When the world lost David Bowie, there was an audible gasp and whimper. Tears flooded the streets. Art was made to celebrate his life, and express the sorrow and loss. I bought a zippered pouch featuring an homage to Ziggy Stardust from Slipped Stitch Studios–one for me, one for a friend who has a love for Bowie that runs very deep. At the same time, the genius over at Pandia’s Jewels came up with her own tribute to the Man from Mars in the form of neon orange blotted yarn. The color was named Ziggy Played Guitar, and I bought it in the Snug base (fingering weight, 75/25 Merino wool/nylon) in anticipation of making something for this same friend who loved Bowie and Ziggy. However, I had no idea what it was going to be.
I started with a search on Ravelry that filtered out patterns in my library that used no more than 462 yds. of fingering weight yarn, since that was the estimated amount I’d be getting. I looked at EVERYTHING. I wanted to use as much of the yarn as possible while still making something functional. Functional meant some kind of accessory like a shawl or a hat since I only had so much yarn. I filtered through accessories until I found four or five sets of long fingerless gloves that made me cry out in excitement. I messaged my friend to see if long fingerless gloves might be something she’d like to have. She responded very positively. I assigned the yarn to the pattern I liked and saved the pairing. I had to delay starting the gloves until I had finished some of the other projects ahead of it.
Recently, I finally found the time to devote to make the fingerless gloves. There has been a lot going on at home, adding a bit of stress, which always sends my Knitting ADD into overdrive. Though I had three or four WIPs, I needed to have something small and repetitive that traveled well so I could fit it in my purse wherever I went. It was kismet when I finally pulled Ziggy out of its project bag and located all the needles required. I hadn’t planned on getting it done now but it fit all the requirements I had: small, repetitive, easily memorized, with the bonus of lace. It was time to cast on.
The Opera-Length Lace Gloves by Shiri Mor start with a small 3×3 rib around the fingers, which moves into the first set of the lace pattern repeat, which is only six rows long. I expanded it to include two lace repeats because I liked the look better, but the pattern only requires one. From there, the hand is put on hold in favor of starting the thumb, which is also the length of one lace repeat. Then, the thumb is attached to the rest of the hand and the glove takes shape. Rather than use a thumb gusset to taper the hand, the shaping of the glove is achieved through changing the size of the needles. Start with US 2 for the first bit, then move to US 1 for a few lace repeats, and down to US 0 for a few repeats until the wrist is complete. Then it’s back up to US 1 for the forearm and on up to US 2 for 15 lace repeats that will finish the length of the gloves. Then, US 7 needles are used to make the final few rows of 3×3 ribbing and bind-off.
The gloves don’t take a whole lot of time to make, if you like monotonous repetition, which I do. It does, however, take a much longer amount of time if it’s a distraction project from a double knit scarf, a blanket, a second sock, and an endless amount of I-chord. Like I said, the Knitting ADD has been tickled a bit aggressively lately. Oddly enough, the neon colors were soothing. I liked the way the yarn worked with the lace. I was a little worried about the way the color was pooling during the US 0 needle portion but it kind of looks like Ziggy’s iconic lightning bolt, so I can’t be mad at it. It’s hardly even noticeable when the gloves are worn. I think they look fantastic.
I named these gloves Ziggy Wore Gloves to pay tribute to the man who inspired the yarn. I chose long fingerless gloves to reference Ziggy Stardust’s sweater outfit that included arm warmers, leg warmers, and a body suit. I’m extremely happy with the results, as is my Husband. I feel good about these gloves, and about giving them to my friend. If I were to do a pair for myself, I’d probably switch to larger needles and adjust accordingly since I have larger hands than the average woman. The gloves still fit, as is, but it’s a little tight.
I sent them off to my friend, and she said they came at just the right time. My bright, happy Ziggy gloves were already working their magic. When I told her the name of the yarn and the inspiration behind it all, she agreed it was all very fitting. I couldn’t ask for more.