Sunday, 29 November 2009

A pair of Cranfords to call my own

With all of the excitement around P-hop's birthday celebrations I was drawn to thinking abut the Cranford Mitts that I donated to P-hop back at the beginning of the campaign. One of the reasons that I designed them was that I really wanted to wear a pair of warm but feminine fingerless gloves. As a public transport user in a pretty temperate part of the world, fingerless mitts are a perfect alternative for mitts and gloves as I don't have to keep pulling them on and off every time I search for a ticket or some change but they keep that important part of the hand warm and also stop those annoying draughts which whip around bus shelters and train stations from finding their way up a girl's sleeves.

The first pair that I made were a gift for my friend Natalie who was, at the time in need of a bit of a mid winter pick me up and the second pair went to my friend Mary's mum who, at 96 was finding that keeping her hands warm wasn't as easy as it used to be. It therefore dawned on me that despite them being designed as something I really wanted to wear, I didn't have a pair of Cranfords of my own.

One of the lovely things about having a stash of yarn on hand is that sometimes, on a night when the wind is howling and sleep is a bit hard to come by, I can lay in my bed and contentedly match yarn and projects. Sometimes, however, the match seems so perfect that I have to resist the urge to leap out of bed and start the project immediately. This was the case when I remembered that I had this yarn waiting in my stash.

I bought it at Woolfest this June and it really does tick all the boxes for a yarn nerd such as myself. The sea green yarn is a mixture of Corriedale and Black Welsh, over dyed with a lovely translucent colour which allows the shade of the original fibre to shine through and the natural is a blend of Corriedale and Manx Loughtan which gives it the warm beige colour. It is a fairly gentle two ply woollen spin, and although marketed as a 4ply, is a little heavier than something like a Jamieson's Spindrift. In texture the feeling is somewhere between a Shetland and a Merino, not kitten soft but far from rustic - perfect for mitten knitting! This line of yarns is so new that Blacker Design only had these prototype balls with them but very kindly allowed me to have them and posted them on to me after the festival.

The Cranfords knitted up very quickly and I am very pleased with the results - Cranfords of my very own.

And here's a closer look - I love the texture of the very natural yarn against the architectural qualities of the lace stitch.

The mitts used just under 50g of the main colour so there is plenty left to make the edgings on my next pair in a gorgeous soft lavender, this time in Corriedale with Hebridean over dyed.

Thinking about the yarns I bought at Woolfest last year has also reminded me of the very difficult time our hosts in Cockermouth are having at the moment in the aftermath of the terribly destructive floods of last week. I have already booked accommodation for next year as a way of showing support and I know many knitting groups are thinking about how they can help. A fund has been set up here by the Cumbria Foundation.
I'm off to knit more Cranfords...


mildawg said...

You are right -- the colors are perfect. The pair looks great, and I can't wait to see the lavender version.

LynS said...

This is such a great pattern - and I agree the mitts do look particularly good in the naturally textured wool. I feel another pair coming upon me!

dreamcatcher said...

A lovely pair of Cranfords indeed, very elegant. I'm just making my first pair, in the Yarn Yard Hug, and enjoying the pattern and end results very much.

Bells said...

i am finally going to make a pair of these soon - and I am so very glad you finally have a pair of your own! SO important!

And I do that - I match stash to projects as I'm falling asleep! We knitters are funny.

Roobeedoo said...

Ooh - that yarn definitely brings out the best in the stitch pattern - now I want some too!

Janey said...

Yours are lovely, I am going on a trip in a couple of days and was looking for a small project to take with me, so thank you for reminding me, I also downloaded the pattern earlier this year!!

Thanks x

Linda said...

I really love the look o fthat yarn. I am trying to find yarn for my new venture, british and soft in loads of colours, I wonder if that is what I need?

Janey said...

I've done 1 1/2 mitts on my recent journey, in sea green and navy blue, also did a crofters cowl in same lace pattern on the plane cos used denise needles for that. Thanks again for the reminder cos that is one more Christmas pressie nearly finished!!xx