It's been Christmas in July for me this week as I am busily knitting and felting hot pads to give as gifts this holiday season. I loved how my oven mitts turned out so it got me to thinking what else could I felt. Then I ran across this pattern realizing I could get a pair of pads from each skein and thought "Perfect"! It would be lovely to give everyone a pair of the mitts, but I don't have enough yarn to make a pair for each of my friends (or at least a good looking matching pair.)
The pattern is very simple where you cast on what amounts to the outside edge and knit decreasing towards the center. I did make a couple of changes though. I knit them on US 11 needles instead of US 13's as I don't have any that size and wanted to get started right away. For the hanging loop I knit 18 rows of I-cord instead of the 12 the pattern states, and I'm glad I did as I think it would have been way too small a loop to be useful otherwise. For felting, I threw them in my washing machine with soap and hot water agitating for about 30 minutes. Then I let the wash cycle complete rinsing out the soap and wringing out all the excess water. I tugged them into shape and laid them flat to dry.
The yarn I used (Lamb's Pride ,held double, and Burly Spun) comes out pretty fuzzy from the mohair content so I do some judicious trimming with my scissors. It's pretty quick to do and not much of a hassle. The yarn felts so nice and thick I think it's worth the extra effort. Since, I did knit them on smaller needles their finished size is a bit smaller at 7 1/2 inches rather than the 8, but still a good size for handling hot pots and pans.
I've got three pairs done with only 2 to still knit so I couldn't be happier with how quickly it's all going. I'm knitting a couple of odd ducks too with no matching pair to give away as thank you gifts when needed. I'm just having so much fun using up all this yarn!
On a side note, I purchased this lovely book of patterns by Veera Valimaki called Color Wheel Knits and really, really, really want to knit the vest called "Ground". It looks very wearable with what I actually wear - jeans and t-shirts. Not like all those sweater patterns you see modeled with that perfect shirt, you know the one you don't own and aren't likely too and would probably not wear because it's not comfy and needs to be dry cleaned? So, I think I would get a ton of use out of it. The only hiccup in this scenario is I don't have any sport weight yarn that the pattern calls for. Meaning I would have to purchase some yarn. Now I've gone about 67 days (as of writing this post) without buying yarn and am proud of myself as the last time I think I only made it around 30 days. Thus, I am torn on what to do. Should I just say no and keep knitting from my stash or do I knit what would be a very useful sweater for myself? My husband said I should go ahead and purchase the Prussian Blue Malabrigo yarn, but I still don't know. I feel I should wait some, but then I also like to "ride" these waves of excitement as I can get so much accomplished if I do. Any thoughts?