Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Swatcharama (picture heavy post!)

I've been percolating mittens. Yes, it can be painful, at times. There's not always enough time or brain cells to properly give them the attention they need.

I woke up one morning thinking about some yarn scraps that might be generous enough. I spent the day (in the only minutes I could steal) pondering, weighing, matching, and finally came up with Mountain Colors scraps combined with some KnitPicks' bare in their fingering wool/nylon/donegal tweedy yarn.

This was my first swatch:

mitten swatch photo

I liked it, but the bottom line of the pattern is jagged. This is a result from the stranding. I decided to try it with a thicker yarn and doubled the strands. This is the second swatch:

mitten swatch photo

Up at the top of the swatch, you can see some tweedy green knitted in. I tried a few different ways of combining it, but was never happy with the results. The green tweed was reserved for another project. I also thought the double strands was fiddly, so I proceeded with the mitten, single stranded. This is what I got:

mitten swatch photo

I was quite happy with the results, even though I still had some jagged lines. But a careful examination of the knitted fabric had me concerned about its warmth. I've seen many patterns that call for this weight/gauge of yarn, but I didn't like it, at least not for this incarnation. So I started over, this time with the yarns held double stranded. I knit the cuff, then knitted a ribbed cuff to go inside. In the following picture, you can see the mitten in progress. At the point I took this picture, I was on the verge of ripping it out again, because the outer cuff was a little narrower than I'd planned, and the inner cuff made the wrist just look swollen.

mitten in progress photo

After consideration, I decided to proceed. This is what I finished this morning:

mitten picture showing hand back

And this shows the palm:

mitten picture showing palm

This is a peek at the hidden cuff:

mitten picture showing cuff

And this is the other side of the thumb. I'm quite happy with how that matched up.

mitten picture of thumb

Next up, mitten two... Except I've got so many other things I want to knit on, too!

The mitten is a combination of patterns and techniques. The braided cuff is described in Folk Solks by Nancy Bush. The thumb was charted in SELBUVOTTER: Biography of a Knitting Tradition. The palm pattern is from Favorite Mittens. The back of the hand was something I may have seen somewhere but it's been bouncing about in my head. The cuff patterns are inspired by Cowichan patterns, which remind me of BC.

Next up, mitten two... Except I've got so many other things I want to knit on, too!

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