Thursday, October 8, 2009

more on mittens and socks

Hey, there, everybody --

I have a bunch of friends who are knitting socks and mittens right now for A4A. They're not on this blog, but -- they've asked questions we haven't answered, and I thought maybe I should just post the answers.

Any weight is fine, but worsted weight is thicker -- making a faster knit, and a warmer garment.

For socks, you should probably use just a single strand, and they must be real socks, not slippers, with tall cuffs and proper heels. And, even though I'm sure many of you have crocheted gloriously comfortable, beautiful, and wearable socks, the Basement crew can attest to the fact that most of the crocheted socks they've received were not made by you. Hoping not to offend anybody, they've requested that socks be knitted only.

For mittens, you can knit or crochet with one strand or two strands together. Just remember to use your brain! Your mittens should be comfortable, wearable, and flexible -- if it feels like a cast, you're working too tight.

And finally -- eyeball your mitten or sock. Does it look like it's the right shape? No big holes at thumb or heel? Somebody once gave me a pair of mittens to donate to A4A that never got there. The hand was too big for me (I wear a women's XL mitten), and the thumb was about 1 inch long, and too skinny for most 4-year-olds. Kids in Afghanistan are shaped like any other human! If you have or can borrow a kid of the approximate age, ask that kid to try them on. If not, just use your good sense.

Wow, this post sure seems to be full of "thou shalt nots"! My intent was only to answer some questions that keep coming up. . .

Can't wait to see pictures! I have 2 pairs finished, and 3 pairs half-finished. I know, that seems awfully inefficient. But after I'd started the third pair I found two more pairs-in-progress that had been put aside last time I missed an A4A mitten deadline. I have vowed not to cast on any more mittens until the halfways are done. (You have no idea how difficult this is for me!) Hoping for a productive weekend, and a good drying day after I wash them.

Hope you're all having fun and accomplishing great and wonderful things!


Elizabeth D said...

P.S. I don't know what time zone this blog is in!! The time stamp is about 6 hours earlier than where I am, so it must think I'm in Hawaii. No such luck. . .

Pearl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kathy said...

Pearl please don't fear! I love bulky mittens and I'm sure there are wearers in Afghanistan that feel the same. Two strands of fingerling equals the weight of worsted. A "rule of thumb" might be -- are these garments I would wear? give to family to wear? or in other words, does it seem lovely and wearable?

I sympathize with the basement staff and their efforts at quality control. I once collected caps for chemo-kids, and was rather surprized at the range of what people thought a child's head size might be -- from a cup to a blender-cover size.

Elizabeth D said...

I posted a long reply to Pearl, and now I don't see it.

Pearl, if you look back, you'll see that my remarks about not using a double strand came right after I mentioned using worsted weight yarn. A double strand of sock yarn would be fine. And yes, the superbulky yarn did make very thick mittens (I made some myself). I was not telling anyone that items couldn't be thick. I'm sorry I upset you. The post was just meant to provide some guidelines for people who were wondering about the questions I addressed. As Kathy said, if it's something you would wear, or give to a family member, you can be comfortable with what you've made. Remember, the things were making are going to kids living in unimaginably horrible circumstances -- and they'll just have one pair of mittens or one pair of socks, so it should be warm, comfortable, and well made. As I'm sure whatever you're making will be.

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