Last finished project of the year!
In the beginning of November, smack dab in the final rush of packing to move from our apartment to our new house, and just days before the wedding of longtime family friend, Justin had to take a work trip to Bainbridge Island, Washington. Since neither of us had ever been, I tried to find a way to go with him, but it just wasn’t in the cards. I consoled myself with the thought that there would be other opportunities, and that with his packed schedule there probably wouldn’t have been much time for sightseeing anyway.
Or so I thought. My intrepid husband managed to squeeze out an hour or so of free time one evening, and rather than trotting off to the nearest tourist destination he made a beeline to the nearest yarn store, Churchmouse Yarns & Teas, instead. He picked out the store’s Autumn Blend black tea and two skeins of Insouciant Fibers’ alpaca/CVM as souvenirs/early birthday gifts.
Apparently he convinced another employee from his company who was in town for the same work reasons to tag along, and he navigated Churchmouse so deftly that his compatriot assumed he was a native.
I know, right?! My non-knitting husband not only brings me back exotic yarn from his travels, but has spent enough time hanging around in yarn shops that he can fool others into thinking he’s one of us yarn-people. (Is there such a thing as an honorary yarn-person? I think he must be one.) I’m basically the luckiest woman alive. There was obviously a mix-up in the cosmic bookkeeping, but I’m not about to open my mouth and get a taste of my just deserts! 😛
Anyway, I landed on Cailyn Meyer’s Cruiser, a free mitten pattern that I’d favorited ages ago. (For the record, the fact that the designer’s name is eerily similar to mine had nothing to with it.) I’d planned to pair a different yarn with it, but decided that the 100% alpaca I had at the time might not be sturdy enough for mittens. But this alpaca/wool blend? Perfect.
I knit the first mitten in a size small, but even for my tiny hands and short fingers it was too small. The medium turned out just right. I didn’t bother to count rounds on the thumbs, so one thumb is longer than the other. I’d meant to rip it out and fix it before I wove in the ends, but then I forgot. It’s only really noticeable when you hold both mittens up next to each other and it doesn’t affect fit, so I’m not worried about it.
The yarn was a pleasure to work with. It marries the best qualities of wool and alpaca into a wonderfully springy blend with just the right amount of fuzziness. The cables show up clearly but with a bit of a rustic halo about them. I did encounter regular small bits of vegetable matter, but I honestly found this more charming than annoying. It reminds you that this yarn came from real, live sheep–Caitlin, Artie, and Cerrie, to be exact. (Yep, I also share a name with one of the yarn’s wooly providers. Clearly it was meant to be.)
The cable is identical on both mittens, making it intuitive to work and memorize. To me it resembles to the turbo symbol in video games, which gives your go kart/sprite/bandicoot avatar a short burst of speed. This pattern is definitely a speedy knit: I think you could knock it out in a week of evenings or a dedicated weekend. The only reason it took me as long as it did was because I stalled on finishing the thumbs and weaving in the ends in the midst of holiday preparations.
Dashing off a quick and satisfying project right at the end of this year was just the boost I needed to head into the new year with a renewed desire to KNIT ALL THE THINGS. One of my goals for 2016 is to be a more productive knitter, rather than allowing long lapses between projects. Tune in tomorrow for a quick retrospective on 2015 and more goals for 2016!