FO Friday: Borough For Sale

I finished this project a while ago, but I put off blogging about it, just in case.  These mittens are a commissioned project for someone’s mom.  I didn’t want to take the chance of spoiling the surprise!

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Project: Borough For Sale

Pattern: Borough

Designer: Veronica O’Neil

Available: FREE! on Ravelry

Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage in Alizarin

I followed the pattern exactly, with one notable exception.  (See mitten surgery below!)  My friend’s mom really, really wanted flip-top mittens, but she couldn’t find what she wanted in shops.  She asked if I ever knit on commission, and I quoted her my rates … which usually scares people off.  (For custom work, I charge $0.25 per yard in the finished object.)  She didn’t even blink at the price — so we chose yarn, and I got to work.

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After completing the first mitten, it was clear that I would be short yarn by about ten grams.  It’s not uncommon for a pattern to be a bit off … it’s frustrating, but true.  I should have suggested ordering a second skein to be safe — especially since hand-dyed yarns like Madelinetosh can be difficult to match across skeins.  I ordered a second skein from WEBS and crossed my fingers …. but it didn’t work.  The new skein was WILDLY different — I couldn’t use it with the yarn I already had.

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What to do, what to do?  The pattern as written had generous cuffs.  I decided I could salvage the necessary 10 grams from the cuff of the first (already-completed) mitten, and make the second mitten with a matching shorter cuff.

To begin the surgery, I put circs through at the beginning and end of the section I planned to cut out. I was very careful to catch ALL the stitches.

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Next, I cut the yarn a few inches before the top, and carefully picked out the row below the circ there.

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It was easy to rip back to the lower circ.  I wound the salvaged yarn into a tiny precious ball, and left just enough yarn attached to graft the cuff back together.

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Here is the grafted cuff — you can see a bit of loose grafting if you look closely, but it is nearly seamless.

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Kudzu Inspiration

Of all the patterns I’ve released to date, the most popular by far is the Kudzu Shawlette.  As of this writing, it has 207 finished projects in Ravelry — a order of magnitude more than any of my other patterns.  I wish I knew what helped it make such a splash — surely being published in CEY’s web-letter helped a lot, as did being chosen for several lace KAL’s. I really have enjoyed seeing the variations people have made, such as this beaded Kudzu and this extra-deep Kudzu.

Recently two designers asked my blessing for their patterns, which were inspired by Kudzu but definitely and distinctly their own design.  Adeline Too  designed a girl’s summer top with Kudzu leaves as the body. I think her Kudzu Top is charming!

Of course not everyone has an adorable little girl to knit for, but as long as you have hands, you can make yourself some Kudzu-inspired mittens.  Rahymah Bintmichael used the ribbing and leaf motif for her Mittens with Leaves.  I think they are very pretty!

 

FO Friday: Butterfly Mittens

This week, I don’t have (*gasp!*) a finished object I can share with you.  Lucky for us, I have made a lot of things over the years, so I will go back a few months and …. tada! Butterfly mittens.  (By total coincidence, but in a neat way, the designer of this pattern recently gifted all her previous customers with a free copy of her latest fingerless mitt pattern: Dextrous Mitts. Awesome little pattern! Thank you, Eskimimi Knits!)

1274 Butterfly Mittens (backs)

Pattern: Flutter Butterfly Mittens

Designer: Mimi Hill

Available: $4.50 on ravelry

Yarn: Stroll Tonal in Deep Waters, Stroll in Cocoa

1273 Butterfly Mittens (palms)

This was a great pattern — well worth the purchase price.  Clear, correct directions and easy-to-read charts, and a design to envy.  I chose “Deep Waters” and “Cocoa” because this was a gift project, and the mittens were meant to match the recipients winter jacket. The tonal blue colors made for gorgeous butterflies, don’t you think?

1259 Butterfly Mitten (with liner)

Alas, I was nearly done with the first mitten when I had to admit the truth: my loose-knitter ways had created a mitten that was going to be … not enormous exactly, but certainly larger than was proper. I could have ripped it out and done everything on a size smaller needle, but instead I decided to finish the tip a bit early (the original pattern has a third row of “big” butterflies, and use the extra space as a “design feature.”  Using fluffy & warm Suri Dream, I improvised a pair of thumb-less mitten liners that fit inside the slightly-too-large shell, filling it out admirably.

1256 Mitten Liner

1259 Butterfly Mitten (with liner)

1254 Mitten Liner

Other mods: I changed the cuff a bit, because I like a tubular cast on, two-color ribbing, and a longer cuff than the pattern called for. I also changed the thumb a bit, making it longer and continuing the gusset pattern rather than switching it up. I think I also did the thumb tip decreases a little more quickly than called for — I like a rounded tip.

1207 butterfly mittens (closeup)