I’ve finally bound off the Chrysanthemum Mittens that I cast on for Hillarey last year for her birthday. She knows about them so there will be no surprise when pulls them out of her stocking next weekend. That’s okay right? I still have to weave in the tails and there aren’t many. My plan is to get that task done either tonight or tomorrow. Then I can block these babies.
When I’m knitting colorwork I usually ask myself why I don’t do more. I love the process, but colorwork is not terribly portable like lace and socks are.
Just to satisfy my “more colorwork” craving I cast on the project that has been Number 1 in my main Ravelry Queue for a very long time. The Latvian Fingerless Mittens were on the cover of the Knitting Traditions magazine a year ago. I pulled some yarn from the “Remainder Bin”. This bin has the stragglers of discontinued yarn lines or odd sized skeins. When there aren’t enough skeins left to make a nice display they go into the Remainder Bin. There were just a few skeins of the Merino Lambswool Angora that I had milled several years ago. The pattern called for five different colors. There was just enough.
When I first cast on the main color, Salsa Dancing, and began knitting up the wrist I’ve got to admit they looked a bit ummm — bright! (okay I said garish originally but I’m recanting to call them bright)
Because I have scrawny narrow petite wrists I began with size 3US dpns instead of the suggested 4US. At the beginning of the palm and thumb I switched to the 4US to make sure there was enough width to stretch across my hand without feeling tight. With the blue and teal boxes on the hand the mittens began to loose their eye popping quality (which was a very good thing!). The mitten is a very quick knit and after a few days I was at the end of the colorwork chart and ready to knit the last few rows and bind off, then knit the thumb, which will be a snap.
I finished the mitten using the technique in the pattern. Apparently not only are my wrists abnormally scrawny narrow petite but so must my fingers be. There was a distinct gap where cold wind could whip down inside the mitten to chill the hand. Not good. The finished mitten sat on the coffee table for a day while I decided what to do about it. Finally I picked it up and frogged back to where the colorwork ended and knit a simple 2×2 rib for just over half an inch.
It looks pretty good and all I have left to do now is review Jeny’s Stretchy Bind Off in Knitty (I’m not sure why I can’t commit this method to memory). The tails are all woven in already. There were a lot. This is the pile of tails that I cut after weaving them in.
All this knitting and not a word about the DVD socks? The second DVD sock is almost finished. All that’s left on it is the ribbed cuff. And then, hopefully, my memory will have retained the stretchy bind off in Knitty.
The past few days I haven’t been feeling well so yesterday I drove into Tulsa to see the doctor. Because the DVD socks are close to being finished I took a ball of yarn and needles for the next pair of DVD socks. This was made easy because when I wound the yarn for the current DVD socks I wound about four other skeins of sock yarn that were in my stash. I didn’t really look – I just grabbed.
Generally I don’t wind yarn into a ball until I’m ready to knit with it. I like to think I can see more of the colors in the skein form. Which brings up a topic I’ve tried to explain to people several times. Some yarns are prettier as skeins than they are in a ball and/or knit. When you knit socks for instance there can be color casualties. Just a few more or less stitches on the needles can alter how the color repeat in a yarn knits up – whether it will pool or stripe or even be altogether random. The same thing with needle size. And changes in gauge due to stress or other life influences will alter your color sequence while knitting.
People ask me in the booth if a particular yarn will pool or stripe. It’s impossible to tell them exactly what they want to know. If I knit a sock 44 stitches around (before mentioned petite hands match petite feet) on a size 3US needle – I might get striping. If by mistake (like in the first DVD socks) I turn the heel and because I’m distracted (watching a particularly good movie on DVD) I knit up the ankle with 46 stitches on the needle I get a bit of pooling. You’ll see a lot of evidence of this in Ravelry – and if you’re a sock knitter you’ve likely experienced it yourself. One sock pools, one sock stripes.
My friend Linda in OKC will likely back me up and say I’m not telling tall tales. She’s taught classes in pooling at her LYS and is an avid sock knitter.
Here’s the next DVD sock. The stash yarn is Collinette Jitterbug in colorway Bright Charcoal. As far as I can tell there is no rhythm to the color changes. They’re bright and colorful. When I looked this colorway up in Ravelry (after casting on) I was a bit dubious on whether I’d like them. But so far I’m satisfied with the randomness of of the bright color bits scattered among the gray and black.