Sunday, November 15, 2009

how I learned to stop worrying and love i-cord

damian, it's all for yooooou
Some quick, not very exciting but very necessary knits. I made a hat and mittens from 2 balls of James C Brett Merino DK, which seems to be the new budget merino in Abakhans, having superceded King Cole. It is both soft and cheap which is important for toddlerwear. The child seems to submit to wearing these quite happily - on a few occasions I have returned from walking the dog and found both hat and mittens to be still on the child, which is nothing short of miraculous. It must be comfortable to wear, or maybe it is just so bloody cold recently he is frozen into inactivity, a bit like Jack Nicholson in the final scene of The Shining. Pattern is winged, idea shamelessly based on Britt's impossibly cute tiny-mittens-on-a-string that she showed me the other day and a similar earflap hat which I had previously made for the child and has mysteriously disappeared. (I checked all the forlorn looking woollens on local railings to no avail).
Both are very simple. The hat is worked upwards from the brim in moss stitch, then in stocking stitch with purl ridges up to the crown where I did an 8 pointed decrease. I then picked up stitches around the brim above each ear and knitted triangles downwards until I had 4 stitches, then went into i-cord. I don't know why but I have had a bit of a mental block about i-cord up till now. I think I just overestimated the time it would take by about a squillion times. Previously I have always gone for crochet chains for ties, on time-saving grounds, but I was amazed to finish both hat and mittens-on-a-string including i-cord within a week of childnaptimes. It took, like half an hour to do the mitten string, which isn't long when sitting comfortably on the sofa in front of the telly. And I think the result is better - the cords are quite smooth and sturdy to the touch, and consequently take a few less microseconds to tie under the chin. Always a win when trying to shepherd a kicking screaming toddler away from the swings and into the pushchair. And I defy him to lose any of this iteration of warm things without a gargantuan effort. Btw if you are wondering, I didn't make the handsome cabled cardie in the top photo, that was Auntie Hilda. (But I did sew the patches onto the jeans after excessive crawling gave him ripped denim knees and a bit of an alarming 80s soft rocker look).


Manuel said...

mittens is the greatest word in the English language....

Kate said...

I had an Auntie Hilda once. She wasn't actually an aunt, but a friend of my grandparents so out of politeness was called auntie. Do children do this any more or am I just really old? ;-)

The hat and mitts are adorable and I can't wait to make mittens on a string for Rose when she's toddling about. Is the yarn better than King Cole, do you think? I've knitted a few jumpers for the boys over the years with King Cole Merino DK but found that some shades were a bit rougher than others for some reason. I'm loathed to spend £££s on yarn for baby clothes unless it's already in my stash, or someone buys it for me, of course!

rubbishknitter said...

Manuel: it is good... possibly the second greatest after flibbertigibbet

Kate: My Auntie Hilda is no relation either! I doubt children do this any more, I can't even get my actual nieces and nephews to call me Auntie!

The yarn is possibly a little softer than King Cole, which is lovely to knit with but I suspect the FOs will have a limited life span. I figured this is fine for toddler clothes anyway, they are unlikely to survive to become heirlooms!

CatR said...

Ah, mittens on a string... If only that were acceptable (and not overly cutesy or "speshul" for adults.