a) Spend it on the more expensive ($20/pair) yarn - that you never buy because it's expensive, but you LOVE the colors/fibers, but just can't bring yourself to spend that much on yourself - and end up with only 7 pairs of socks, or
b) Spend it on the cheaper ($10/pair) yarn, and end up with 14 pairs of socks, that are made of hum-drum yarn that might/might not turn your crank as much (and that you tend to buy whenever you have some spare funds, 'cause Knitpicks is just so darn cheap) ?
I just felt a tremor in the Force, as all the non-sock knitters out there had their jaws hit the floor. YES, I can buy socks at Wal-Mart for 6/$7. HOWEVER...how long do those last? Honestly? I started knitting socks in *2001*, and the oldest ones are just now starting to show wear at the heels. That's *8* years, people - $20/8 = $2.50/year/pair. Commercial socks *generally* don't last a full year...*I* wear socks YEAR ROUND, and I haven't worn commercial socks since I started knitting them. My socks fit my feet perfectly (no "one size fits most, but you're not most" here!), they're in funky colors, and...I like knitting socks. So.....opinions, please.
Now...onto Pictures! (Sorry for the quality - these were snapped on my cell phone this morning.)
Anna started this - she posted the idea that fingerless mitts would be perfect for critter care, and then she shared her first crocheted pair. I have knit a LOT of these, but never for outdoor work - my left wrist is so wonky that I need to keep it warm. (So..I've knit a LOT, but never an actual *pair*. My right wrist is fine. :lol:)
The first pair was super-simple. A tube, with ribbing top and bottom. I cast off 3 stitches for the thumb, knit back a forth for about an inch, then cast the 3 stitches back on and continued on in the round until it was long enough.
These were made for Himself, out of some leftover handspun. They fit..but were a bit too snug. Ah, well - they didn't take long, so I whipped out another pair. I then whipped out a pair in orange/pink handspun for Herself (same "pattern").
Then, Sweet Geek decided HE needed a pair. OK....but a)I didn't want to mess up good handspun by using it in work mitts, and b) I didn't have enough handspun anyway for adult mitts. What to do? Simple - I had a JoAnn's 40% off coupon, so I went and got some Wool-Ease Fisherman's yarn in Oatmeal, and went to work. (CO 40 stitches, size 7 needles)
This pair, I didn't cast any stitches off - I just reversed at the thumb, knit back and forth a couple of inches, and then continued on in the round. They're nice, they're warm...but not quite warm enough for me. So, onto version 3.0. (36 stitches on size 7s)
This pair, I added a thumb. Nothing fancy, I just slipped 5 stitches to a holder, then cast them back on again the next round. Picked them up later, added 6 around the top and sides, and voila! A thumb! I then went back and added a mitten top (I need to add it to the second one, since Himself claimed them.). They ended up a bit too small for me (I started the mitten top decreases too soon :sigh:), but they fit Himself just fine. Only, he wants a convertable thumb top, too. :men!: :lol: Also, the thumb fit, but caused the mitt to shorten overall - my left wrist needs all the warmth it can get..so this pair got scrubbed.
So....OK, on to version 4.0. I knew what I wanted/needed....just needed to *knit* the blasted things.
At this point, I was pretty tired of the oatmeal-colored yarn. I had 2 more 40% off coupons, so I bought some more Wool-Ease, this time in Ragg and Chocolate. I decided I wanted Ragg gloves, and went to town. (36 stitches, size 6 needles)
This time, I added a thumb gusset (for more ease, and to not lose length). Paired increases every other round over 2 stitches until I hit 12, then slipped them to a holder for later. Re-cast on the 2 original stitches, and knit until I hit the middle of my fingers. Went back, and after a LOT of thought, knit a full thumb - the 27* mornings convinced me that it's really too cold to let my poor thumbs hang out without protection. :grin:
For the top, I borrowed an idea from Knitty's "Broadstreet Mittens" - I knit a strip of 2x2 ribbing for the palm side of the top (on v.3.0, the strip was on the *back* of the mitten..messy, and there was a slight gap when the top was closed for wind to get thru. (on me)). I also added 4 stitches for the top - the mitt was on 36 stitches, so the top is 40. (More ease. I was bored. Take your pick! :lol:) I still picked up stitches on the back of the mitt (for no sewing!) - it's not as neat as I'd like, but these are *work* mitts, so I'll live with it.
The chocolate yarn was because I was tired of the ragg...and I think it looks nice. I tried them this morning (29*!) - they are WARM, the tops flip off quickly for door opening/critter feeding, and they're squishy. (The ball band calls for a size 9 needle. THIS pair is on size 6's. :blink:) I think I'll add a button on the back, and a loop on the top - to secure them when I'm using my fingers.
I did NOT knit fingers on these, mainly because *I* can't wear 'em. My left hand tends to swell - and I can't anticipate by how much. The pair I knit earlier with fingers (2 years ago, I think) would fit, then I'd swell, and have to yank them off because I couldn't feel my fingers. Not really useful in 29* weather. :grin: If Sweet Geek talks sweet enough, I might put partial fingers in his next set.....AFTER I finish my Liberty socks. I'm kinda off fingerless mitts at the moment...they only take about 5 hours, start to finish, but they're BORING. :lol: