Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Crazy Cat Ladies Who Knit Through the Night - Ladder Cable Fingerless Mitts (a different kind of recipe)

(This is a #throwback post from 2008, from my defunct knitting blog, "Knit Until the Cows Come Home")

Another one of those age-old questions. Chicken-and-egg kind of stuff. Really, which came first - a knitter's compulsion to live among as many cats as possible, or a cat-lover's need to play with string?

If you doubt me at all, take a good look at Ravelry or any number of independent knitting blogs on the net. People don't post pics of their kids, or their cars, or that diamond brooch you inherited from dear Aunt Minnie - no indeed, they post pics of their cats. Multiple furry talisman.

I count myself among the terminally feline-impaired, and offer you this photo of my newest owner. His mother left him outside the door of my office when he was but 2-3 weeks old. We bonded over a mini-kitty-bottle, and with the help of my trusty mommy-surrogate, Athene, we raised him to be the fine strong boy you see to the right.

His name? Anakin Skywalker, or as we find ourselves calling him in the evening when his Dark Side comes through, Lord Vader. Darth Kitten has grown and flourished. How do you like that Duff Goldman goatee he is sporting?

I was a knitter long before I took that fatal step of sharing my home with a cat. Call it fate, call it karma, call the Ghostbusters - nah, never mind. I'm hooked. 

And to quote Captain Jonathan Archer of the Starship Enterprise, "wouldn't have it any other way."

November 4, 2014

Another good morning.  Shhhhhh!  If I say it out loud, I will give myself a kinehora, and that would be bad.  Let me just state - quietly - that I have the best job in the world.  That is not to say I don't get exhausted, or angry, or frustrated, or demoralized, or stressed-out, but despite all that, the sheer pleasure I derive from doing what I do never wanes.

The best stress-reliever for the tough times is a cruise.  A 4 or 5 day cruise to the Bahamas can lift my spirits and quiet my soul, especially if I don't get off the ship.  Of course, one cannot cruise all the time, gosh darn it.

When I can't cruise, which is most of the time, I find that knitting, and it's country cousin, crocheting, to be the best medicine in times of trouble or stress.  Knitting while on a cruise?  Sheer, unadulterated ecstasy.  Carnival Ecstasy, that is.

The only problem with knitting on a cruise is the absence of cats.  Who else can organize a knitter's needles and other knitting impedimenta with such determined ease?

And what other creature on God's green Earth is so agreeable about modeling a knitted garment over and over and over again?

Let's face it, cats and knitting go together like Bogey and Bacall ... Taylor and Burton ... green eggs and ham ... champagne and caviar ...  Heck, I feel myself relaxing just by looking at these photos.

A different kind of original recipe:

Ladder Cable Fingerless Mitts

Ladder Cable Pattern adapted from The Knitting Stitch Bible by Maria Parry-Jones

Size: adult small

Needles: US Size 5 DPN (increase needle size for larger mitt)
Yarn: Paton’s Classic Wool

Abbreviations: C4F (cable 4 forward) - place 2 stitches on holder or another dpn, hold in front of work, knit the next 2 stitches, and then knit the stitches on holder.

Ladder Cable Pattern, multiple of 14 stitches:
Row 1 – P1, K2, P4, K2, P1, K4
Row 2 – Repeat Row 1

Row 3 – P1, K8, P1, K4
Row 4 – Repeat Row 3

Row 5 – P1, K2, P4, K2, P1, C4F
Row 6 – Repeat Row 1

Row 7 – Repeat Row 3
Row 8 – Repeat Row 3

Row 9 – Repeat Row 1
Row 10 – Repeat Row 1

Row 11 – P1, K8, P1, C4F
Row 12 – Repeat Row 3

Cast on 42 stitches. Divide 14 on each of 3 needles.

Cuff: Repeat Row 1 of pattern for a total of 18 rows.

Body of Mitt: Begin pattern, Rows 1-12, then Rows 1-11.

Next Row: following pattern for Row 12, work across needle 1 and then needle 2 up to the last 4 stitches. Knit 2, make one stitch, knit 2, and then complete pattern across needle 3. (You will be increasing for the thumb gusset from the middle of the middle cable.)

Next Row: follow pattern for Row 1, placing markers on either side of increased stitch on needle 2.

Next Row: follow pattern for Row 2 across needle 1 and then needle 2 up to last 5 stitches. Knit 2, slip marker, increase 1 stitch using lifted bar method, knit 1, increase 1 more stitch, slip marker, knit 2, go on to needle 3.

Next Row : follow pattern for Row 3

Next Row: follow pattern for Row 4, increasing 2 stitches for thumb gusset (my preference – slip marker, knit 1, increase 1, knit to within one stitch before marker, increase 1, knit 1, slip marker, continue in pattern.)

Repeat last two rows until there are 15 stitches total between the markers. (You should be ending on a Row 2 of pattern.)

Next Row: follow pattern for Row 3, placing thumb stitches on separate needle. Continue in pattern until Row 12, then repeat cuff pattern for 9 more rows. Bind off loosely.

Thumb: Pick up 5 stitches, and knit across the 15 stitches on the separate needle. Divide the 20 stitches across 3 needles, and knit around for 6 more rows, bind off loosely, and finish.

Edited on 3/30/08 to add photos.

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