Saturday, September 13, 2014
Brown is the New Black Gloves
The plan for this project has its roots in a colour theory course I took back in 2001 at George Brown College in Toronto. One night the instructor gave each member of the class a personal colour theory analysis, and I found out that I was not, as I had cluelessly thought, a winter, but an autumn. Even before taking that course, I had been a big subscriber to the seasonal palette wardrobe theory, which essentially holds that everyone looks best in a certain colour palette. I'd found it a sound idea to shop and dress in strict accordance to one palette, because it meant that I didn't need to own so many clothes given that clothes, shoes, and accessories chosen according to a given colour scheme work together so much better. It should also mean one looks one's best, but it hadn't in my case as I'd been building my wardrobe on the wrong damn palette. So a long, expensive process of transitioning to an autumn palette wardrobe began.
I was basically done with the transition process in four years or so, but this year I decided to finally get rid of the last lingering black items in my wardrobe. There weren't many. Basically it was just several pairs of track pants, because I could never find any track pants that were dark brown and wasn't about to buy them in, say, orange or turquoise, and a few things I had kept to wear with the black track pants: a black backpack bought in 1998, and a pair of black wool gloves bought around the same time. Both backpack and gloves were, as you would expect, much the worse for their sixteen years of use, and were about due to be replaced anyway. I ordered two pairs of dark brown yoga pants and a snazzy new leather-trimmed canvas Everlane backpack over the net, and then, when it came to replacing the wool gloves, decided after a quick, discouraging Google for brown wool gloves that I should make them myself. A rummage through my stash produced a nearly full 100g skein of dark brown DK wool, so I then searched for a glove pattern that required DK weight yarn.
The above pattern was the one I settled on. It's the Hands of Blue pattern, designed by Lucy Hague, and is available for free.
And here are photos of the finished gloves that I made. The yarn used here is Sirdar's Country Style DK. It's machine washable, which is good as I always found I had to wash my black wool gloves regularly. I had bought and used a little of that 100g skein to make a panda bear dress and purse for my grandniece in 2013, and even after doing the gloves there's still a good bit of the skein left. I think I could make another glove out of it, which is good to know in case I should lose one of this existing pair. I still have a single cashmere-lined brown calfskin glove, the mate for which I lost something like seven years ago, that I can't bear to throw away, though eventually I'll probably cut up the leather and use it for trim on some sewing project or for doll shoes or some such.
These gloves are perhaps the third pair of gloves I have ever made. I discovered from my first couple of glove-knitting experiences that I disliked knitting fingers because they're so fiddly, and I found out I still feel that way. It is worth the work, though, as you can fit the gloves exactly to your hand. Then too, I like being able to make gloves with the long wrists that are harder to find in manufactured gloves, and which make for a clean line at the wrist and leave no wrist exposed to the winter elements. And these gloves cost me nothing at all to make, which was especially gratifying considering that I'll mostly be using them for hiking and shovelling snow.