Thursday, October 28, 2010

On Homecomings and Monster Mitts...

Home again, home again, jiggity jog!...You didn't honestly think that I wouldn't tell you all about the Family Weekend visit with our new college girl, did you?...Well, I'm happy to say that we {the lad and I} had a completely wonderful visit.  I'm afraid that in our haste to get out the door, I managed to leave my camera at home, but this is view out of the back seat window as we crossed the mighty Mississippi...
{taken with my phone by the lad, who I must say, is the most amazing travel companion ever—an 11 hour drive with 3 stops on the way and only 2 on the way home—incredible!}, and this is the color that the sky was the entire weekend...gorgeous.  Needless to say, we had a great time.
I can't express how much joy seeing my girl in her new world gave me {it helps that she is thriving and is soooo happy where she is}.  What is it about seeing the tiniest and most mundane details of where she is that makes my heart a little calmer?  I'm resting a little easier now that I can picture the path that she walks to class and see in my mind's eye the stairs that she climbs to get to her favorite floor in the library, etc.  Sigh...It's an amazing thing we mamas get to do...watching these little souls grow and discover and then, with held breath {and not a few tears} watching them fly away.  I feel very lucky and full right now, and a little like we have joined this great club together.  That surprised me.  I remember how it felt when I became a I had just been inducted into the most amazing society ever and that nothing but the experience of it could ever prepare me for how motherhood would really feel.  Loving her and letting her stretch her wings feels a little like that in some strange we have turned a corner and we are still here, in a new place, but here all the same, that distance hasn't diminished our relationship but has maybe added a new dimension to it, and I know from my friendship with my own mother that it can be as rich and precious and fun as ever.  All this said, I still miss having her here and can't wait until I get to see her smile across the table again...and yes, I will cry big tears when she leaves, but it will be a little different the next time knowing that she loves where she is going and that she is living and thriving and becoming...makes me very happy and full indeed!

And now on a different note...  
Just in time for Halloween...the look of creativity in our house...
...pretty scary,right?!

Thankfully, there has been a little knitting here and there too...I've finished a sweater or two {more on those another day} and this morning there were these...a pair of make them in a minute Monster Mitts for the lad!...
These are really and truly a quick, quick knit.  How fast?'re done before the end of a movie, swim meet, tap class, etc.  I used a bit of old novelty yarn {left-overs from the year when my girl made furry scarves for all of her friends for the holidays}.  These mitts took less than one skein and were literally done in a twinkling.  They are so easy, I hardly even consider this a pattern, but here's the recipe just in case you want to give them a go...
Pattern Notes:  I used a bulky weight, fluffy (eyelash) novelty yarn for these mitts.  They are worked in the round in stockinette stitch and I used a needle that is substantially smaller than that recommended on the yarn ball band.  The suggested gauge for the yarn that I used is 3 stitches to the inch on a size 10.5 needle.  I used a size 6 needle to get a gauge around 4 3/4 to 5 stitches per inch.  The resulting fabric is thick, soft and doesn't curl.  The look and the fit of the Monster Mitt is created by knitting your bulky, fuzzy yarn at a gauge that is much more dense than would be used normally (ie. for a scarf or sweater)—that's what makes them so furry and keeps them from curling.
Yarn:  Any bulky weight, fuzzy yarn that you have hanging around (or you can double up a couple of finer yarns to  achieve the desired gauge)—I used 1 skein of Lana Gatto Amsterdam (71yds (65m) per 1 3/4 oz (50g) skein.  As an alternative, you could use a double strand of a couple of finer yarns to  achieve the desired gauge.
Needles: US size 6 double point needles or size needed to attain gauge
Gauge: 19 stitches equals 4" (10cm)—about 4 3/4 sts/inch—row gauge isn't important as we will be working with measurements, not row numbers
Finished Measurements:  
Length from wrist hem to finger opening: 6 1/2" (16 1/2 cm)
Width (measured flat): 3 1/4" (8 1/2 cm)
Circumference (not stretched):  6 1/2" (16 1/2 cm)
Sample Size: Child  8 and up/Small Adult.  These mitts fit both me and my almost 11 year old son. 
To make these mitts in another size: 
1)  Measure your hand circumference (over the knuckles but not including the thumb)
2)  Subtract 1/2" (1 1/2 cm)
Multiply the number you ended up with after step 2 by your gauge (in stitches per inch).  This will give you the number needed to cast on.
Cast on 30 sts (or number of stitches needed for your size and yarn) 
Place a marker and join work in the round.  Knit 4 1/2" or for desired length slipping the marker as you go.  This will be the section of the mitt from the wrist hem to thumb base (along the inside of hand by the index finger).  Measure from the inside curve of your thumb down the wrist to get your desired length.  You can make these as long or as short as you desire.
Making the thumb hole:  Once your mitt is the length desired to the thumb, you will begin the thumb hole.  Bind off the first 5 sts on the next round.  If these mitts are for a larger or smaller hand you may need to bind off more or fewer stitches—to determine the number needed multiply your gauge per inch by the width of the thumb—the result will be the number of stitches to bind off).  Knit to the end of the round.  Slip marker.  At the beginning of the next round, cast on 5 sts (or the number of stitches bound off in the previous round).  You can use your favorite cast on method—a backward loop cast on or you can turn the mitts around and use a cable cast on—either way works. 
Continue to knit in the round for 1" or until you have reached the desired length from the thumb hole to the base of the fingers, slipping the marker as you go.
Finishing:  Bind off all stitches.  Weave in all ends.  Wear and scare!
Monster Mitt Update:  The lad wore these all afternoon and loved them!...And as for me...they are a great little stash buster—they were on and off the needles so fast that I can see myself making lots of puppy paws, kitty legs, mouse mitts, and bear claws in the coming, fun, fun!

Happy, happy Halloween!!!...



  1. Happy Halloween, Friend! I am sighing a sigh of relief with tears in my eyes for you and Miss M; I can only imagine all the mixed emotions going in and now all the exciting potential. Heartfelt congratulations.

    The monster mitts are so fun! I know I have some furry stash around here somewhere...

  2. Love those mitts! and so glad you had a lovely time visiting....I find that whole future letting go bit scary but reading lovely posts like yours gives me clues for how to do it right and maybe the tears I shed along with you will spare me from a few at a later date! Take care :D