I’m in the midst of last-second holiday gift knitting… not really my style, I’m more of a slo-mo knitter and not much of a holiday or gift-giving type, either. In any case, I whipped up a pair of super-bulky mittens.
My wife looked at them and said something to the effect of “if you’re going to be an excellent knitter, you’re going to have to try for excellence every time.”
She’s right, these are not my best work. I was rushing and don’t like the yarn much, and due to lack of attention ended up with one mitten having an extra 4 rows. With yarn this big, it translates to something like 3/4 of an inch of difference between the two.
I will do better! No sloppy knitting for me. My apologies to the recipient… I promise to make a better pair for you!
(below is the second pair I made… for another recipient… more care taken)
If you look at Julia’s original design, you’ll see that the pattern came in two versions; as fingerless mitts and full mittens. When I showed the pattern to my intended recipient, she loved the design except for the garter ridge around the upper part of the mitten and on the thumb. She also lives in Chicago and told me that she’s cold all winter.
Since I wanted these to be extra warm, and since I wanted to drop the third garter rib, I decided to continue both layers all the way to the finger tips. On Julia’s original mitten design, only the inner layer continues, after acting as the bind-off for the outer layer of the mitten, which serves essentially as a design element. I figured that I might as well use the outer later as a functional (as well as fun!) component.
My modifications were very straightforward. When I got to the the point in the pattern (on the inner layer) where she calls for you to stop knitting and put the live stitches on waste yarn in order to start working on the outer layer, I just kept merrily knitting along, following the instructions for the outer layer to begin decreases at the tip of the little finger.
On the outer layer I just went a row or two further in order to give the inner mitten some room.
…on a night that promises to be really windy and cold (especially for South Carolina!), here I am writing a knitting blog post again. I need to do this. I can feel the pressure to write something building up.
Why did I stop posting for so long? One reason is that I got myself into a bind. I’d been trying to write big posts, and when I didn’t have time to write long, involved posts with lots of pictures, I waited until I had time. Then I felt guilty about stopping the posts… and off down the spiral I went. Here I am, back again and I’m going to take it easy on myself. If I have a picture—great! If I have a ‘deep thought’ about knitting that I want to explore—awesome! But I’m not going to let the lack of an image stop me again.
Perhaps once the dams are broken, things will flow again. Besides, Cristi asked me to write up my notes about how I modified the Chimera pattern to make it into a double-layer mitten. I might as well make it into a post while I’m at it!