Thursday, October 9, 2008

I'm a Real Knitter now!

I can tell, because I'm working on two projects at once. :D

You see, now that I have colorwork figured out, I can knit the mitts that Michael wants to use on cold days when he's being Santa. But, as I mentioned last week, I didn't have yarn for that.

We discussed it, and decided that we'd go to the yarn store and pick some out. But the only night they are open late is on Monday. And Monday is the day I knit.

So, I started the day by working on the September socks from the Chameleon Colorworks Sock of the Month club.

It's an interesting pattern; mostly purling, with stitches that are slipped for four rows (I didn't know you could do that!) and then two rows of knitting, to make a kind of offset basket weave. It also uses the Bambino yarn that I'm so very fond of. And it has an Afterthought heel, which I've been wanting to try.

So, even though I'm not terribly fond of this colorway, I thought I'd give it a go. Here's what I got done before Michael got home.

Basketweave Sock Started, in yellow, gray and beige

When he saw it, by the way, he said that he loves the colors! So this one is going to be for him. Assuming that it fits him, that is.

When we got to the store, I found that they really don't have much in the way of solid color sock yarns. I should have noticed that one of the two other times I was in that store, but I wasn't looking for them then, and I'm afraid that all I saw was the gorgeous splendor of the yarn that they did have, not the lack of what they didn't.

I was hoping for a nice, bright green, blue, gold, red and white as the five colors I would use for the pattern.

They had a very dark green, dark cobalt blue, kind of pale yellow, red, and exactly one ball of white with some blue in it, that was a few yards shy of what was called for in the pattern. But the lady in the store pointed out that I could change the colors around, and save enough of the white to make it last. (I wanted the main part of the mitt to be red and white, to go with the Santa suit.)

So we took what we could get, in more or less the colors we wanted, and I came home and settled down for a long evening of knitting, happy as a clam.

I'm using the Latvian Fingerless Mitts pattern from Knitting Classic Style by Veronik Avery, which my friend Dora loaned me very soon after she taught me to knit.

I made the first few rows, which don't happen to have colorwork, and they were easily large enough to fit over Michael's hand. So I happily went to work on the rest, hoping to get the entire cuff done, and the main hand pattern started.

Which I did, as you can see.

Colorwork Cuff, started

And, the inside, because I'm still tickled that there are no floats.

Inside of the cuff. No floats, lots of trailing yarn

All that yarn is where I was adding and removing colors, and will be worked in. Well, really, it's theoretically already worked in, but I want to be really sure, so I'm going to work it in a bit more.

So I got the cuff and the first repeat of the main pattern finished, and realized there were a couple of problems.

First, I'm not delighted with the way the colors fall.

I was thinking of hiding dirt, when I started the cuff, so I used the dark green in place of the white, which I wanted to save anyway. I failed to realize how important it is to have that color represented in the cuff, so that it looks like the cuff is really part of the mitt. Goodness knows I should have realized that; it's the kind of thing I was taught as an infant. But I was so concerned about saving the yarn that I didn't.

I also failed to realize how very difficult it would be to see the cobalt blue against the dark green. Once more, I should have. I work with color and contrast every day. But somehow I overlooked it.

But the most important thing is that they are too small. Way too small.

I took the time to do a swatch, and everything, but I forgot to check to see how large the mitt was supposed to be. It turns out that it's 7.5 inches in circumference. Which might fit an "average woman" but sure won't fit me, and certainly isn't going to fit over Michael's hand. If he could put it on backwards, so it wouldn't have to go over his thumb, maybe. But not the way you have to wear them.

Mine is also about a quarter of an inch smaller than that, even. Apparently, the yarn does draw in a bit.

So yeah, it's time to restart.

Which wouldn't be a problem; this is on an eight-stitch repeat, so I could easily add a couple of extra repeats and get all the room I need.

Except that there's no way that white yarn will make it.

So, I'm going to order some undyed white, and I'll use some as white, and some I'm going to try dying green and some gold, so I can have the colors I want, too!

Can't wait to see how that turns out!

Wish me luck!