Friday, January 31, 2014


Off and on this week I have been plugging away at the Men's Argyle Stockings, and I have only needed to rip it out an inch or two every now and then. Not so much as to be going backwards; the progress is forward, overall. Especially now that I've gotten past the tricky bits of the calf shaping. (The instructions basically told me to wing it the first couple rows! The gall of some of these old patterns!) I'm now in a rather happy place with these stockings, somewhere around Row 80 of the color work portion.
Safety pin marking Row 70.
Since I have vintage things on the brain lately, I've been digging about in my collection a bit. A while back I happened to come into possession of Susan Bates Presents 101 Ways to Improve Your Knitting (1968). I've had this little book before, back when I was learning to knit. I can't recommend it highly enough for beginners, because while it wasn't actually the book that taught me to knit, it certainly reinforced me in times ahead. Generally I recommend Knitting Without Tears to beginners, but it doesn't have ton of hand-holding pictures to help the novice along in moments of insecurity, and you really have to read through it to find what you are looking for. 101 Ways augments it perfectly, because it has a lot of pictures and (most importantly) has a very clear table of contents. It won't give you clever ideas or a knitting philosophy, or address advanced topics, but it will get you out of a jamb and clear your head.

I'm thinking about 101 Ways at the moment because in the back it has a pattern for Plain Socks and a pattern for Argyle Socks. The stockings I'm knitting are Argyle-ish, and not true Argyles. This pattern in 101 Ways is true Argyle. There is even a chart for making the diamonds.

Now, I have never actually made a pair of Argyle socks. I've wanted to for years, but just never got around to it. I'd probably be happiest making a pair from a pattern around the 1940's, when it seems hand knitting them was en vogue among college girls and just about anyone else with a pair of knitting needles to rub together, but this might do. So perhaps there will be Argyles in my future soon.

Among other things I found during my rummaging was this pattern, which came to me wedged between some vintage sewing patterns from my grandmother's.
1960's? 1970's? I don't know.
It's a pattern for a knitted vest, on a large sheet of paper that folds out like a map.

I've seen this kind of thing before in mail-order patterns, etc., but I couldn't say what exact decade this pattern is from, except to say that it doesn't reflect vanity sizing. As you can see below, a 34 bust is a Size 12 in this pattern.

The illustration gives one a reasonably vivid idea of how this knit would look. It's pragmatic, and not overly flattering. Nevertheless, I'm tempted to make it. But perhaps if I'm going to make a pattern at random, out of sheer curiosity, it should be one of the hand written mystery patterns I have. You know the kind; they're in your grandmother's or great aunt's sewing room, stuffed between the pages of a book or in an envelope somewhere. Someone, at some point, wrote down a pattern that someone else told them about. It might have been passed around the neighborhood, or passed around the family. Sometimes it's origins are very clear because it's titled "Aunt Violet's Cardigan" or some such. Well, I have a quantity of them, just as I have a quantity of hand written recipes that I've found in thrift store cookbooks. And maybe I'll make one of them. Right after the Argyles.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Vintage Thursday: The Little Princess Baby Bootees

Don't let the name dissuade you; the Little Princess Baby Bootees are great unisex baby booties. There's none of the funky feminine frills found in some of the other vintage booklets I have. (And believe me, there is quite a bit in those. I may have to work some them up to prove it.) I knit a lot of bootees when I was expecting V., and these became my favorite. They are now invariably my go-to gifted bootees - virtually everyone I know who has had new baby around me has a pair of these from me. The perks to this pattern, aside from it's comparative readability, is the simplicity of the design and the fact that V. could not wiggle or kick them off. (That in itself was worth any amount of knitting fuss.)

Knit with Regia sock yarn on US #1 (2.25 mm) dpns
I love these bootees SO much, I am passing the pattern on to you. It is from Bear Brand-Bucilla Baby Book Volume 328, last copyrighted in 1944, so it is now in the public domain. I could just scan the pattern and try to sell it to you, but that somehow feels cheap to me. No offense to those who have done just that - I am grateful to you, since I use those patterns! But being the perfectionist I am, I don't feel like I'm working for it enough if I do that. However, in future I will offer for sale vintage patterns, with the catch that I will also include my interpretation of the pattern and knit a sample up myself, if possible. That seems far more appropriate.

The much loved (a.k.a. falling apart) cover of my copy.
And now, on to the pattern!

Little Princess Baby Bootees #1874

The Little Princess Baby Bootees are part of a set, but I've only included the bootees here.

I find that just about any fingering weight yarn will do. I've knit these bootees in everything from the coarser sock yarn like Regia or Jawoll to very soft, all merino yarn that has no added nylon. I used US #1 (2.25 mm) dpns, and found that the the sizing is pretty much correct: sometimes the bootees fit an infant, and sometimes a 3 month old, sometimes older. Kids vary.

As far as working the actual pattern is concerned, when it came to decreasing the sole I worked "k2tog, ssk" rather than "k2 tog twice," simply because it's more symmetrical, and I used the three needle bind off inside of a conventionally bound off and sewn seam. I also didn't make tassels; those instructions were not included anywhere in the booklet. I suppose knitters in 1944 just knew how to make tassels. (Along with argyle socks.)

I hope you enjoyed these bootees! Please feel free to comment with any questions or remarks.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Stalking the wild robin

Since we survived going outside yesterday, V. and I tried it again today. After all, there are errands to run, and snow to eat. (You can guess which one of us was doing which. Or at least, I hope you can.)

Right away we ran into a slew of robins who were very busy picking through some recently thawed lawn. Today was in the twenties for the most part, so you can understand their enthusiasm.

Unrequited love.
V. is unconvinced that wild birds will not come and feed out of her hand like park squirrels, even though her margin of success with squirrels is in the 1% range. 1% fed, therefore it's a fact that all those other 99% might feed, too, if she just keeps at it. Such is the probability calculations of a four year old. Perhaps they would even like to be pet?

V. and the robin discussing their boundary issues.
The robins were hungry enough that they really didn't want to do much more than hop out of arm's reach. They may have been in much more peril if V. hadn't have been so encumbered with winter clothes, but they'll find that out for themselves in the spring.

The hat that V. was running around in today (and which oddly enough matched the robins) was a UFO I found this morning in my box of UFO's. (Yes, there's a BOX.) Originally, it was just a simple Malabrigo yarn beanie, but then my philosophy on children's hats evolved and I added a kind of earflap/scarf hybrid. All that was left to do this morning was finish binding the scarf off and weaving in ends. I rather like it, and I may work up a pattern very similar to it.

I was very glad to have it, because V. seems to be as much of a Weather Wimp as I am. Any time either of us had our mittens off, we were kind of freaking out, and half way through errands she was ready to be carried home. Just like yesterday, she had to be bribed with hot cocoa.

Ok, we both had to be bribed. Is this the face of someone enjoying an outing?
Note the bold use of orange.
On the bright side, I found a weird little shelf in somebody's recycling while we were out.
The snow was free, too.
I find all sorts of things while out walking about, and I probably should show more of them. But in the meantime, this shelf will make a nice little project. I'm going to sand and paint it, then hang it like a little curio cabinet. I've had my eye out for something like this for quite some time, so my enthusiasm level is pretty high. Especially since it's small enough to be an indoor project.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Cabin Fever

Today V. and I did the unthinkable and ventured out into The Weather. There comes a point when even the steadfast Californian must trek out into the snow, despite having a plentiful supply of canned and dried goods to consume through the long winter. That point is when 1) the sewing machine has to be dropped off for a repair, and 2) all the clean underwear has been used up. We donned our mittens and our respective wooly or puffy coats and tried to remember how to unlock the front door.

This is what greeted us:

It's a good thing I'm over my pink issues.
This might not look too bad to you, but that's because you are likely in Maine or Canada. If it does look bad to you, we're on the same page. It's 15 degrees outside before the wind chill factor. I was reminded as a trundled my laundry and a 1961 Singer sewing machine down the icy sidewalks of that epic first day in Boston that I often speak of, whereupon a simple walk around the neighborhood for a place to dine resulted in a painful wind burn that I had to aloe up for days and days. Cold is not my friend. (And neither is a heat, wet or dry. I know. I'm a wimp.)

This is what my back stoop looks like:
Our impression of sparrows.
There's a serious bird feeder just outside the kitchen window (Squirrel TV has graduated to Squirrels vs. Sparrows TV), so there was much sparrow action. Apparently the local hot spot - our three tube feeder - gets really jumping when there's snow on the ground.

When I am managing to stay shut in, I'm mostly working on dolls. The sewing machine going caput in the middle of everything has been a hindrance, but I almost have one done. It's an 18" girl doll with hidden button joints. I rather like "un"-hidden button joints, because they seem to stay tighter and move better, but I worry about them being chewed off. So I put them inside. This is my fifth Waldorf inspired doll, so I am developing some technique, and I am not too humble to state that they are getting progressively better. One innovation as I learn the process is a button pillow.

I have never seen anyone else do this, but for all I know it is being done. I did it because it gives the joint a better foundation, almost as if it were outside the limb, and on the grand scale of things it's barely any extra work. (Although as someone totally willing to unravel a sweater to make another sweater, I suppose that statement is highly relative.)

She's not really this bow legged.
I'm very pleased with #5. The limbs are a vast improvement over #4's limbs, not just because they are "pillowed" now, but because I completely refashioned them. The proportion and stance of them strike me as being more realistic.
And here we have #5 so far. Her hair is very yellow, her eyes green. The dress is a prototype based on a vintage doll dress pattern my grandmother recently gave me. The final dress for the doll will be of the same fabric, but the pin tucking will be different, and I think I'll add a Peter Pan collar.

Monday, January 27, 2014

The problem with orange

Recently, I have been up to my ears in earflap hats. (Witness the photo below, which was taken after I had knit so many earflap hats that I was discovering earflap hats hidden away in various niches in my room. I honestly couldn't say how many there were in the end. Perhaps they were breeding in those niches...?)
4 earflaps + 1 Seaman's cap, and I was almost warm.
They were mostly very earthy, such as the ones you see below, because they were made from hand spun and naturally dyed yarn created by a friend of mine who somehow, miraculously, does not knit, despite my threats offers to teach her.
This is the best my floor ever looks.
Earth tones are comfortable to work with. They hardly ever clash and they almost always go with anything, especially other earth tones. They can lull one into a false sense of crafting cockiness confidence. And of course, as we all know, that is always when something unexpected happens, such as running out of a discontinued yarn on the second sleeve of an almost complete sweater or finding, for instance, that it is possible to "naturally" dye a color that looks like a woolly traffic cone, it is so bright.
The orange is actually brighter than it appears in this photo.
Which brings up to the problem of orange.

Orange is one of my favorite colors. Given a choice, I will gad about in orange. I do not fear it, despite the bad rep the '70's gave it. (And avocado green and sunflower yellow, although they may have had it coming.) As a make-do kind of knitter and thrifter, I've had to deal with some seriously volatile colors before. There is a trick to it, and I wish I knew a lot about color theory to give it to you in learned and technical terms, but I don't. I just have some practical applications that I can pass on to you, Dear Reader, so that you may make lemonade from lemons. Or a decent knit from something truly appalling. (I dare you! Your friends will be impressed - if they care at all about such things.)

It's pretty straightforward: reduce contrast.

Which means if you have chartreuse or hot pink or CalTrans orange, don't pair it with black. Don't pair it with white. Get an earthy tone, something that might be called a neutral tone, or its near cousin, or get something that is close to the offending color, but not quite it. (And is not offensive in itself, otherwise you have a bigger mess to deal with.) If you go look at my Hex Scrap Afghan, which was an exercise in making do with horrendous '60's and '70's Orlon yarn, you'll see the various combinations I've used.
This actually was the best looking earflap hat.
With this particular hand spun orange monster I combined a tannish colored yarn - a neutral. I worked it in stripes rather than big blocks of color in an attempt to diffuse it somewhat. (IMHO, there is less overall contrast if the color goes over all the project, as opposed to say in a foot wide circle in the middle of your sweater or something. Unless you really do want a bulls eye on your chest.) This tamed the eye-searing effect of the orange, and strangely enough it became a very beguiling hat which won immediate favor from all those who were fortunate enough to look upon it - even over its more subdued, earth tone siblings. I'm fairly certain it didn't get gifted over the winter holidays by my spinner friend, who made some kind of noise about keeping it for herself.

She was also kind of shocked that orange can be "fixed." Now you know, too. 

Don't fear the orange.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Funky Toddler Socks

I never have enough leftover sock yarn. It is just so incredibly useful, and not just for colorwork. You can make mitred square blankets, or (my personal favorite) baby socks. Now that V's older, it has moved on to toddler socks.
I lost the socks I originally used the yarn for. :(
Technically, I suppose this is "vintage" project, because the pattern I'm using is from my favorite vintage booklet, Bear Brand-Bucilla Baby Book, Volume 328. I've knit a ton of things from this booklet. My favorite is the Little Princess Set #1874 booties, which is the best bootie pattern I've found so far. They were the only booties I knit for V. when she was an infant that she couldn't kick off. It may sound like a little thing, but keeping socks and booties on kids is an epic battle, especially in the wiggly phase.
Still a little big on the kid
This sock is Sturdy Socks #1917. It's just a basic, all-around useful sock with a 1x1 ribbing up top that changes into a wider rib with a heel flap and round toe. Many vintage patterns for kids are very basic and practical like this - hence there are often titles on the booklets like "Practical Knitting", etc. - and I have seen patterns repeated almost verbatim in various booklets. (There's a lot of recycling in Bear Brand booklets.) I know we are spoiled by the abundance of patterns now available to the savvy Internet browsing knitter, and that we have grown quite accustomed to unique designs (sock patterns that move away from the linear process come to mind here), but there is something to be said for a good standard pattern. (On some very cold days, such as today, I feel like I'm channeling Elizabeth Zimmermann. I really need to knit some slippers.)
V. just about fits them now. I use them as over socks; she puts on a regular pair of machine-made socks, then pulls these on over top. Then I feel like we can finally go outside. It's that cold.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Learning to Paint

Sometimes I take side excursions into the world of art, not just crafting. Not that crafting is just crafting - obviously I have a lot of respect for it, when my tongue isn't in my cheek. (Like art, there is good crafting and bad crafting, and which is which can depend on something as trivial as blood sugar levels. Let's just say that short of something being unqualifiedly bad - such as a sweater out of gauge with one sleeve a foot longer than the other - you know, what non-knitters notoriously think homemade knits are like - it's really just a matter of preference.) But my craftiness stems from my artsiness, rather than vice versa, so on occasion, seemingly out of the blue, I will do a post like this about, say, oil painting. I haven't really finished any of them, except this one. (However, I did just recover my old self portrait, which I thought I had lost. Now I can ponder finishing it.)

I took an oil figure painting class during the Fall at Fleisher, but I only managed to complete one of the two paintings we did there. A live model was present, and I took pictures of my painting at each break to track my progress. Taking photos gives me a perspective on what I'm doing. Sometimes I get ideas from them, and other times (most of the time) it allows me to see where the painting is not quite right. Such as with the eye on the left side of the drawing below.
I like the shadow
The instructor wanted us to heavily pencil in our portrait before painting. We spent the entire first class just drawing. I managed to break my pencil, which just goes to show that maybe I should lay off the caffeine.
I should have stopped at the final break instead of forging ahead, because when I was done it was like a gob of graphite.
The left eye is still a problem
Then we worked on the background. I got the background done rather quickly so I moved onto flesh tones. Which I totally didn't know how to blend. I'm largely self-taught, so I've managed to get this far with art without understanding a lot of basics that are covered in remedial art classes.

The model really did have hair this color. And the left eye continued to be a problem, but I finally got it tamed somewhat in the final class.
Bad photo, I know.
The final painting. I was pretty happy with it, even though I took slipshod photos of it. I have it hanging on my wall, where I swear it looks better than this.

The left eye was still a bit of a problem
Hopefully the above detail shows the painting to better effect. It's not the Mona Lisa, but I don't think it has one sleeve a foot too long, either.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Mossy doll

This doll is the result of the confluence of crafting supplies. I made the body a while back, and embroidered the face, and then set it aside to mature as a UFO for about six months, as one does.
Nekkid as the day she was sewn
I have been trying to motivate myself to be more productive in doll making, so I dug her out last week and muddled over what hair would suit her. This hand-me-down mohair was the winner, since everything else I had would have required me to re-embroider the eyes, which is tedious to say the least. Everything else dominoed from there. The mossy green paisley fabric suited the hair and eyes, so it became a dress.
Before the hair "grew"
There's a "lace" detail at the neck and around the sleeves that seemed to coordinate well with the dress. The dress was a tremendous pain, actually, because my serger broke, and I decided in a moment of madness that I couldn't have raw edges. AT ALL. So the dress from the bodice up and in the sleeves is reversible. The skirt portion is one piece of fabric that I fastidiously hemmed and... my sewign terminology is failing me, but I did that thing you do on edges where you put down a strip of fabric, like hem facing. I did that, whatever it is. The results were not half bad.
I had some leftover Noro Sock that I knit into tights for the doll. The feet have touches of light pink in the green, so I pulled out some of my vintage pink wool fingering weight yarn and crocheted a cardigan. The edging and blanket stitch detailing are with the hot fuchsia yarn I used in the gray and pink reproduction Shetland tam. (One ball of fingering weight yarn - for good or bad - lasts forever. Or maybe it just feels like it?)

I also knit a tie-on bandana from the leftover Noro Sock. It sufficiently tamed the massive hair, which is actually one of the assets of the doll. It is finger-combing good!

Shoes also happened, but I'm not overly thrilled with them. I swear I remade them about five times. I have it in my head that I should make some baby booties out of repurposed sweaters, since that is such a plentiful resource to me, but trying to piece together these doll shoes was a bit of a reality check. Or perhaps a technique check. I like to just jump right into a project without much planning, but that isn't the best strategy with feet coverings. Or whole sweaters. Hey! I'm learning. 

And speaking of which, my funky sweater is done, and it is perfect! Although it is hybrid of Rowan and vintage fabulosity, I think it still qualifies as a vintage project. I have a skirt that kind of goes with it (I know - it boggles my mind, too, how that can happen.) that I need to touch up and have a photo session with, and then you will witness it in all it's glory.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Vintage Thursday: "White Popcorn-Stitch Headband"

I saw this headband years ago when I first moved to Boston on somebody's blog. I even acquired the pattern with the intention of making it, and in the odd way that the knitblog world works, I'm pretty sure I passed the blogger on the street in the North End while they were wearing the headband. We exchanged silent but meaningful knitter looks about the awesomeness of the headband, and then dissolved into the crowd. Really. The North End is crowded and the sidewalks are about two feet wide with poles sticking up all over them in inconvenient places, like exactly where you meant to stand. One can't ogle hand knits long on a North End sidewalk without beaming yourself on a pole.
From the etsy shop knitsomuch
I have upgraded my computer several times since then and even changed email accounts, so the pattern was lost to me in the chaos that is life. But yesterday I found it again, this time at an etsy shop called  knitsomuch that is selling pdf scans of pre-1960 vintage patterns. (Something I should think about since I collect vintage pattern books and magazines, and have had more than one person inquire about pattern sharing. I have been in the habit of just saying no because I haven't had the time or focus to look up the copyright issues.) It has a very mundane name, as many vintage patterns do: White Popcorn Stitch Headband (1960). The scanned pages included a couple other knits that appeared on the same pages, including the mysteriously titled Blue Chin Strap Cap, which I think I am going to knit just to see how it turns out.
The headband at rest
The pattern calls for US #9 needles, which may or may not be vintage sized... the gauge called for was 4.5 sts = 1 inch so I just made a judgement call. I have been hoarding saving a skein of Lamb's Pride Worsted in "Golden Mushroom" for a couple years with the intention of making a highly textured hat - bobbles or something - so it fit the bill for popcorns. (A note on popcorns: they were absolutely and utterly no fun until I realized I could use a crochet hook to make them, since they involve making 5 sts in ONE sts, and then slipping them all over the final stitch. Ugh!) Lamb's Pride Worsted allegedly works out at 4.5 sts = 1 inch on modern US #8 (5 mm) needles, so I just used those. If it came out a bit small it's not a problem because I am petite. In fact, that might be for the best.
Sometimes it's hard to pick a flattering facial expression
I braved the snow flurries today, then took these pictures, so please excuse me if I look a little dishabille and put out. Weather offends me sometimes. (Ok, most of the time.Why is it always too cold, too hot, or too muggy? I swear, the wind whistles through my room sometimes.)
I wore it tied behind my head, but next time I'm going to go for the chin strap position because my ears were a tad cold. But all in all, I'm really satisfied with it. I would consider making another one.

In other news, the results of the vintage UFO poll was very close. The winner (by one vote!) was the 1920's Argyle-ish stockings. Obediently, I have begun working on them.

I haven't even ripped them out much since restarting. Really.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Fair Isle-ish

I have been doing some Fair Isle type knitting lately. It seems the economical thing to do. The mileage for using fingering weight yarn is so much more than worsted or bulky. Think about it. How many more yards per ounce is that? A lot. Avid sock knitters will tell you - for about $10 or $15 dollars, you can get enough reasonable quality fingering weight yarn to knit a pair of socks that will take you as much work and as long as a $40 minimum sweater. That's more bang for your buck. If you're into that sort of thing. I am. Witness below.
I firmly believe kids should tie on their hats.
I whipped out my Fair Isle book and started playing around with patterns to make hats. The above hat fits a 2 to 3 year old. It wasn't the size I was aiming for, but I'm taking that in stride since it turned out rather nice anyways, and yes, I did just think I'd simply start another one. There was plenty of left over yarn and, evidently, patience. Or stubbornness. I always get those confused.
View of the top. It was a simply solution that I soon expanded upon since it struck me as not being fiddly enough for my tastes. The tams in my reference book have stars, and it just so happened that I had recently scored an authentic Shetland tam at the thrift store for about $1 (it needed some mending, which will happen once I can match the yarn somewhat) that I could copy the idea of.
This beanie came out the size I intended at a CO of 180 sts. As you can see, I have a lot of fingering weight yarn in various colors. The funniest thing about most of the yarn I used is that I got it at thrift stores. Ever see those little cylinders of wool baby yarn that Grandma used? Well, I snatch it all up every chance I get. I have an overabundance of pink, and that's my least favorite color - I have been too insecure in my masculinity for many years to wear pink - but that just makes it a challenge, like neon orange yarn. (A subject I will be addressing soon!)
I'm rather happy with this star crown. I frankly had no idea this hat was so colorful when I was knitting it; it was just working on the principle of picking a dominant group of colors and then throwing in one or two contrasts, and having half of the total colors be dark and half light. That way I could alternate almost randomly between background and foreground colors and always have a contrast, in theory. (I was limited by the colors on hand.) It sounds peculiar when I explain it but that was the methodology behind the madness.
Here we have the mock-up of the Shetland tam I got for a steal at the thrift store. I decided to not be too proud to learn from example and did my best to replicate. The colors are very different, since the original is sort of an aqua and salmon affair, and I also had my gauge wildly off once I got above the head band. The Shetland yarn is really more of a sport weight than light fingering like I was using. The result was that while I did learn a lot about how it was constructed, it came out as a beanie rather than a tam in shape because it had no extra roominess. It was still a spiffy beanie, though.
Detail of side pattern

I was very pleased with this star crown.The light color is some of my abundant vintage pink yarn, which contrasts nicely against hot burgundy. I actually bought the hot burgundy yarn and for the life of me, I'm not sure why. I must have had a wild hair of an idea, or it appeared differently on my computer monitor. (That's how my avocado Retro Rib cardi was born.)
There's even more of this sort of thing, which I don't consider true Fair Isle since I'm not using the "right" yarn, but they're in my workbasket. It's kind of addictive, I think. I'm considering making gloves.

Most of these hats ended up being sold in my etsy shop, which means of course that you should go check it out or drop me a note if you want me to whip one up for you.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Is it just me (I am Californian), or it it really, really cold outside? Like, I've stayed inside for two weeks cold. When I do go outside, it reminds me of the first time I visited Boston and it was minus something degrees and I had to put aloe vera on my face for days because I got wind burn the first night while we were walking down the street looking for a place to have dinner. So cold, I must have been really motivated to move there, because frankly I walk around the house like a sherpa during the winter. If sherpas wore garden clogs with hand knit socks and three sweaters.

Seriously, drastic measures are required. Such as mittens. The mitten mill is open for business.

Who doesn't like owls? I certainly do. I made two pairs of owl mittens: one brown, one pink. I sold the pink ones, but the brown ones are in my etsy shop, along with several of the others I'll talk about below.

After the owls, I made some simpler mittens.
It kind of hurts so good to look at these uneven stripe mittens. I love contrasting aqua and red, even when it's fire engine red and a glance gives me tracers. I'm going to make a second pair of these. I can't help myself.

I then got it into my head to make myself some mittens using a recycled sweater.
Contrasted against my new funky apron
On a whim, I added felt birds. I liked the effect and got so many compliments on it that I then knit up some purple mittens and slapped some birds on them.

 But why stop there? I have a fair amount of felt, and I still had some sweater left. So I made these.
Sadistic? Perhaps. But funny.
And then these. Because I seem to work in twos.

And that's where I am currently at in my war against the cold. At least as far as hands are concerned.