As well as teaching myself to knit Shetland Lace this year, I've been learning how to knit in the round. A few months ago I was lucky enough to be given two rolls of old knitting needles, one of which contained loads of different sets of four needles. I made a couple of pairs of socks first and have now moved onto gloves. I think gloves could be the new socks. They're such fun to knit, although the fingers can be a bit fiddly, especially if your needles are slippery. Mine are always clattering onto the floor leaving the stitches unsupported and, guess what, they start to unravel. I've also managed to lose two needles this way. Can someone pleases invent a sat nav for lost knitting needles? As with lace knitting, I think bamboo or wood are probably best.
I knitted my first pair of gloves using a Debbie Bliss pattern on two needles. This was just as well because at the time I was having to take the bus to work as the railway was closed due to flooding. I don't think I could have coped with four needles going round corners. (When I tried doing Fair Isle socks in the car going up to Scotland this spring I lost the plot big time - my pattern book still has the scars to prove it!) However, this meant that I had to seam up everything and I'm not exactly a great fan of sewing-up (huge under-statement). So for the second glove I moved onto four needles. This worked until after the thumb, when I was alarmed to see the second finger appearing where the little finger should go! It took a bit of working out but I managed to fiddle with the pattern until I got it right. They're lovely and soft in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino and I really like the colours.
Now I'm working on a pair of half-finger mittens for my other half (check out the piece in this month's Knitting magazine (43) about knitting for the men in your life). He says he's always wanted a pair of these (honest) and plans to wear them for cold-weather photography, of which he does a lot. This is my second proper design project as I'm working it all out as I go along, using a pattern from a very old BBC book called Knitting Fashion as my starting-point. As he's Scottish and Scotland are (so far) doing well in the Rugby World Cup I thought I might embroider a St Andrew's cross onto the navy blue. I'm using Rowan Wool Cotton, which has a lovely feel and should keep out the cold even when we go down to the South Atlantic in a few weeks' time.