Blogmas Day 2 – Second Mitten Syndrome

Well that went quickly! After only casting on yesterday, my first mitten is done!

Somehow – magically – this mitten pattern (exclusive to Knit Stars 3.0 participants) is actually perfectly sized for my stupidly long hands.

Correction: when you knit this mitten at the wrong gauge because you have projects on the needles that would give you the correct gauge, they’re perfectly sized for my stupidly long hands!

I completed the first mitten while Pete was out to dinner with a friend. I have to admit, I was too lazy too enthralled with a true crime series to watch the tutorial on how to pick up for the afterthought thumb, so I just kind of took my best guess, and I definitely didn’t do it correctly, as I had to sew up some holes later, but now that I know my way of faking it doesn’t work, I can try it the Arne and Carlos way for the second mitten…

…that is… if I ever get to the second mitten. As pleased as I am with this first mitten, I just don’t know if I’ll be able to bring myself to cast on that second one anytime soon. I do really, really want these mittens on my hands. The green mittens I made last year are pilling terribly and they’re past ever being saved by the Gleaner. Sadly, it’s time for them to be retired. Serves me right for using singly-ply alpaca. But once again, my knitting mojo feels somewhat depleted.

(I will get a photo of my newly completed Selbu mitten when I’m able to take a respectable photo of it in the daylight)

Here’s a photo of the green mittens I made last year (using Mrs. Moon’s DK weight yarn):

skinny starbuck mitts

I also got to hang out with Toby and her mom Leslie today! Toby is the designer behind Toby Roxane Designs and the dyer behind Toby Roxane yarn, and I got to admire her incredible yarn in the flesh – piles and piles of yarn. This is how I know I could never be a yarn dyer – I just wanted it ALL!

But also… it was so nice to talk about the challenges of the online knitting world (yes, they exist) as well as what it’s like to spend your days dyeing and designing (I probably should have taken notes on the latter). I just had such a great afternoon chatting with Toby and Leslie, and we’ve decided we’re going to have a knit night on Thursdays at the bookstore in town (totally their awesome idea).

It’s funny. A couple years ago, I was in our local coffee shop, admiring these gorgeous hand-knit shawls hanging on the walls (this particular coffee shop often displays the work of local artists). I remember reading Toby’s bio and learning that she is a Saugerties-based yarn dyer and knitwear designer and thinking – WHY AM I NOT FRIENDS WITH THIS AWESOME PERSON? Then – over the summer maybe – I finally met her in person, and still I thought – WAIT. WE REALLY SHOULD BE FRIENDS.

But such is the nature of making friends as an adult…

Fortunately, slowly but surely the two of us made a concerted effort to get together here and there and now I think it’s safe to say that yes – we are friends. I mean it’s Facebook official, so that seals it, right? Plus she comes with a bonus friend! Her mom Leslie is so much fun and v talented, too.

I consider myself very, very luck to live in a pretty fiber-saturated area. Not only is a yarn shop just a matter of blocks away from my home, there are several local yarn dyers (Toby being one of them, but I also learned that “Into the Whirled” is based not too far away – as well as others). And one of – if not THE – biggest fiber festivals in the world happens just a few towns over. That would be “The New York State Sheep & Wool Festival,” which we yarnies just know as “Rhinebeck.” When I think about all of this, it’s hard to imagine ever moving from this area…. ❤

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