Saturday, October 27, 2012

Gung-Ho, Yo

There are few things I fling myself into with a gung-ho attitude. It's not because I don't enjoy adventure... it's just that I hate having to clean up messes. This cautious-gung-ho-ness has made me really good at the following:
  • last-minute saves
  • adapting on the fly
  • appreciating whatever result I get (some call this "settling for less" but those people usually don't know how to make anything by hand)
I've been in dire need of mittens for a while, and after a snowy start to the week, I decided I should not delay any longer. I jumped up last week and went over to my yarn shelf and pulled out some worsted weight yarn and thought: Ok, Adriene. Make some mittens!

The thing is, I really didn't know what kind of mittens I wanted. I just knew I wanted them to be interesting. That usually means I'm in for a little bit of brain-wrestling while I figure out what to do with my sticks and strings.

I decided I wanted to use two colours in my mittens, but I really didn't want to do any crazy fair isle knitting just then, so I logged onto Ravelry and typed "mittens" and "two color" into the search. It was there that I found some examples of some neat two-colour cabled mittens. I couldn't find a pattern I liked, so then I typed "two color cables" into the search, and found Jennifer Fleury's Kriya Yoga Mat Bag pattern, which is covered in these types of cables. A few clicks and a few calculations later, I cast on for some mittens.

And while that sounds an awful lot like I knew what I was doing, but the truth is, I really didn't. I figured I'd make it up as I went along. As I went along, though, I started to get a bit nervous.

Firstly, the stranding inside the mitten was making it a bit small, so I threw in some extra increases to make room for my palm, which looked ok... sorta...

Then, I wasn't sure I could remember how to make an afterthought thumb properly, but I muddled my way through marking it with some yarn from memory, then knitted it from memory as well. It looked pretty good... mostly...

Then, when I went to decrease for the tips, I realized that my extra increases for the palm meant that the number of stitches for the palm and the back of the hand uneven. That meant I had to fudge my way into making them even again... somehow...

And THEN, because I had knit them one at a time, I had to muddle my way through making the same mitten whilst trying to remember all the fudging I did, because I had very cleverly forgotten to write it all down. And well, I wasn't sure I was liking the result. It was all a little... meh.

Luckily, there are miracles in knitting. And the best miracle is blocking. I used this vintage shoe tree to block it...

... which worked well, but looked a little creepy when I hung it from my yarn shelf. I ran into this disembodied hand more than once this week...

But the result was great.

Gung-ho paid off, at least this time. Adventure-knitter, that's me...


  1. Gorgeous! I'm impressed with your ability to modify on-the fly. Nice work : )

    1. I think we all do it here and there. I'm glad it worked out this time!

  2. You're so very talented. Maybe you should try your hand at becoming a designer.

    1. The problem with being a designer is that you have to make the right decisions with your stitches all the time, and you also have to be less lazy than I am to write it all out!

  3. Did you feel the big earthquake? I think you're reasonably far away from where it occurred. I hope all is well with you.

    1. No, it was too far from us for us to feel a thing. I don't know what I'd do if I felt it... the worst natural disaster I have to worry about is a tornado in the summer, but even those are rare where I live.