On My Needles: Bigger on the Inside Shawl

What’s On My Needles Now?

A dear friend sent me a bunch of yarn for my birthday. Sweet, right?! There’s enough for me to make 2 shawls…one for her and a matching one for myself!  Yeah!

When the yarn arrived, we were in Hawaii–on the Big Island. Our much-needed-and-planned-for-months-in-advance-family-vacation just happened to have been scheduled for soon after my dad died. In fact, we left right after the funeral driving to the Twin Cities where we flew out early the next morning! Crazy stuff! I’m still so thankful that, despite our family’s loss and time of grieving, we were able to go.  It was a blessing to be able to spend those next 2 weeks just as a family, enjoying another beautiful place on this lovely planet we call home without the added stresses of work and school.

Of course, being in Hawaii meant I had to wait until we got back home before I could get started knitting the shawls.  But it didn’t take me long once we were home to do a little swatching to determine which needle size to use and then cast on for the first one!  I’m working on my friend’s shawl first because her birthday is in just a couple weeks and I hope to have it done as her birthday gift! (We’ll see if I can find enough time to work on it and get it done in time!)

Bigger on the Inside

This shawl was designed with Doctor Who fans in mind. The lacy section is lovely and then there is the TARDIS lace motif as well!  It’s classy, yet perfectly geek-ish, if you know what I mean!

I’m just under halfway through the lacy section.  Isn’t it pretty?!

Knit Shawl

I think it will look wonderful once I’ve finished and can block the lace open more so you can really see the lacework.

Doctor Who Books

In keeping with the Doctor Who theme, I must share that I’ve been reading some Doctor Who books lately.  (I’ve been having a bit of withdrawal waiting for the 50th special and the new season.) So I checked with my local library and found they had a few of the 50th anniversary books!  Cool!  I’m currently reading Plague of the Cybermen by Justin Richards.  It’s pleasantly creepy. Just like watching an episode!  Well, maybe not *quite* that good, but pretty close.  I’ve checked out about 4 other Doctor Who books too.  Not sure I’ll have time to read them all before they’re due back though.

Not having enough time seems to also be a theme in today’s post. Hmmm. One of those time-turners like what Hermione used in the Harry Potter series (I re-read books 1-3 while we were on vacation!) would sure be nice.  More time for reading and knitting would be wonderful, wouldn’t you agree?

Want to knit your own TARDIS shawl?

Here’s my Bigger on the Inside shawl info on Ravelry.  From there you can check out the pattern–it’s free on knitty.com!–as well as see what yarn and needle size I’m using. And if I post any helpful project notes, they’ll be right there too!

So what’s on YOUR needles this week?

Leave me a comment and tell me about your current knitting or crochet projects!  If you’re a knit-blogger like myself, be sure to leave a link to your own WIP Wednesday or Yarn Along post and I’ll be sure to stop by and leave a comment for you too!  I’ll be linking up this post with Ginny’s Yarn Along.

Happy knitting!

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Early Morning Mitts Tutorial: Thumb plus Free Pattern

The Finishing Touch

If you’ve followed along with my tutorials, you know that all we have left to do is knit the thumb and weave in the loose ends! Woohoo! Let’s get started on that thumb already!

How to knit the thumb

First, we need to get our thumb stitches back on our needles. Because I use yarn to hold my stitches, I just slip the stitches onto my double-pointed needles (dpns) and then carefully pull the yarn out. I try to divide them onto 3 dpns as evenly as possible, remembering that I will be picking up 2 more stitches where I earlier cast on 2 stitches. [See photo #1 below]

Once you have the stitches back onto the dpns, grab your working yarn and, leaving about 6 inches or so hang as a tail and start knitting around all the stitches. [Photo #2]

When all the stitches have been knitted, your next step is to pick up and knit 2 stitches in the gap left behind by the stitches you cast on earlier. Because I don’t like having large holes near my thumbs, I don’t knit into the outermost stitch, but rather into the bar of the stitch below. [You can see these stitch bars in photo #3 on top of my fingers.]

knitting tutorialTo pick up and knit a stitch, you pick up the bar of the stitch you’re going to knit into with your right needle tip [Photo #4]. Then you wrap your needle and knit just as if you were knitting into a regular knit stitch [Photo #5].

knitting tutorial

Once you’ve added those 2 stitches, you have a total of 16 thumb stitches.

The rest of the instructions are pretty easy so here’s a quick run-through:

Knit 5 rounds.

On the next round, because 16 stitches makes the thumb too wide at the top for my thumbs, I like to decrease 3 stitches evenly. Do this by dividing the total number of stitches by the number of decreases. In this case we have 16 stitches divided by 3 decreases which means our decreases will be approximately every 5 stitches.  I then use a k2tog decrease once every 5 or so stitches and have 13 stitches at the end of this round.

Finally, to make my thumb match the cuff and top of mitt, I add another 5 row garter stitch ridge at the top of the thumb. Bind off on the last purl round just like the top of the mitt.

Weave in all the loose ends and be sure to close up any holes that might be by the thumb area.

The mitt is done!

Now just start all over again and make a second mitt for your other hand!  These mitts are interchangeable (can be worn on either hand) which I like because you don’t have to worry about which hand you need to put them on. Just slip them on and enjoy having toasty warm hands!

Get the free pattern!

I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial series!  Ready to knit a pair of Early Morning Mitts yourself? But wait!  You need the pattern! Go ahead and grab a PDF of it right now by clicking here:  download Early Morning Mitts pattern  (It’s also available on Ravelry HERE.)

tutorial, knit pattern

A completed pair of my Early Morning Mitts

This pattern is my gift to you! Enjoy!  (Don’t forget to post your finished mitts on Ravelry! I can’t wait to see them!)

As always, happy knitting!

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