Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Lil Pink Sock

Not the true lil pink sock (this link shows a Mutts cartoon with the lil pink sock, but go here to look at the actual Mutts website), but that's what I think of when I look at the tiny mitten that I'm working on for a class on knitting Latvian mittens.
This is the lining. You make an inner mitten out of softer yarn, then knit an outer mitten of warmer, sometimes scratchier, more resilient yarn with lots of color work. The liner here is knit from Baby Ull on a size 2 needle. The yarn is surprisingly woolly and sturdy, despite the fine gauge. Here's the thumb view:
Since I took these photos, I've started the outer shell of the mitten, which involves color work, stranding, and more tiny needles. I was working on double points but quickly lost patience with all the pointy ends sticking up and demanding organization, so I've switched to a 40" circular.

Working with two different yarns at the same time is very tricky and a new skill for me, and it's not easy. I did find a method in The Principles of Knitting by June Hiatt that calls for working one color at a time while slipping all the stitches destined for the other color, then rounding again and working color B while slipping the stitches from Color A. Could this possibly work? She acknowledges that it might seem like double the effort, but that the payoff in only working with one yarn at a time actually makes the process quicker than the dreaded carrying of two colors.

And I'm using Jamieson Double Knit yarn, after ditching the Blue Sky Alpaca that I'd bought for the project. One of the teachers brought in a big bag of skeins left over from some kits that went unsold. This stuff is amazing: it's sturdy in your hand (I know, there it is again, but I live in the Midwest and it is very cold and I need some reliability these days), proud, and easy to work with. The alpaca had a slimy feel to it - some would say slippery, but it just didn't say Mitten to me - but this yarn makes me feel like a knitter from the past. I've been lurking on Schoolhouse Press' site, admiring the other yarns in this type of family (the site link for yarn is "Wool" - sort of like going to a restaurant with great food, where the menu says "Steak" or "Beer," and you know that the simplicity means something reliable and good), then resisting the urge to buy many woolly yarns.

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