stef (stefstein) wrote in s2crafts,

  • Music:

warm hands

Knitting and felting purses is just not a fun activity for these summer weeks which so often broach the 100º mark on the thermometer. The load of double stranded wool sitting heavy on one's lap, the endless dipping in and out of a steaming washing machine, the hours spent over a hot iron creating the lining -- it's cold weather work.

This part of summer demands a light project. Enter these handwarmers, which knit up quick and are an excellent way to use up the leftover bits of yarn -- those insufficient for any "real" project, but way too much to just throw away. As far as garments go, they're also awesome for injecting a little bit of fun color into your wardrobe. A blue and white striped peacoat would be a little bizarre. Blue & white striped handwarmers peeking out from your cuffs are a bit of nautical whimsy. And, as everyone knows, that's the best kind of whimsy there is. More than one set means you can change 'em with your moods, and at fifteen bucks a pair, the price is right.

Here are the ones up at my etsy shop. Most (all but 1 pair, actually) were hand-dyed, including a few crafted from homemade self-striping yarn (an obsession of mine).

Plumender stripes: Handwarmers, and this colorway, were commissioned by an etsy shopper. I made these from the leftovers of her order because I really really adored the way the dye-job came out.

Whitewater stripes: Another self-striping hand dye, these started out in my head as a strictly nautical colorway. Knitted up, I realized I'd actually made Saltire-striped yarn. Not that that made me love it any less, don't you know. Still, there's something about them -- the colorway and the structure, with the fingers exposed for dexterity -- that makes them feel like they just got unloaded from an old sailing ship. Or a Decemberists song.

Marina: These have a shorter cuff than the rest, and a row of decorative eyelets between the ribbing and the start of the hand. The color is mostly a bright sunny blue, flecked and mottled with a vibrant green. These particularly seem like they'd be great for over-cooled offices or workspaces.

Not necessarily the sexiest moniker for a color scheme, but in my opinion, algae is pretty cool. Whether through coincidence, or just -- a function of which dyes I have more of, half of the yarn I've dyed has been blue, green, or blue-green. This leads to a lot of names like, oh, Whitewater, Marina, and Algae. But this Algae color I love, not the least bit because of the images its name evokes. Blue-green blooms of the tiny organism encroaching the boundaries of lakes and ponds, sure it technically can be an "infestation," but that's such an ugly word. It's nature, doing what it does best. And algae, having staked its mucky flag everywhere from the Antarctic to the Gobi desert, can do it better than most life on Earth.

Firestripe: Perhaps the exact opposite of Algae, the Firestripe colorway is all hot reds and oranges. A self-striping yarn overdyed with colors that bring to mind everything from Hot Lava! to Cozy Campfire, these keep hands toasty not only with the magical powers of wool, but also by the power of suggestion.

York: Oh, brown and blue. Even when you finally cede your reign as one of fashion's hot color combos, I will still love you. I love these for their seemingly patternless stripes (the sequence is something like 2-3-4-2-2-4-3), and the sheer awesomeness of how crisply the aqua pops against the chocolate brown. I'm making another set of these for myself.

So, yes. Those are all for sale, at my etsy store (or just comment here or email me). These are pretty much my favorite accessory these days. I love that they work in harmony with my favorite season, fall, when the summer's still hanging on but the winter's coming up quickly. I love that they're good for working outside, or popping out for a smoke. I love that they help me use up yarn in a more efficient way. I love that they're not as ubiquitous as gloves, or as purposefully cutesy as mittens.

That said, I have a million partial-skeins of this yarn laying around. Chances are, if you want a color or color combination you don't see, I either have the yarn already or can easily dye up a small batch.
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