Wednesday, October 02, 2013


Y'know what you need to do when it's your birthday?

You need to do a little birthday dance!




HA!  Sorry - couldn't resist!  That's a pic of Sharon (center) and me (giving her the "look at you go" look) from a hayride/line dancing thing we went to way back in 2006.  Girl can boogy!

Anyhow, now that we got THAT outta the way - yes, today is Sharon's birthday, and while I've been working on the Westloop shawl for her for what feels like forever now, I realized about two weeks ago that it was NOT going to be done in time for her birthday.  The good news is, when I suggested I knit her something big like this, and we agreed upon the pattern and she picked out the yarn, I warned her there were a number of new things in it for me, and I wanted her to consider it a birthday OR Christmas present.  That gave me a lot of wiggle room.

Perhaps too much.

I honestly did start it months ago.  And had so many problems and restarts (and restarts, and start again, and more restarts) that I got frustrated with it and needed to leave it alone.

I got lots of other stuff done.

Then I felt more confident with my knitting, and realized fall birthdays and Christmas were fast approaching, so I should get back to it.

And there were more restarts.  Lots more.

But then I got through the early part of the shawl and realized I was getting a better understanding with how to read previously knit rows with yarn overs, twisted stitches, etc...

And, as I said, I was making progress and then realized it was two weeks til Sharon's birthday and the shawl is NOT done.  What to do?  I wanted to send her something fun!  I know she really liked the mitts I made for her back in March, and that she looked forward to wearing them in her cold office, but I think she commented about how maybe they were a bit TOO warm still, and I figured they're a bit bulky for typing and not overheating in the cool fall months (as opposed to freezing winter months).

Hm. about a new set of lighter weight mitts?

What yarn to use?

How about I use the same yarn I'm using on her shawl!?  THAT way, they could sorta kinda go together.  Sure, the shawl is all solid stripes, but I really liked this pattern with a more ornate design, and hoped Sharon would like it as well.  So meet the Härkeberga Guldmantel mitts in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light, in Sugarplum (lighter color) and Clematis (darker color).

No, I don't know how to say it either.

The original version of these mittens is bronze-y golds on black.  The author writes that the pattern for these are "...inspired by one of Albertus Pictor’s medieval murals in Härkeberga church in Uppland, Sweden.  Härkeberga Guldmantel means Golden Cloak from Härkeberga in swedish."  The pattern includes a tiny bit of the portrait, showing a damaged print that Mary (as in "Mary and Joseph") is wearing, and that print is what inspired the pattern here.  I'm not religious, but thought it was a pretty pattern...

Pay attention to the shades of the light violet/pink Sugarplum color in all of these pics...

I got two skeins of each of the two colors for her shawl, and figure I'll tap into the second of each color before the shawl is done.  The two skins of the dark purple Clematis are pretty much the same, but the two Sugarplums are actually a bit different - ones a little more pink, the other a little more light lavender?  I'm using the more lavender one on the shawl, and so decided to use mostly the pinker color for these mitts, but to ALSO use the lavender version here as well to better join the coloring of the two projects.  So the middle third, working your way from wrist to fingers, is the lighter Sugarplum which is also being used in the shawl.  I'm thinking before I wrap up the shawl, I'll use some of the slightly more pink Sugarplum - like maybe in one or two of the stripes?

Surprisingly, I whipped these guys up in exactly one week.  The only mods I made to the pattern were to do a simple k2p2 ribbing to start and finish them.  The original pattern had something that would be more likely to roll, and less likely to be stretchy, and I wouldn't want to give mitts that risk cutting off circulation.

Although, that's another thing...are they going to be too snug?  I sure hope not.  They were super snug on me when I first finished them.  Sharon's a former volleyball player, so I'm thinking she might have bigger, stronger hands than your average girl...  Once I rinsed/blocked them, they definitely loosened up a bit and I was able to stretch them out some more.

Hm, I could've tried squaring off the corners more before taking those photos, hunh?  Oh well...

I figure if they're just too small for her, then they can be a handknit gift she can pass on to someone else, or she can prop them up as decoration (I dunno!??!  Do people do that?).

Annnnyhow, I hope Sharon likes these as her birthday gift this year, I hope they're lighter weight and more comfortable for wearing at the keyboard than her original fingerless mittens, and I REALLY hope they fit.  Fingers crossed!

Happy birthday Sharon!!!  :-)

1 comment:

Sharon Andy Holderman said...

They are totally awesome! And for being an athlete I have pretty small hands and wrists, no man hands. So they fit just fine - not snug at all. I'm so dainty :)

They are totally awesome and as soon as the weather stops being 80+ degrees every day I might be able to wear them!!