Indigo mitts (2018 FO-25)

Indigo mitts (2018 FO-25)

There are 410 finished pairs of Log Cabin Mitts logged in Ravelry at this moment, and only 7 of them are mine! There were the originals, the heather grey, the ebony and ivory, the toffee, the black-and-bluish, the mountain mist and now these, at long last. These are knitted in Pioneer from Verb (natural and indigo), one of my all-time favorite yarns, and have been awaiting their thumbs since March or April only because of the indigo dye. As much as I love it, indigo does get on your fingers when you work with it. It washes right off, of course, and sets when you block it. But it means it’s not a project you can toss in your tote to finish on a flight or whatever. Anyway, they were totally worth the wait, in their lovely indigo asymmetry.

The way we all feel about sweater season is how I also feel about fingerless mitts season. My hands are just happier when clad in wool, and these are really my favorite of allllll the mitts. I’ve been wearing the toffee pair nonstop since it cooled off, and there’s just something magical about the way the garter ridges of the log cabin patterning makes them mold just so to your hands.

Of the 7 pair I’ve finished, I’ve given away 2 and have an eighth in progress, with no doubt more to follow. I mentioned before that this collection of mitts feels like some kind of deeply personal art project I can’t explain. But I’m so happy to be back to it!

If you haven’t tried it yet, the free pattern is right here.

Indigo mitts (2018 FO-25)

PREVIOUSLY in FOs: Blue Bellows cardigan

Queue Check — April 2018

Queue Check — April 2018

My little sweatshirt-style sweater vest is coming along, as you can see. Between the stockinette doldrums of it, and working too many late nights the past few weeks, it’s taking longer than it rightly should. But it’s currently drying on the blocking board (and surely sleeveless weather is just around the corner), so I need to make some decisions about the edge treatments! I think what I’m going to do is pick and knit 2×2 ribbed bands around the neck and armholes, then see how it hangs. Depending where it hits at the hip, I might pick up stitches and knit a waistband — ribbed? folded and hemmed stockinette? not sure yet! Or, if the length is good as is, I might just do some kind of attached I-cord edge to persuade it to lie flat. Either way, let’s hope I’m wearing it soon. (No pattern; yarn details here.)

The only other thing I have in progress at the moment is the latest in my series of Log Cabin Mitts. They’ve been waiting for their thumbs since around the time I cast on this sweater. When I do get a little knitting time, it feels wrong not to work on that, and so these have languished. Also, this particular pair is not as conducive to being picked up and advanced a little in the gaps here and there, as the blue is natural indigo. In other words, knitting them in the passenger seat on the way to somewhere would mean arriving with blue fingers. That sort of thing! But I’m quite eager to finish them off and further the next pair.

Next up are two accessory projects I can’t talk about, which leaves me pondering what the next garment will be. At the same time, I’m plotting my Summer of Basics plans and other considerations. So for the moment, I’ll just get those secret accessories underway …

Blocking mats and stitch markers at Fringe Supply Co.

PREVIOUSLY in Queue Check: March 2018

Block those knits! (Block those mitts!)

Block those knits! (Block those mitts!)

If you’ve been following this blog or my Instagram for any length of time, you’ve no doubt seen countless photos of my damp knitting pinned neatly to my beloved interlocking blocking board. Blocking is one of the very most important factors in how polished your finished work will look, and taking the time to do it — and do it well and thoroughly — is more than worth it. Once you start taking care with that step and seeing the results, there’s no going back. And “Where did you get your blocking board?” is one of the most frequent questions I get. About five years ago, I bought a Cocoknits Knitter’s Block kit and it’s been truly one of the best investments I’ve made in my knitting. Now that the kit is even better looking than it used to be, I’ve finally made it available for you at Fringe Supply Co.! This is one tool I truly would not want to knit without. (For thoughts from me and a bevy of commenters about best blocking practices, see How do you block your finished knits?)

Speaking of knitting tools, we’ve also added a sweet little Fringe Supply Co. Tool Kit to the shop in the past week — our Fringe canvas tool pouch packed with 7 of our most loved and useful tools! (We have just a few left at the moment, and will be sure to make more.)

RELATED: BLOCKING LOG CABIN MITTS

This seems like a good opportunity for a gentle reminder that if you’re making Log Cabin Mitts, it’s important to pause when your squares are done and block them. Log cabin knitting, in particular, can be pretty bunchy and twisty as you’re changing the direction of your knitting all the time. Taking a minute to soak your square, pin it to size in a neat, straight grid, and allow it to dry completely before proceeding will lead to much better finished results once you’ve added the thumbs. You won’t believe how much nicer your square looks after it’s blocked! While you can always re-soak your mitts, you’ll never be able to get that log cabin block to cooperate quite like you can while it’s still flat. It’s just a bitty little square and will dry overnight, so it’s not really even much of a wait!

Block those knits! (Block those mitts!)

+ TEACHING LOG CABIN MITTS

Last but not least, I’m blown away by how many people are apparently teaching classes around my Log Cabin Mitts pattern. Some I’ve heard from, some I’ve happened across … and who knows how many others I don’t even know about! If you are teaching it, that’s cool — thank you for spreading the love — but I do have one requirement and one request:

The requirement: Each student in the class must be provided a copy of the pattern in its original, unaltered state.

The request: Inspired by Knit Stitch, if you’re charging for the class, please donate some portion of the proceeds to a homeless or women’s shelter in your area. Thank you!

Happiest of Fridays, everyone — thank you for reading!

.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Elsewhere + Mitts No.6 (2018 FO-9)

Elsewhere + Mitts No.6 (2018 FO-9)

Before I get into today’s post, I want to say a huge heartfelt thank-you for all the nice messages and positive thoughts you’ve sent my way these past two weeks. Bob is thankfully on the mend and on the receiving end of nothing but good news and results from his doctors. He’s got a few weeks of rehab and healing ahead, and then will be back in his studio painting, and back in the pool training for the Alcatraz swim he’s had planned. So all is well, we are exiting the woods, and thank you so much. Phew!

Now, back to business: In recent days, I managed to finish up the pair of Log Cabin Mitts I was knitting in the Verb booth at Stitches West the weekend before last. (Gosh that seems like forever ago now.) This pair is made from one of the kits they had made for the booth (there are just a handful left on their site), and oh how I love this yarn. For this pair, given that I was literally knitting them on the fly and in public, I decided to totally wing it on the color placement, and just let it be freeform. Well, ok maybe not totally. The only thing I had in mind as I picked up each next color was that I had chosen the Mountains colorway — natural, super pale grey, light mushroom and a variegated grey-purple — and I did want to make a vague allusion to that in my “random” composition. I mentioned in my previous post that I’m headed into the asymmetrical part of my sketch pile, but this one isn’t even planned asymmetry, and I love how they came out. Here they are at Ravelry if you care to put a like on them!

And with that, a bit of Elsewhere:

It’s March Mayhem time at MDK! (And also the Tournament of Books, my longtime favorite March event.)

A concise but informative update to Jared’s long-ago long-form piece about the difference between woolen-spun and worsted-spun yarns

In the realm of knitalong prizes, a night at Squam is pretty up there

Love this QuiltCon People’s Choice winner

“In just 4 days, top fashion CEOs earn a garment worker’s lifetime pay”

Even prettier than an Easter egg

– and just everything about this

IN SHOP NEWS: We finally have both size sets of Lykke Driftwood DPNs back in stock! As well as the sheep scissors, which we can’t seem to replenish fast enough! We also now have all of the Mini Porters from the sewers, so when they’re gone, they’re gone.

I’ll be back next week with the first of the Logalong panel FO Q&A’s! Have a great weekend in the meantime—

.

PREVIOUSLY in FOs: A hat to rival Gentian

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Black and bluish (2018 FO-7) + BRB

Black and bluish Log Cabin Mitts (free pattern)

I’m in a hospital waiting room today as my husband is having some outpatient surgery. Nothing to be alarmed about (although all positive thoughts beamed toward Nashville are mightily welcome!), but I’m just not sure how much blogging I might get done this week since my focus will be on him. I’m sure many of you are thinking it’s been absolutely ages since you’ve gotten to see a pair of Log Cabin Mitts, so I’m leaving you with my latest pair. These got their thumbs on just in time to travel to Stitches West with me and get fondled by countless curious knitters along with the rest of the stack. (Those present having been the originals, ebony-and-ivory, toffee, these and the ones in progress — the grey ones were given to a friend.) This is leftover Shelter in Fossil and Newsprint, carried over from previous pairs, along with leftovers from my blue Bellows-in-waiting, and I absolutely love the interplay of the b/w and the blue/purple/green Harrisville tweed. These might be the last symmetrical pair for a minute — I’m headed into the asymmetrical part of the sketch pile.

Meanwhile, I’ve got my work cut out for me choosing winners from the #fringeandfriendslogalong feed, where there’s a daunting abundance of creativity and gorgeousness. Remember it isn’t technically necessary to be finished with your project — all of the prize details are here — but you can’t win if you don’t enter, which you can do by posting to the feed, i.e. by using the hashtag. (Photos do have to be appearing in the feed in order to be eligible, so if you have a private account, either switch it public for a few days or make a separate account just for sharing your log cabin pics). I’ll do my best to get it done between now and the end of the week, and will be back just as quick as I can—

Log Cabin Mitts (free knitting pattern)

PREVIOUSLY in FOs: Toffee mitts

SaveSave

Toffee mitts + YARN for sale (2018 FO-6)

Toffee mitts + YARN for sale

So you know how I’ve been using these Log Cabin Mitts as a way to finally knit up some of the incredible skeins I have sitting around on shelves and in bins? Obviously one of the first ones I reached for is this delicious toffee-colored wool I bought from what was then TN Textile Mill (previously and once again Shutters & Shuttles) at Porter Flea in late 2016. The yarn had been custom-milled for a project that didn’t come to fruition and I’ve been intermittently pestering Allison ever since about what would happen to it. (If you don’t know, Allison now works part-time at Fringe Supply Co. keeping the trains running.) Today I’m thrilled to announce that I was able to acquire the remaining skeins from her and they’re for sale in the shop! This is the DK weight in Toffee, but there’s also a chunky weight, and both weights are available in Toffee and Black. Obviously supply is inherently limited, and I’ve hoarded some for myself! So get it while it lasts, whatever you may opt to use it for.

Related: Remember it’s only a week until I pick winners from the #fringeandfriendslogalong, so get those projects posted, whatever state they’re in! Full details on all of that here.

In other news, I’m off to Stitches West for the weekend (first time since I moved away), where I’ll be alternately roaming the show floor and hanging out by the big Fringe display in the A Verb for Keeping Warm booth (917/919), so if you’re there, please say hi!  Verb will have a full range of Fringe goods, including a stack of the limited-edition Mini Porters, and they’ve also made up exquisite little mini-skein bundle Log Cabin Mitts Kits! If you aren’t at the show, they’ve made a small number of kits available on their website.

Have a great weekend — I look forward to seeing some of you! — and I’ll be back on Monday.

.

PREVIOUSLY in Log Cabin Mitts: Ebony and ivory

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Ebony and ivory (2018 FO-4)

Ebony and ivory (2018 FO-4)

I know it seems like I’m just knitting Log Cabin Mitts here, but that’s not how it feels to me. There’s something primordial about it. I’m having a reaction. Succumbing to an addiction. Scratching some itch that I don’t quite understand and am enjoying more than I can describe. I mean, the knitting is really fun, and the finished mitts are super cool and useful and feel good on my hands, so on that level they’re an obvious delight. There’s also something almost subversive about it, since I add onto them in life’s interstices — knitting a patch in a stolen moment here and there. But more deeply, they’ve stirred the old graphic designer and art director in me. Plotting out a succession of compositions and color combinations (and photos thereof) is feeding my creative self in a way I haven’t felt in awhile. And when I’m not knitting them, I have intense withdrawal. I literally dream about them, and my hands yearn for them when I’m doing other things. I can’t think of a parallel experience.

With the multiples — which show no sign of letting up anytime soon — I suspect I may have embarked on an epic art project of some sort, the shape of which hasn’t fully revealed itself yet … if there is one. (I’m imagining my obituary: Elderly woman found dead in her sparsely furnished home, next to boxes containing hundreds of pairs of fingerless gloves …) For now, I’m content to just keep making them, as often as possible! Exploring the possibilities presented by my Porter Bin of odds and ends, which I’ll keep dipping into for as long as doing so feels this satisfying.

This pair — number three to reach completion — is the most graphic one yet, and I adore them. The undyed wool is Tolt’s Snoqualmie Valley Yarn and the off-black is Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in Cast Iron. (Here’s this pair on Ravelry if you’re inclined to put a like on it!) And I’ll tell you about that toffee-colored one in progress, soon …

Of course, it’s also really fun seeing so many of these showing up in the #fringeandfriendslogalong and #logcabinmitts feeds, as well as on Ravelry. Have you cast on yet?

.

PREVIOUSLY in Log Cabin Mitts: Glorious grey, the originals, and the free Log Cabin Mitts pattern

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave