finished business

It feels as though it’s been forever since I revealed an FO ’round these parts. I’m happy to say that though I didn’t take a photo of the set, these babies are off the needles and on the hands of their recipient.

365.339 • FO (by mintyfreshflavor)

A while back, Laura quit her blog for various reasons, of most concern to me her hand’s repetitive stress injury. So sad! And then when she posted this picture to Flickr, lamenting her lack of a pair of Endpapers to soother her hand pain, well, I just had to step up and give my friend a hand.

She mailed me her chosen yarn–red (Koigu) and pink (Idon’tknowwhat)–plus two skeins of blue sock yarn for just me to have (thanks!). It couldn’t have arrived at a better time, because I was about to leave for Portland and needed some plane knitting. I had two legs–La Guardia to Chicago, Chicago to Portland. I cast on (using size 3 needles) in La Guardia and had actually come to nearly finished by the time we landed in Chicago, but I wasn’t happy with how it was turning out.

IMG_6671.JPG (by mintyfreshflavor)

The pattern calls for a purl “seam” stitch on either side, which you can see in the photo above. I guess this is because the design doesn’t actually fit the width of the mitts; it didn’t feel cohesive to me. Plus when you pull the mitts on, it’s hard to get the seam to sit exactly along the sides, and why have this challenge to getting the mitts on attractively? When I got on the plane to Portland I asked the advice of my seatmates, two sweet women who actually weighed in (rather than smiling politely and turning on their iPods), and so I frogged the whole thing and started over. I had finished the first one–well, up to where I needed scissors*–by the time I got to Portland, and that evening I finished the first one entirely and cast on for the second.

I went into a panic that I had knit the first one so fast, so I made a little side trip to Knit/Purl to buy new yarn in case I needed it. (Of course, I only knit a little more during the rest of the weekend so this trip ended up being more for souvenirs.) Knit/Purl is a delightful store, with a large selection of yarn and books and other supplies, plus their own Shi Bui yarn line. I bought two skeins of baby blue Shi Bui.

and i thought 21 small skeins was amazing (by mintyfreshflavor) knit/purl (by mintyfreshflavor)

That glorious wall on the left is the Koigu. I swooned. I took only a quick walk over there and back to my friend’s place, as it was blustery and cold out. I tried to stop by another yarn shop in the area but it was closed.

Anyway, back to the mitts–I decided to nix the purl seam stitch, just let the pattern jog at one side, and I was decently pleased with the result. I knit the second one on the way home–from Portland to Chicago–and then finally wove in the ends and got it in the mail in the second week after Thanksgiving. Laura received them, and they fit great. See her wearing them here.

*Many thanks to Big Alice for pointing out that fingernail clippers are allowed on flights! I brought them with me on this trip to Singapore and they’ve been a lifesaver, as the pattern I’m working on now involves lots of starting and stopping.

23 Responses to finished business

  1. stacey says:

    The endpaper mitts are wonderful – I agree with the two women on the plane – good to frog out that line of purls. What a lucky friend! That yarn shop looks pretty amazing too – I would have had to weep in front of that wal of Koigu!:)

  2. connie says:

    What a lucky friend you have! It’s so nice of you to knit those mitts. I especially appreciate hand knit gifts since I know the time and care that goes into them. And they turned out really well.

    And I can’t wait to see what will happen to all of that koigu!

  3. Dee says:

    The mitt turned out beautiful.

    I can’t imagine having such a wonderful yarn store within walking distance! It’s probably a good thing that I don’t have that. I’d be broke!

  4. Laura says:

    I also think that the mitts look much better without the seam. Thank you again for taking time to make them for me (and to put so much attention to detail!). The “jog” on the side is not noticeable at all–much better than the seam.

    I’m wearing the mitts all the time–well, not today because it’s 65ºF, but I wear them when it’s cold out.

    (oh and the pink was Louet Gems whatever-the-fingering-weight-yarn-is-called)


  5. margaux says:

    i love those endpapers! interesting note about the purl seam, I bet it looks much better without!

    that’s one gorgeous wall of koigu!! i hope you have a Wonderful New year!!!

  6. Rachel says:

    What a good person you are. I just looked at Laura’s plea and callously thought, “Yeah, fat chance — too bad for you.” Once of us will clearly be closer to the front in the line at the Pearly Gates.

    (Hmm, that actually could be interpreted to mean that you’re going to die before me, because I don’t really think they make you line up in order of worthiness. But let’s pretend they do. I am making no predictions about the date of your actual death. Lord is this getting weird.)

  7. Susan says:

    Be careful when it comes to nail clippers! I got one pair destroyed in Seoul because, while you can take the clipper part, you can’t take the little file thing. It’s knife-like, apparently. They just ripped mine off before i could say anything. I guess there wasn’t any other good alternative, but it was a little shocking.

    Those endpapers are great!!

  8. Brill says:

    Susan, that’s dreadful. The TSA regs are fairly clear that nail clippers are allowed in their unadulterated state.

    More recently – around the winter holiday season in 2006 – they loosened the TSA regs further. You’re allowed to bring embroidery scissors with you on the plane. I can send you a copy of the regs (I always travel with my own copy, hello neurotic).

  9. gleek says:

    wow, that was quite a trip back from asia! all that flying! but you made it back safe and sound and now a new year to look forward to. happy new year!

  10. abby says:

    The mitts are lovely, and it’s a wonderful story to accompany the finished product. (And it’s Knit/Purl lovely? We don’t have a date when we are moving to Portland, but I’m already considering it my LYS.)

  11. nova says:

    I really need to cast on for these. I have had yarn for this project forever. These look great (even in all their pinkness!). Happy New Year!

  12. Jodie says:

    What were you doing over in Portland? Just visiting friends? I love Knit/Purl also, but haven’t been in awhile. We don’t make it up to Portland often enough. Even if it is only an hour and half drive. I can’t justify that sort of driving just for yarn shopping.

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