Sunday, October 23, 2011

Komi Mitten 4

Mitten 4 from Charlene Schurch's Mostly Mittens. Cascade Pastaza (still my top favorite for mitten knitting). Corrugated ribbed cuff and stranded colorwork. These started out with the specifications for a child's mitten knit in a smaller gauge; I blew them up to a bulkier yarn and knit them on a size 4 needle.The llama-wool blend makes them warm, and the dense, tightly-knit fabric makes them Super Warm.

Some of the modifications that I made included casting on 38 stitches for the ribbing and increasing to 48 for the hand portion; starting the decreases for the top of the mitten on row 38; increasing the thumb gusset to only 17 stitches; and starting the decreases for the thumb about 6 or 8 rows before what the pattern calls for.

Full disclosure: I ripped out the top of the mittens, after they were completely finished, because they were huge - much too long, even for someone with more normal-sized adults hands. And I did the same thing with one of the thumbs (but not the other, I couldn't find the end of the yarn and I was just ready to  stop knitting these mittens.) As often happens, blocking places enough time and space between knitter and product for you to be able to fall in love with the end result and forget all the trials. Once they were completely dry, I thought, now that's a good mitten!

I'm happy with these and may keep them, as they are still a bit wee for most adults. I'm starting a new pair (this is my new knit-in-the-car project) with 44 stitches cast on for the ribbing, increasing to 48 for the mitten, and working all but the ribbing on a size 5 needle. I'm hoping that it makes the mitten just a bit larger and decreases the effort of working it on a smaller needle.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Perfectionism

Dear Knitting Gods:


Why is my knitting so wonky of late? Since summer, I've been having severe gauge issues, misread patterns, mittens that are much too short or tight or loose or long. How can something that is supposed to be enjoyable be so difficult?

I know. I shouldn't have started on a complicated Fair Isle sweater when I'm having these problems. But working in a knitting store is akin to being crew member on Odysseus' boat as it passes the Sirens: every day, the yarn calls at me, buy me...buy me...buy me. So, I'm trying to save that project for moments when my attention is fully upon my knitting.

But all the other half-dones? The Mitered Square Blanket that I started to sew up on Thursday at the hairdresser's, and then put aside out of boredom and discontent over the look of the seam? And the mittens that I'm trying to knit for my sister? I'm on pair number four, with the previous three being Bella's Mittens (too short the first time, too short, again, the second time) and a pair of Komi Mittens (too wide and too long). Well, really pair number five: because number four are the Komi Mittens in Cascade Pastaza. One mitten completed. Beautiful. Great colors. Showed off at the store and the response? That's a really Big Mitten. Now ripped back to do the decrease again.






I feel like I'm breathing and sleeping and eating knitting. But not getting anywhere. Even super simple fingerless gloves in Blue Sky Brushed Suri? On the first finished glove, I neglected to notice that I needed to work 10 more rounds before placing the thumb stitches aside. And now I'm on the second, and almost out of yarn.

Still, I keep plugging away. The tide's gotta turn, right?

Wish me luck.

Yours,
Janet

PS with apologies to H. for borrowing her template for this post!

PS2 - Could it all come down to not reading directions? Clearly, I'm just not paying attention? I posted this by accident on my weaving study group blog before noticing that I was doing a new post in the wrong blog.