Thursday, August 13, 2009

Monochrome Uno, rambling with pictures

Long long ago, when I first became a dedicated knitter, I knit some mittens without a pattern. They were top-down, and very cute.

picture of first knitted mittensFirst mittens, 2004

picture of second knitted mittensSecond mittens, 2004*

More recently, with many pairs of mittens under my belt, I have attempted to do a top-down mitten, and have been unhappy with the results. This hasn't stopped me from perservering. This monochromatic pair I started last winter/spring was definitely going to be top-down. And to prepare, I started out by knitting the various parts that needed to be added--the thumb and the insert--before knitting the main mitten, so they could all be assembled as I knit along.

Then I had troubles getting the exact mitten I was happy with. I only pulled it back out last week, and finally got a pattern that worked for me. But it turns out that the mitten that worked not only had the wrong number of stitches to match up to the insert, but with its 2-colour work, the mitten was way smaller than the insert. This troubled me dearly.

The solution was suggested when my knitting coworker offered the idea of knitting the insert on a smaller needle. That's when I realised I didn't even need to use the exact yarn. And based on my own previous post, I realised I had the perfect yarn. So I pulled out the monochrome sock yarn and knit a new insert. I'm sure the relative sizes don't show well in the following picture, but the lower insert, made from the same yarn, is way too big, and the upper insert is perfect.

picture of mitten in progress, with parts
Then, since I had changed my pattern, the thumb I had knit wasn't right. So I used the old thumb as my ball of yarn to knit a new thumb.

picture of two partial knitted thumbs
Last night I finished the ribbings, and today I wove in the last of the ends. One monochrome mitten, complete! (the following picture is three shots of the same mitten, all shtuck together)

picture of three shots of the mitten
*Little story about these rainbow mittens. I was knitting them five years ago at a school event. A little girl in kindergarten came to see what I was doing. She was very enchanted with the rainbow mittens unfolding on my needles, and went to ask her mom to make her some. When her mom said no, she couldn't make rainbow mittens, the little girl sobbed like her heart was broken. That little girl is now ten, studying ballet with my daughter, and would be mortified if I told that story to her.

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