My Adventures in Knitting, truly my Yarn-escape!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Yarns: A Fingerless Mitt Among Changing Aspens

     When the cold wind blows you grab your yarn and in this case, it was Capra DK Yarn in Thicket, wool with a touch of cashmere.  We went camping a night on the other side of Pikes Peak mountain from where we live at Mueller State Park

      We reserved the last site, a walk-in tent site for the night to see the glow of Aspens at Peak.  We've done a lot of summer camping, but not in the cold.  At 9,300 ft. when the sun sets it gets cold, especially with a wind kicking up off the rolling hills and peaks.  But the view was worth it!  I started my Cestari Fingerless Mittens (free pattern) in my camp chair in the last rays of sunshine as my husband started a fire. (Detailed instructions on my version of the Mitts done in a circular fashion with a thumb added below!)

     I drank a Pumpkin Coffee Latte made on a camp stove, yummy!  The view was spectacular.  Then I got on a few rows huddled over a fire.  Ate a swift dinner of beans and a veggie hotdog as the sun set and the wind began to blow.  We retreated to the tent to bundle up.  My husband fell asleep and by the camp light hanging overhead I knit and read the end of my book on a tablet - "After You" by Jojo Moyes (I kept dragging it out, reading little bits at a time, not wanting the story to end).


     The next day we left our site and headed down a hiking trail to find a spot for lunch and we found a grouping of lichen-covered rocks, under huge pines.  The sun finally had come out, it was warm and we had a perfect place for the afternoon to read.  And I knit a bit and stared at the scenery.  Wishing I never had to leave.

Fingerless Mitt Instructions

      I took the pattern Cestari Fingerless Mittens and altered it a bit.  But bear in mind my hands are small and adjust accordingly.  (If 33 is good for small, consider the gauge is 5 stitches per inch for #6 needles and DK yarn.)  I cast on 33 stitches and used 4 double pointed needles to knit in the round (instead of the knit in the flat pattern, I didn't want an inch hem in my mitt).  A trick for circular knitting is found in TinCanKnits - Casting On to Circulars.  When casting on (using Long-tail cast-on) I add one stitch and move it over to the other needle to create a smooth edge, no jog.  Remember you are doing garter to start, 4 rows.  But now you're in the round, so I did my first row as purl (because Long-tail cast on creates an extra knit row), the second knit, purl, then knit, then I just kept on in knit.  I knit for about 2 1/4 inches, then I switched to a flat knit, lining up to where I started (the tail of the yarn hangs down below, but you could mark it at the beginning).  Knitting one way, purling back.  This leaves your thumb hole which I did for 2 inches before going back and knitting in the round.  At the beginning of each row knit or purl, I slipped the first stitch to avoid a knot forming.  Note you will find the tension on your stitches different from below where it's in the round to when you changed to knitting flat a bit different, that's normal and I was OK with that imperfection.  After the hole, I knit in the round to match the same length as below (about 2 1/4 ") and I did garter for 4 rows and bound off (this is important!) with a needle 2 sizes up, I used a size #8, so the bind off was nice a loose at your wrist.  You might notice the way I did the thumb below kept each mitt ambidextrous!  That way you can grab either mitt and it will work perfectly for either hand. 

Thumb Instructions

     I have one fingerless mitt done and I added a thumb because I didn't like a cold thumb.  Pick up 20 stitches around the thumb hole with the right side of the mitt facing you.  It was about one stitch per each stitch around the hole and an extra stitch at the bottom.  Also go back and pull those cast on stitches a bit tight with a needle before you start so no holes or gaps.  When I started knitting the thumb in the round with 3 needles (it's awkward at first, you're all thumbs!) I worked the tail end of the yarn where I started the cast on into a few stitches to secure it.  I knit about 5 rows and then decreased by 4 stitches by knitting together two stitches at the bottom of the thumb with a plain stitch between and two at the top, also with a plain stitch between.  I knit till it felt right (about 10 rows since the decrease), fitting it on as I went.  Cast off with a larger needle like a #8.

 And use this technique to finish off cuffs and thumb holes - Jogless Finish When Binding Off in the Round

     I finished "After You" by Jojo Moyes and I loved it at points and felt it dragged at others. I so wished I had started the series in the correct order because now I was ready to read "Still Me", the third book, which I read first.  I even tried to start it again, but I'm just not good a revisiting a story I just read.  But "After You"(second book) ends with Louisa getting on the plane for New York, leaving her boyfriend behind for a new adventure, hesitantly with tears in her eyes.  "Still Me", I think it's the best of the three and it opens with her rambling on about herself to the security guard in the airport in New York.  Sigh.  Next time, maybe in 5 years or so, I'll re-read it all in order.

     I'm just starting Jojo Moyes book "The Girl You Left Behind".  

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  1. What a fabulous camping trip. Aren't you smart to pack the fixings for a pumpkin spice latte? Thanks for sharing the tip for circular knitting. Have a good rest of the week.

  2. i love hearing about fall camping ! Im not brave enough to do it. Ilove your fingerless. THankyou for the pattern. My sister is hoping to move back to Colorado soon. I can see why

  3. Your photos... so glorious! Wow - what beauty! I am not much of a camper, but those views are tempting! And, I love your mitts! They are perfect!