Glub, glub, glub…

I finished the sweater! Unfortunately, I finished a sweater that would fit someone about 6 sizes bigger than I am – and I’m not one of those eensy-beensy little waifs either. I seem to have difficulty reconciling my body image with my body. Of course, no other knitter in history has ever done this, I’m sure. Still, I am determined to have a sweater I can be proud to wear, and fortunate that I’d decided on a top-down raglan. The neckline and sleeves are just fine, but the body from the armholes down seems to be sized for one of the dancing hippos in Fantasia, and has some very odd shaping to boot. Having put about $120 into the yarn for this, I will be giving it a second chance.

Rather than simply going with a stockinette body, I’m thinking to re-knit it with ribbing beginning under the arms and tapering into the center. In theory, this should give me a much better silhouette and be visually slimming as well – two birds with one stone! I’m also thinking that the bands at the cuffs (which you can’t see but are the same length as the one at the hem) should be about twice as wide; the way they look now seems a bit truncated. However, maybe the hem border will come off and I’ll just have it on the sleeves. So we’ll see if I can manage to redo this before warm weather strikes again.

To avoid the pain of all that frogging, I’ve been amusing myself with the Tulip Jacket. These puppies knit up so fast (must be the color changes every 8 rows that keeps it interesting) and are terminally adorable. But there are still challenges for someone without a lot of experience. What I learned Sunday was that I-cord edging needs to be looser than you think. The body was all done so I set right out to do the I-cord bindoff, only to find at the end that the circumference of the sweater had shrunk by about 20% – witness the lovely ruched front, which ain’t what the doctor ordered.

In case you are wondering just how deluded I am, it’s not serious. I didn’t really even try to convince myself it would block out, but resigned myself to ripping that back and re-doing it – but not until I’ve done the sleeves, just to give myself something I won’t screw up before going back to the “issue.” The one disadvantage (I hesitate to say “downside” because it’s too darn cute to have one) is all those ends to weave in. 8 colors, and you get to do it three times and it’s a bear on the sleeves because it’s already so tiny.

So to distract myself from the giant sweater re-knit and the I-cord challenge, I dug in the stash and decided to make some wristwarmers. Not for me, but for my friend Maggie the whirley-girl. Maggie flies helicopters for a living and was saying that she liked wristwarmers, but that she needed to be able to feel the control stick with her palm, so I came up with the brilliant idea of warmers with a hole in the palm to satisfy that need. Here’s my prototype:

Whirley-Girl Mitts

Basic recipe:

Materials: Worsted weight yarn, Size 7 dpns, 2 stitch markers

Cast on 40 stitches, divide with 12 on needles 1 & 3, and 16 on needle #2. Join, being careful not to twist. Use a safety pin or other marker to show beginning of round.

Knit 3 rounds of K2, P2
Round 4: *K2tog, K through1st stitch, slide 2 stitches to right needle together, P2, K2, P2* and repeat around.
Continue this pattern until the wristlet comes to the base of your thumb.

Thumb gusset:
K2, P1, pm, Make 1, pm, P1 to set off the area for the thumb gusset, and complete the row in pattern.
Next row, continue in pattern, knitting across the gusset section
On alternate rows, you (a) make a stitch after the first marker and before the second, and knit all other stitches between markers, and (b) treat the gusset area as all knit stitches.
Continue in this manner until you have knit 13 stitches across the gusset.
On the last gusset row, bind off all gusset stiches and continue in pattern. On the following row, snug up the yarn between the two purl stitches on each side of the gusset to make it nice and tidy.

Continue in pattern until your desired length – anything from even with the gusset to covering almost to the first knuckle of the fingers.

If you want to make these for your own helicopter pilot to include the open palm, continue in pattern after the gusset until you are just below the soft pad at the base of the fingers. 4 stiches palm-wise (it will be a different direction on each mitt) bind off enough stitches to allow the palm contact with the control stick (I bound off 8, but if your pilot has hands larger than a delicately-boned lady, use your own judgement), and on the next row, cast on the same number of stitches, continuing in pattern until the desired length is achieved.


The twisted rib takes 4 stitches, so any multiple of 4 stitches is the appropriate cast-on number if you want to change sizing or yarn.

So that’s what’s been happening on the needles at Villa Incognito – with a dose of garden maintenance during the 5 sunny days we just had so that the large muscles groups also got a workout.


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