Black Diamond Kits

Black Diamond Kits
Sage's Kits, Nine Weeks Old

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Crazy Eights Angora Handwarmers

School is out this week for the public school kids, so for some reason Charlotte and Lydia have taken the week off as well.  It is well past midnight here, but I am up finishing the last canner load of potatoes before heading to bed.

Anyway, I've been thinking about this for some time, and I decided to try my hand at writing my first knitting pattern.  The number eight appears frequently in this pattern, and it reminded me of a game I used to play with my grandmother--Crazy Eights.  I haven't played that game in over 40 years, and have no idea now how it was played.  Maybe someday I'll look up the rules.  Anyway, the "eights" come from the size of the needles used, eight rows of ribbing knit in the round, eight rows of stockinette stitch knit in the round, eight rows of knitting and purling back and forth to form the thumb hole, eight rows of stockinette stitch knit in the round, and finally eight rows of 1x1 ribbing, followed by a bind-off with US8 needles.

So I started off with about 1.3 ounces of chocolate tortoiseshell angora.  I didn't wash or card it; rather, I just fluffed it up and began to spin.  I spun it all onto a single bobbin and then Navajo plied it. Two hours later I had roughly 78 yards.

After washing the yarn in hot water and a little bit of Dawn to set the twist and prepare for dyeing, I rinsed it and put it in the dye pot with some hot water.  

Despite having purchased dozens of different colors of dye, I've been a little hesitant to use them, which is silly.  If I don't like the result, I can always over-dye.  Anyway, I decided to see what fire engine red from Dharma dyes looks like.

 I have no idea how the camera made the dye look blue instead of red.

The result was a bit pale and uneven, so I added more dye.

After rinsing in hot water and drying on the clothesline, this is the result.  Now for the pattern:

Crazy Eights 100% Angora Handwarmers

Notes:  Pure angora yarn lacks elasticity.  To compensate, I doubled the number of stitches one would normally cast on, and then in the first row knit two together, purl two together to form an elastic edge. This is an easy pattern.

Yarn:  Handspun 100% angora, about 60 yards (of the 78 yards in the skein)

WPI: 12
Gauge:  4.5 stitches per inch; 6 rows per inch
Needles:  US6 dpns (double pointed needles); US8 dpns or US8 9-inch circular needles
Measurements:  6.5 inches circumference of my hand, 7 inches from my wrist to the tip of my middle finger
Additional items needed:  yarn needle, locking stitch marker

Using US6 dpns, cast on 52 stitches.  Divide onto three or four needles, PM (place marker), join to work in the round, taking care not to twist.

Row 1 To make 1x1 ribbing,  K2tog, p2tog all the way around; 26 stitches remain.

Rows 2-8:  Ribbing K1P1. 

Rows 9-16:  Switch to US8 9" circular needle (or dpns).  St st 8 rows.

Rows 17-24, to form thumb hole:  
Row 17:  Knit to marker and turn.
Row 18:  Purl to marker and turn.
Rows 19-24:  Repeat rows 17 and 18 three times.

Rows 25-32:  Join both sides together again and knit in st st.

Ribbing, rows 33-40:  Switch to US6 dpns and K1P1 for 1x1 ribbing.

Row 41:  Bind off loosely using a size 8 needle for bind off.  Weave in ends with yarn needle.

I think each mitten takes about an hour.

This free pattern is provided for your personal use only.  It may not be copied or distributed without written permission.  Copyright Black Diamond Rabbitry, 2015.

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