especially when they are a quick knit.

For the first pair, I’m using the Reading Mitts pattern from Susie Rogers, available on Ravelry:


I’m about a third of the way through the other mitt of this pair.  I’m still looking for a slightly different but equally interesting design for pair #2.  Although I love luxe yarns, I’m no materials snob. The yarn for this one quite humble.  It’s a very soft Red Heart acrylic worsted with a subtle shiny mylar thread running through it.  Called Shimmer, it does, just a tiny bit, and has a very pleasing almost cashmere-like softness, which will feel nice on the hands.  I chose a washable yarn because even in black, mitts get dirty quickly.  The yarn is a bit splitty, but I’m happy with the result.

For the pattern, I knit the smallest size.  With this yarn on US #5s, it’s plenty big enough (the medium was too big for me and I’ve got gorilla paws).  The only modification I did to the pattern was to use a provisional cast-on, then knit the cast on stitches along with the live stitches to fuse the picot hem, just before the decrease row that sets count for the cuff pattern.  That ended up adding one row of width to the edging before the first purl row of the cuff.  Not noticeable.  Also users should note that the lace pattern is set up for an even number of stitches, but two of the three sizes as presented yield an odd number in circumference after the decrease row.  Just ignore the extra stitch and work it plain – on this item no one will ever notice.  Finally, the method for picking up the thumb benefits from casting on two rather than one stitch on the side facing the mitt’s body.  Even so, I advise leaving a nice long tail when you join the yarn to make the thumb.  The excess will come in handy to close up the rather large gap at the “thumb crotch”.

This pattern is a sweet little project for a last-minute gift.  Mitt #1 took two evenings.  Mitt #2 bodes to take less, in part because I don’t need to start, then rip back the medium size.

Modifications – Vintage Yarn Chart Rehab

I know that lots of folks who visit here are looking for my chart of vintage needle sizes, historical yarns as plotted against gauge and modern needle sizes (with a few modern yarn recommendations).  That chart was ported over in the Great Blog Migration, but arrived in less than readable condition.  I’ve ironed it out now.  To minimize confusion, I’ve modded the original post from 2005, rather than reproduce it here.  But I’m opening it up again for additions.  If you run across a pre 1930s pattern that calls for a specific yarn and vintage needle size, and you have made a successful modern substitution, toss a comment onto that page listing the original needle size and yarn specified, plus your modern substitutions.  I’ll add them to that chart.


Apologies for calling my mom’s companion, Honeybun, a mutt.  Mom would classify her as a “designer dog” – a mix of Maltese and Yorkshire Terrier, sometimes referred to as a Mookie.  But I needed the alliteration, and as long as I toss the toy or scratch behind the ears, I don’t think Honeybun would mind:


She’s a cute little bundle of fluff, and a very good apartment pal.

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