Thursday, September 10, 2009

Free and Easy Fingerless Mitts pattern

My beginning students often ask what kind of project they can make after they've learned to cast on, knit, purl, and bind off. I developed a pattern for fingerless mitts that incorporates all of these techniques but doesn't require them to knit to a specific gauge.

Introducing Easy Fingerless Mitts, available as a free download.

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My students learn to knit using worsted weight yarn and size 7 or 8 needles. These mitts can be made using their classroom yarn and needles. The pair will take about 50g of worsted weight yarn (mine actually took a bit less).

The mitts are worked sideways until they are long enough to fit around the hand. The cast on and bind off edges are sewn together, with a gap left for the thumb hole. The garter borders at the cast on and bind off edges keep the thumb hole from rolling, and the garter stitch borders at the sides act as ribbing for the cuff and fingers.

This pattern is for personal use only and is not to be copied or distributed without prior permission.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Better luck next time

This year I finally got my act together and entered a knitted item in the Creative Activities competition at the State Fair. They gave five ribbons in my category (sleeveless sweater or vest, textured or plain), not a single one awarded to me. I was sad about that for a few hours after I found out (I couldn't stand the wait, so I checked the results online), and then I went to the Fair and found all the ribbon winners so I could see if I could figure out what their entries had that mine didn't. I have to admit that aside from the first and second place winners, I wasn't sure what had distinguished the other ribbon winners, so I waited patiently for the Fair to end so I could pick up my entry and scorecard. I did have the feeling that I may have been marked down for working only the front in the textured pattern, while all the ribbon winners appeared to have patterning on the front and the back.

Here are the results:

Score: 92
General Appearance: Excellent. "Nice use of lace cable pattern. Tough competition in this lot."
Color and Design: Excellent.
Construction/Workmanship: Very Good
Level of Difficulty: Very Good
Choice and Handling of Finishing: Very Good

And that's it. No other comments. The scorecard criteria don't seem to match what's listed in the Creative Activities registration booklet, so I'm not sure if each of those 5 categories are worth the same number of points, or if some are worth more than others, or what.

There's always next year!