Laura was off on her trip this morning at four a.m. The weather forecast is a bit more optimistic than it has been for a while, but still with a drop of twenty degrees (twenty!) after the mild weekend. I made her a Three-Rib Beret at Christmas, in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted in "Blackberry", modifying the pattern to make the child-sized hat a bit larger. She has worn the hat quite a lot already, even when I would have thought our sorry-excuse-for-winter didn't warrant it, so that's nice -- I think it's an incredibly cute hat.
The purple isn't quite true in the photo, but Laura has taken the good camera with her so I can't try again. Jimmy Beans' photo seems to me more accurate, though on the other hand it doesn't show those subtle gradations of color that make it so luscious --
And of course I've been working on the Norwegianish mitts for a while now -- cough! -- and was still not entirely happy with them, but things were getting down to the wire. I discovered a mistake late in the pattern just the other day, long after blocking it and weaving in the ends, where I'd worked a purple stitch instead of a white one -- David couldn't find it, and when I pointed it out said, "Just leave it", but it was actually a simple matter to work a darning stitch over it to at least disguise it. (That was I think mitt #5!)
I was stubbornly determined to work the thumb in ribbing, since unlike a mitten -- which would be worked in more stockinette -- the mitt thumb would be open at the top, and therefore curl unless it was in ribbing. I wasn't entirely satisfied with my method of catching down the long floats across the thumb of my first stranded mitts, so I thought I'd try the corrugated rib, which worked pretty well in itself, but the contrasting colors just seemed really loud to me, so I ripped it out and did it again with the thumb all-white, and simply tacked down the (very) long floats with the end of the yarn left nearby when I finished off the thumb. This method was mostly successful, though I was better at making the catching-down less visible the second time around, when instead of simply laddering through the backs of the purl stitches, I made a sort of spiral along one of the knit colums (on the inside), in the same manner that I usually weave in the ends on a ribbed sock. I'm still not sure if there is a really good way of going about this, but I'm happy to keep experimenting, and of course there is -- admire my cunning plan! -- enough yarn left for at least one more pair of mitts, this time to be mainly purple with a white pattern.
I still get a kick out of how alarmingly wobbly two-color knitting looks until it's blocked. The yarn is Shepherd Sock in "Blackberry" and "Natural", really lovely separately and together. Laura, I regret to say, received the mitts with rather wilting indifference, but they are wonderfully soft, and I'm sure will be pleasantly warm in cold weather.
I also made a luggage-identification thingy, in one of the most vivid colors to be had at Michael's, Red Heart Super Saver's "Bright Yellow" worsted. I've used big homemade pompoms for luggage tags in the past, which are all right for a journey or two but tend to moult after a while. This is spool knitting, on a six-peg spool so the strand came out about as thick as my finger. I decided that a loop of about seven inches was a decent size, and just worked the strand until it was about twelve or thirteen times that, then folded the strand one loop at a time and sewed each loop down, to itself and the previous one, making this flower shape. I left the two ends unlooped for tying it to the duffle bag. It's pretty sturdy, so as long as it doesn't actually come untied (I might sew the knot later), it should last a long time!