Wednesday, February 4, 2009

All thumbs!

The first mitten I did, as I said, was way too small. I also had followed EZ's instructions for making an afterthought thumb by snipping a stitch at the thumb joint and exposing 13 stitches to place on needles. Then, picking up two more stitches on each side, knitted round and round on the 15 stitches to make a thumb. I didn't like the way it turned out. It pulled to the side and was uncomfortable. Some of that was probably the fact that the whole mitten was too small, but after doing a Ravelry search of the pattern, found that a lot of people were using a gusset created by Kathryn Ivy to place the thumb in the seam on the side of the mitten. I am using that technique now and am pleased with how it looks so far.
Began a shawl last night, also. I saw the book in Yorkshire Yarns, one of my favorite LYS's. It is Wrapped in Comfort: Knitted Lace Shawls by Alison Jeppson Hyde. The shawls caught my eye because they are very different from what you usually see in shawl patterns. They are shaped to drape in a lovely way around your shoulders in a similar fashion of EZ's Pi R Squared shawl. But these are rounded. Each shawl is absolutely beautiful. I finally bought the book for myself and enough yarn to make a shawl. I began it last night. It is the "Michelle's Shawl". Every shawl in the book has a story behind it of who Alison designed for. There is even a beautiful shawl that was inspired by 9/11.
I am using Pagewood Farm fingering weight hand-dyed sock yarn for this shawl. It is truly a beautiful color and lovely to knit. More on that next time.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I Want a New Glove

A new mitten, actually. This is the start of a new one. My computer makes this yarn look very "red-violet" (remember that Crayola color?) but it is actually a very beautiful chocolate brown color. Cascade 220 #2403. Do you wish Cascade would begin naming their colors instead of numbering them? I kinda do. #2403 doesn't sound as delicious as "Chocolate Kiss" or "Chocolate in the Morning", or something like that. Regardless, Cascade 220 is one of the best go to yarns there is. Guess that makes it reasonable to forgive them for their lack of creativity when it comes to names for the wonderful fibers that are 220 yarn.

This is the famous EZ pattern that you seem to see all the time. I was part of the Elizabeth's Year yahoo group that Kelley Petkun at KnitPicks put together. It was based on the book by Elizabeth Zimmermann "Knitter's Almanac". I made it through a couple of the projects-a Pi Shawl, and the Leggings. But I never got to the mittens in the May chapter.

Well, having worn fingerless gloves through the majority of our Northwest winter, I have decided a pair of honest to goodness mittens would be smart. Enter this pattern. Mitered mittens. I like the way it looks, although I have to admit that I have been knitting and ripping for quite some time. I knitted a whole mitten that I frogged. It was way too small and since I wanted these for me, that wouldn't work. Frogged. The whole thing. Rip.

Wound the yarn back up. Started again. Added 4 stitches. Went up one needle size to a US 6. Now I got off track a little. Instead of beginning with the k1p1 rib that EZ talks about, I did a garter stitch for 5 rounds. Very pretty, I thought approvingly. Knitted on for about 30 rounds. Well, the garter stitch did what? Some of you already know. It flared out like a bell around my wrist. I could have filled in for the church bells next Sunday, but instead.....frogged. The whole thing. Rip.

So this is the 3rd time. A charm, as is said. At this point, I figured I'd go for broke and use a k1b, p1 for 5 rounds. Looked good, but as I found out with the garter stitch, you have to get well into the mitering before you can tell if it will "hold in" enough to be a comfortable mitten shape. I am at the thumb shaping now, and I think it is going to work fine. So, now that I have found the perfect ribbing for the mittens, I am nearly sick to death of them! Figures.