Sunday, 15 June 2014

Staghorn Handwarmers

Following on from the wonky scarf, I made these lovely staghorn handwarmers.

The confidence is growing, some improvements have been made and some lessons learnt (the hard way - sometimes that's the best way). I will go into more detail after the jump...

I recently came across a website that has some very good video tutorials of various types of knitting stitches,  New Stitch a Day. After seeing some other lovely examples of the staghorn cable stitch, I decided to give this one a go and that I would 'wing it' rather than follow a pattern.

First hurdle was getting working out the size. I did a test swatch this time to try to ascertain the number of stitches per inch and then worked out how many I would need for 7 inches at widest part of my hand. What I hadn't considered was that a rib stitch is very stretchy so I've ended up with a bit of a loose gap at the ends instead of a snug fit. To avoid this you want to knit the rib tighter (on a smaller needle size). 

 Secondly was getting used to one of these funny looking thingy-bobs.

 (Cable Needle)

The cable needle basically holds a couple of stitches off the main needle whilst you work the next few stitches on the main needle. Then you pick the waiting stitches up off the cable needle back on to the knitting needle and continue as normal. I found the cable needle a bit too small and very slippy so it kept falling out! A top tip I picked up afterwards is that you could use a pencil or similar instead to hold the stitches. 

(Mirasol Miski Yarn 100% Baby Llama Wool)

These handwarmers were made from some chunky llama wool and it was so nice to work with! Sooooo so soft.

(Wonky Handwarmers)

I did find myself getting muddled a few times with the stitch order and had to backtrack to correct errors. One particular error was spotted after a few more rows had been worked and I found it difficult to recover because all the stitches are out of place so when they drop off the needle they start to move around. As a result, I missed out a whole two rows and one is longer than the other! What I have since learnt is that you can use a 'life-line'. A scrap piece of yarn that is threaded through all the stitches on the needle and left there as you work up the rows. If you  make a mistake and have to pull the work out the life-line will hold the stitches in place ready to put back on the needle.

Although it's not fun making mistakes and having to redo things, I do think it helps with the learning process. I hope you have enjoyed this and maybe found some things helpful.

Take care until next time. 

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