Knitting pattern books will be the bane of me yet. I invariably find one pattern that I just get an itch to make. Sometimes, if I’m lucky, I find one or two other patterns in the book that I get enamoured of, and that justifies the cost of the book.
However, once the book is in hand, there is sometimes the issue of the yarn that the author used. Knitting book authors typically get freebies from the yarn companies. I would have to guess that was the case here, the Rainy Day Fingerless Gloves from Vogue Knitting Mittens and Gloves. When I got on a kick to make these, I discovered a rather disconcerting fact. The gloves used 8 different colors of yarn. Some of the colors were only for accents and amounted to a total of 48 stitches in the entire project. I did an internet search on the yarn used by the author.
It retailed for over $16.00 a skein.
Now, I like a good wool/silk blend as well as the next knitter, but was not about to spend $128 plus shipping on yarn to make one pair of fingerless gloves, no matter how cute or cunning they were. And those who know me, know I have absolutely no problem plunking down hard cash for a raw fleece or another spinning wheel. But to spend this much just for a pair of fingerless gloves … well, I just couldn’t justify it.
I despaired. However, I had also bought the Knitting New Mittens & Gloves book and loved two of the patterns: the Blackthorn gloves and the Golden Bracelets gloves. Clearly, there were enough tempting projects on the horizon to keep me busy, in lieu of my fingerless gloves.
Both Blackthorn and Golden Bracelets are knit from Jamieson’s Shetland. Blackthorn uses the DK weight and Bracelets, the Spindrift fingering weight. Google led me to Camilla Valley Farm Weaver’s Supply in Ontario. Having used them before for weaving yarns, I logged in and discovered that they carry every color of Jamieson’s. All 224 in Spindrift and 150 in DK. And, perhaps best of all, each skein — 115 yards in Spindrift and 82 in DK — is only $5.25 US.
Suddenly, the task of finding a replacement yarn for the Rainy Day Fingerless Gloves did not seem so daunting!
I had a great time picking out the colors for the 3 projects. I also a couple of extra skeins as I realized that I could probably get 3 or 4 pairs of fingerless gloves out of all this, if I just doubled up on the main colors.
So far, I am almost finished with one fingerless glove:
I love the pattern with the little apple trees. The apples are put in afterwards using duplicate stitch:
Another advancement here is the use of the Kollage square DPNs:
I ordered these from Paradise Fibers. I had heard nothing but good things about these, and people were right. They feel great in your hands when you use them, they are weighted nicely, and are a pleasure to work with. Just the thing to go with when getting onto a glove knitting binge!
The Jamieson’s yarn concerned me a little at first. I love working with Shetland wool, and have a number of raw fleeces on hand to be spun. Out of the box, the Jamieson’s was a little scratchy. The DK seemed a little softer than the Spindrift. However, as I worked with it, I could feel it loosening up and I think by the time I get around to wet-finishing the end result, they should be fine.
However, that does not mean I did not find another alternative! Stay tuned for the next chapter in the fingerless glove saga!