Friday, January 30, 2009

Finished Object: Coastal Chill Mittens

I have been dreaming these mittens since early December. The dreams started when I was knitting the grey and black socks for my son. I found that once I started knitting up the yarn, I had a very emotional reaction to the colours together, and I realised it was reminding me of the gorgeous sweaters that are knit by the coastal artisans in BC. I read up about Cowichan sweaters and looked at patterns. It was about then that I decided I wanted to make some mittens inspired by the patterns.

When I stumbled upon the New Year's 20% off yarn sale, I decided to pick out yarn for these mittens I wanted to make. I was looking at a traditional black and grey combination, but then I found this blue yarn where I had one light skein, one dark skein, and one that was a combination of the two. While blue isn't traditional at all, I'm not making traditional mittens. I'm making mittens to suit my fancy, and I went for the blue combination. The yarn sat by my computer for a few weeks, egging me on. I just needed to finish a few projects on the needles before I could cast on.

Then on Friday night, I had a sleepless migraine kinda night. There were lots of knitting images going on my head during some of the sleepless hours, and as I was working on these mittens-to-be, I decided I should return to my mitten-knitting roots and knit them top down. I did that for the first several pairs I made, and quite enjoyed it. Saturday I was tired and rather trashed, and didn't do much but knit. I cast on and knit three different options, each of which had an unsatisfactory top. After frogging my third mitten, I decided to return to the bottom-up structure, where I could use decreases to ensure the shaping I desired.

Take home lesson: Don't try to follow up on plans made while in the middle of a migraine. Maybe think it through a little better when things are better?

Had I not had three false starts on Saturday, I might have finished the pair all in one weekend. As it was, I had the first one finished by Sunday night. It's taken me all week to work through mitten two, which was finished last night, and I wove in the ends this morning at coffee.

When I had one mitten finished, I weighed the remaining ball of the 2-colour yarn. The 50 gram ball was down to 25 grams. I knit fearlessly forward, only to run out of yarn on the thumb. I could have striped the thumb, and maybe I should have striped the thumb, but honestly? I'm perfectly happy with the way it is.

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