Category Archives: People

How big are your hands?

I have absolutely no idea what happened to the last fortnight. I suspect some sort of super-local warping of the space-time continuum. I’m certain all the days happened, in their proper order, for all the things which I was meant to do on each day were, indeed, done; but spare time there was not.

We visited these shaggy beauties on my friends’ farm. I asked all the correct knitterly questions (breed etc) but none of the answers have stayed in my head. For want of a better picture, here are said sheep.

IMG_8971

Since making our fingerless gloves, I’ve been pondering on the size of hands. It’s rather easy to find standard size charts for other parts of the body (eg here), but I couldn’t find anything for hands. I’m sure they must exist, just not in my personal library or on the corner of the internet I searched.

I did a completely unscientific analysis of the top 50 free fingerless glove patterns in Ravelry to get a feel for the sizes out there. A surprising number had no size info at all. Many of those that did give an indication of size were one-size-fits-all (women) and where there was a measurement it was 7 inches circumference. In very loose terms, ‘small’ is between 6 and 7 inches , ‘medium’ between 7 and 8 inches and ‘large’ 8 to 8.5 inches.

The most surprising thing (to me) was that I have always thought of my hands as being small. I’m pretty compact overall (others have used words such as ‘short’ or ‘petite’) and my hands seem in proportion to the rest of me; so, I’m small = my hands are small. Turns out they’re decidedly average – 7 inches – so I’m medium, not small after all. Who’d a thunk it. I suspect though that I might have stumpy fingers, but given that I have no standards to compare them to, I can’t be sure.

In the interest of science knitting, I am going to take my trusty tape measure and measure as many hands as I can persuade to be measured. (That’s a whole lot of measuring just in that sentence.) If anyone would like to help me out, I will be recording the following (preferably in centimetres; I am of an age that uses a hotch potch of metric and imperial – lengths are centimetres and metres except for human heights which are feet and inches; distances are miles. I know, it’s illogical but there you go.):

  1. Circumference, on the dominant hand, measured at the widest point, inside the thumb.
  2. Total hand length, from a point level with base of thumb to the tip of the middle finger
  3. Middle finger length
  4. Gusset height, from base of thumb to inside thumb
  5. Gender and age (ages in children, just ‘adult’ will do for the rest of us).

Hand measurements

My personal measurements are:

  1. 18cm (7in)
  2. 16.5cm (6.5in)
  3. 7cm (2.75in)
  4. 7cm (2.75in)
  5. F adult

If you’d like to help out by leaving your measurements in the comments, that’d be great. I promise to share the results.

*I recommend getting a helper. Measuring your own hand is not as easy as you might think*

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Dashing from the garden

Far too glorious outside to be sitting indoors at a computer. Big littl’un declares that we’ve missed spring and gone straight to summer, and has been seen wearing a floaty frock. I’m not going that far – the voices in my head sound a lot like my Nanna, who would warn us ‘cast ne’er a clout ’til May be out’ – the inference being that if you were foolish enough to remove a layer and consequently caught a cold, don’t go crying to her about it. I did refrain from passing on those words of wisdom, but I didn’t take my jumper off.

I can’t get enough of my anemones. I thought I’d prefer the white ones (classy and understated, you know?), but secretly the rather garish purple blooms are the ones making me smile most.

The thing that made me smile most of all though was finding this little posy on the bathroom sink. It’s little littl’uns doing. She will be known, for the rest of the day, as Mrs Treasure.

posy of weeds

I have been pondering the size of things, hands in particular, more of which tomorrow if not the next day.

 

Wedding badger

Some old friends of ours are getting married today. The logistics of getting us all to England for the weekend proved impossible, so the T-boy set off on his own at an ungodly hour this morning.

I’m not an enormous fan of sending bought cards; they can be ridiculously expensive for a start and you know that they’re likely to be duplicated by other wedding guests. So I made our own. I had a phase of paper cutting a couple of years ago when it was all the rage in the online craft community, but haven’t done any for a while. This weekend’s wedding has a ‘vintage’ theme (eloquently described by the groom as ‘bunting and an old dress’) so paper cutting seemed like the perfect fit. I did it all with a craft knife but on reflection it might have been quicker to use scissors for some bits.

I should probably explain that the bride likes badgers.

Wedding badger

Congratulations guys.

Goblin boy (not his real name)

I have a new victim person to knit for. No, he’s not mine; I am well and truly done with having babies. I think this baby’s mum might be too after the time she had bringing him into the world.

We had a thoroughly lovely time meeting our new great cousin last weekend. (Strictly speaking he’s a second cousin, but all the other relatives get to be ‘great-‘ or ‘grand-‘ so we are too.)

Knitting will resume shortly.

P.S. Did I mention how lovely he is?

Knitting for love

There’s no getting away from it; knitting takes time. Lots of it.

Non-knitters think we’re crazy to spend months patiently (most of the time) knitting to end up with a jumper we could have bought in five minutes. What they don’t get is the pleasure that’s been taken in every stitch; the thoughts we’ve had while knitting that are now forever in the knitting; and the love that’s gone into the knitting for whoever we’re knitting for.

That’s what makes this picture special.

Knitted toys on pillow

Little littl’uns current pillow menagerie. Each of those was made for her – the left hand bear by her great aunt; the next by her great-great aunt; the penguin is in a ‘sleeping bag’ that used to be one of the first pair of socks I ever knit and her beloved Mousey is in his brand-new Granny-made trousers.

I think that means she’s one very loved girl.

There may have been crochet

We’ve had a mid-term break here; four days off school frustratingly arranged either side of a weekend. We went to stay with Granny and Granddad – 18 hours driving there and back. It’s a good job they’re worth the trip.

I did pack knitting of course. Two projects, just in case. Don’t judge me for this, but I didn’t do any. I may have picked up a few dropped stitches on the littl’uns’ knitting (their Granny had bought them some funky multi-coloured yarn) but I don’t think that counts. Granny and Little littl’un made a pair of trousers for her Mousey (stuffed, not real) but she has taken them to school for ‘news’ so I can’t even show you them.

I haven’t been entirely abstaining from yarn; there has been a small amount of crochet. I bought myself Erika Knight’s Crochet Workshop for Christmas with the intention of teaching myself to crochet this year. I know I have been able to crochet in the past; there was a memorable 70s theme student party for which a friend and I made granny squares (I’m not sure what purpose they were intended to serve; they may have been purely decorative). I think my friend taught me how to make them but I haven’t picked up a hook since.

I know I made Granny squares; here is the evidence

I know I made Granny squares; here is the evidence. The icky colour choices were for the purposes of looking more authentically seventies.

I have a couple of crochet garments and I regularly covet projects made by the talented Lucy at Attic 24, so in my mind that is perfect justification for (re-)learning to crochet myself. Crochet workshop says that it is:

the perfect book for the beginner. Under Erika Knight’s guidance even those who have never picked up a crochet hook before will soon be making gorgeous projects and all the while learning new techniques and adding to their skills. Each of the 20 projects in the book will teach you a new stitch, technique or trick, and will build on and consolidate crochet techniques already learnt in the preceding projects, until you have mastered a wide repertoire of skills and completed an enviable collection of gorgeous crocheted items.

Sounds good to me.

I have been a very diligent student and started at the beginning of the book. I’ve practiced the basic stitches and things like working in-the-round and into-spaces. There are twenty projects in the book and I can see myself trying most of them (one exception being the dog/cat bed; my dog is rather large and I’m not sure he’d be the most grateful recipient). There’s also an asymmetric cardigan which isn’t the kind of thing I’d normally wear, but I do like the flower motifs it’s constructed from and I have made a few of them. They’re mildly addictive.

Crochet flowers

Erika Knight’s Crochet Workshop and flower motifs crocheted from it.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with them. Maybe a scarf …. maybe a table runner …

Any suggestions?

Knit night

I always thought of knitting as a rather solitary pastime. Even when I was knitting in a room full of people, I was usually the only one knitting. We never talked about the knitting; sometimes we even pretended I wasn’t doing it. There was no discussion on the merits of straight vs circular needles, or what the latest knitting magazines were like, or who had snagged the biggest yarn bargain of the week.

That changed a year and a half ago when one of my friends read Kate Jacobs’ The Friday Night Knitting Club and decided to start a knitting group. We’ve met once a month since then; a core group of about six of us with other occasional droppers-in. We’re a right varied lot in our knitting style. Maybe you know knitters just like us? We have:

  • the prolific knitter. Her projects always cover her lap. She can knit stocking stitch at a prodigious rate; she either has a time machine in her bag or she has taught herself to knit whilst sleeping.
  • the toy knitter. Produces beautiful toys and novelty items. Knits so tightly the needles squeak.
  • the quiet technician. Never looks like she’s knitting but has always turned out an impeccable half a glove or a hat by the end of the night.
  • the newbie knitters. Progressing in a timely fashion from garter to stocking stitch.
  • the un-knitter. Loses concentration while talking/eating/drinking and has to rip back her work. Has been known to leave knit night with less knitting than she arrived with.

One of our regulars moved to Houston at the end of December, and we miss her just about as much as we thought we would. We did some secret knitting for her before she went. It was my first collaborative knitting venture; each of us made rectangle(s) using what ever stitch pattern we liked – ranging from plain stocking stitch to cables – then I seamed them together to make cushion covers. I admit to being a tad on the controlling side, so I had to remind myself that this was not MY project and not for ME, it was supposed to reflect the group, and our friend,and what she meant to us. If I’d been knitting them by myself, I’d never have thought to put the red roses on in a million years. But do you know what? They mean something; to the person who knitted them because our friend loves gardening; to our friend because she knows who made them for her; and in the end, to me, because they taught me to let go and let the project belong to everyone.

We gave them to our friend just before she left. We were really proud of them, and I hope she  loved them too. She also loved the bikini that prolific knitter made her in about ten minutes flat! (For lounging by the pool in Houston, you understand.)

Collaborative cushion covers

Farewell brave knitter. We made you some cushions so you don’t forget us!

Knit night tonight is at my house, and I can’t wait.

P.S. I took the last bags of old clothes to the recycling centre today. It felt really good.

P.P.S. I may have passed some of my hoarding frugal tendencies on to Big littl’un – we were buying a bunch of daffodils at the weekend; “look Mum” she said “we should get these ones, they come with a free elastic band”. Oh dear.