Monday, August 23, 2010

Neverending Shearing Cycles and Snappy Mitts

This is the fleece on our young doe Empire's Rosalind, litter-mate to Walter, who is called Sherman by his new owners, I believe. Both born on New Year's Eve 2009. You may also remember Ros' evil conference with Chutlulu. :)

The fiber on these babies has turned out wonderful. At clipping time, she had 4 inches of densely packed, lusciously soft bright white wool. (Ignoring the bits of hay she manages to get in there...)

Its impossible to get a good photo of her, seems she's always moving. Below you see her after part one of a three part haircut. Pretty funny looking, yes?

I find it is easier to trim in stages because it is a time consuming process. They get restless. So any shearing is done in 2-4 stages over a couple days. It might be easier if I were to actually invest in clipper, but I'm still doing this with a pair of ordinary scissors. For those of you who have never done this: The back is easy, the stomach and legs can be a fight. Invite a friend for backup.

And I've also added a photo of my Endpaper Mitts, made while at ASM conference in San Diego and on the flight. Great travel project.

The swatch for the project was also knit in pattern in the round. It was finished off with ribbing on both sides, and my sister now uses it as an extra snappy coffee sweater. No one else at Starbucks has a better dressed latte.

I found that my gauge was off, and rather than bother to try to fix it with a different set of needles, which would likely have required purchasing something smaller than sz1 for ribbing, I proceeded with the needles I had but altered the chart to remove stitches - 48 sts were cast on. A single seam st is used along the thumb, and the color pattern repeat is continuous between.

I used Knit Pick's Palette from my stash for this and it performed very well. The project uses hardly any yarn, however, so if you have partial balls of palette, you can probably make a pair of mitts. Admittedly, I made my mitts a little shorter than the pattern called for, but for reference total finished weight is 28g. So the pattern uses an estimated 15g of main color and 13g of contrasting color. Go forth, young knitters, and bust your stash.