Search The Homestead

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Week Three - Mug Hugger

Week Three Project - Mug Hugger

I ran into an interesting problem in this the 3rd week of my 52 Projects.  I have too many projects to choose from and no distinct order to get them accomplished.  Because of this strange problem, I found myself dithering.  Until suddenly I realized that if I didn't choose, I would fall behind!  And it is way too early to fall behind.

So I chose a quick project at random and ended up with a Mug Hugger.  This silly little project was inspired by one in A Knitter's Year, but I did it my way.  (More on that in a moment.)  It is purportedly to insulate a mug in order to keep your drink warmer longer, but I think mine would work better turning an ugly mug into a fancy pen holder.

Essentially, I knit a short scarf and then bound the edges of the short ends together, leaving a hole for the mug handle.  My mug hugger turned out too wide for most of our mugs, so that it would be difficult to drink from it.  At the same time, I think it was slightly too short, so it is a tight squeeze to get the thing fitted over the handles.

However, I made it out of cotton, which I haven't worked with before, so that was a nice change.  Not only is the cotton all natural, but it is machine washable.  It seemed important since I am notoriously clumsy and the hugger would definitely get dirty.

Book Review: A Knitter's Year

The Knitter's Year: 52 Make-in-a-Week Projects-Quick Gifts and Seasonal Knits As I mentioned when I first listed my New Years Resolutions, I had planned to use A Knitter's Year as a guide for my 52 Projects in 52 Weeks.  The book, of course, is designed with just that idea in mind.  It contains 52 fairly simplistic projects categorized by season.    However, I am now certain that I will not be using this book for all of my projects, and not just because I want to sew.

The Pros:

A Knitter's Year has a lot going for it.  Not only is it an inspiring idea (clearly), but the projects are not too daunting.  The pictures are wonderful and give a clear idea of what the project should look like, although some allowance must be made for scale.  (Hello, Egg Cups , you look as big as hats.)

Debbie Bliss is a big name among some knitters, though admittedly not this one.   So I know just having a book by her is a thrill for some.  I assume that since she is so well known, she can be forgiven for exclusively using her own brand of yarn, too.  That's just good marketing, baby.

A lot of the projects are quirky, fun little ideas that may inspire a knitter to pick up her sticks.

The Cons:

Unfortunately, this book has some serious drawbacks, if you are a knitter.  For one, while there are a multitude of varied projects in the book, more than once I found myself thinking, really, another hat, scarf, or baby bootie?  No joke, there are two different patterns for baby hats, and four for booties.

And speaking of hats.  I seriously question why every round project (hats, socks, booties, tea cozy, gloves, etc.) is knit on two needles.  I knit a lot of hats and socks (a lot!) and I so much prefer knitting on double-points.  You get a better sense for the end product, and no seams.  Clearly this is the author's preference, but I know I will have to adjust these patterns before I devote the time.

Scale is another issue.  If one only knits one project a week, then why are all these projects on such a small scale?  Fully half of the projects in the book are for children or babies.  The scale of the projects makes me wonder if they are just afterthoughts for your week.  Some projects could be completed in a day (like today's Mug Hugger.)

Finally, for all that this is supposedly a good book for beginners, this is not a teaching book.  I, for one, need to learn to make cables before I can tackle half of the patterns.  And that is frustrating.

All in all, I am glad I have the book, but I am also glad I did not commit to faithfully following its every pattern.  I will be amending them as I see fit, and looking elsewhere for patterns that fit my whims.


  1. I think you should coin this product the "Mugger Hugger."

  2. That is hilarious! But I envision a slightly different knit pattern for that!


I love your comments! You do not need to have a GMail account to comment - you can use the Name/URL option, or even Anonymous. Either way, I love to hear from you! Thanks!