Colourblock Wristwarmers

Just a quickie left-overs project…

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Since I knitted my 3 colour cowl with left-over yarn from a jumper, I’ve become quite enamoured with the idea of knitting matching accessories. This time, I’ve rather smugly combined left over 4 ply from my Funchal Moebius and my fairly boring, but much worn, grey rib hat, to knit Purl Soho’s Colorblock Armwarmers.

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And now I’m all set for winter with a set of complementary-but-not-too-matchy, hat, scarf and gloves! This was honestly the simplest wristwarmer pattern in the world. No shaping, no complicated thumb, and easily customisable. They only took me a few days to knit.

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I made a couple of minor changes – I put 2 inches of 2×2 rib at the bottom, and 1 inch at the top, because I thought it would look better. I also knitted each glove entirely on 3mm needles (can’t be bothered to get a whole new set of needles just to knit a few rows of rib).

I made two attempts to stray from the pattern and knit a proper thumb using some hodge podge short-rows. It was an interesting experiment, but although my knitted thumbs were technically functional, they looked awful and had to go. In the end, four rows of plan old rib did the job just fine.

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Isn’t it funny how sometimes the smallest, least considered projects can bring the most satisfaction? I bloody love these things, they tick all my completist, perfectionist boxes – useful (I really needed gloves!), resourceful (100% left-over yarn that needed using!) and pleasing to look at (there’s something very satisfying about colour blocking).

I’m already carrying them in my bag ‘just in case it gets cold’….

Funchal Moebius: It’s a Wrap (sorry, couldn’t resist)

It took me 7 months to knit the first 2 thirds of my Funchal Moebius, but I knitted the last third in just a month, and managed to finish it by beginning of June. I just kept knitting, and suddenly it was done!

I feel rather like one might after running a marathon – victorious and relieved, but also slightly bereft and thinking about the next one….

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One reason I finished it sooner than expected, was that I only needed to do one extra repeat of the pattern, instead of the anticipated two. Having used Malabrigo Sock before, I knew it was prone to getting bigger after blocking, so I erred on the side of caution. And I was right to, because the length increased from 44 to 49 inches (apparently this is common with superwash yarns). At 49 inches it’s the perfect length to be twisted up once around my neck, which, as a year round scarf enthusiast, is how I intended to wear it.

I usually wet-block, but decided against it this time because I was worried about leaving wool out to dry during moth season, and also didn’t want the hassle of putting all those stitches onto spare yarn. I steam blocked, as suggested by the pattern, and I’m fairly happy with the result, although I still think wet-blocking might have evened my tension out further.

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I had to put a whole evening aside for grafting the two ends together, which I was dreading. It was never going to look perfect, because I was grafting a nice even edge to a fairly wonky provisionally cast-on edge, and me and Kitchener stitch don’t really get along anyway…

That said, I’m pleasantly surprised by my acceptable (as opposed to disastrous) result. I debated not putting a twist in the cowl before grafting, but relented when the consensus from other knitters was that I should keep the twist in. I suppose it does make the most of the reversed colour scheme on each side.

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I’m pretty thrilled with the finished result (one would hope so after 8 months of work….). This project arose as much out of a practical need for a proper winter scarf, as a desire for a fairisle project, and I think it will do the job perfectly. The fabric is really thick, soft and squishy, and will be super warm in winter. I’m also really glad I used a soft, superwash yarn, as it sits close to my neck which is usually prime itching territory.

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The lovely mustardy gold will also brighten up my largely grey and navy coats, jackets and jumpers. My only regret is that I can’t wear it yet!

So what’s next?

I don’t think I’m quite ready for another big knit, so I’ve been working on smaller projects – some lovely felted slippers for a workshop we’ll be running at Social Fabric, and some fingerless gloves for me (I’m gonna be so ready for winter). Watch this space!