Saturday, May 13, 2006

My first knitting project that was not flat

Here are my first mittens.

They were taken from a book that a friend had that was hat and mitt patterns from New England or the Maritimes. It's been a while and I can't remember the exact name of the book, but it went something like "Geese and Ducks" or "Hen's and Fences". I saw and liked and photocopied (shhh, don't tell anyone) The Incredible Checkerboard Mitts pattern. With a quick tutorial from Linda, I was up and running. Or sitting and knitting, as the case were. This pattern requires you to use two different colours of yarn. While knitting with one colour, the other is carried behind the stitches. You change colour every two stitches and so I learned how to knit with both hands instead of dropping the yarn every two stitches to pick up the other yarn. I tried it that way, but it wasn't very efficient and we won't talk about tension. What I ended up with was a pair of mitts that were quite warm because they were essentially doubled. As you can see, I loved my mittens and wore them for many a year. Every now and then, a hole would appear and I would darn a patch out of whatever yarn happened to be nearby. When I started to have to darn the darnings, I decided to start on a new pair.

These are my Two Year Mitts.

They are called that because..... yup. It took me two years to knit them. I has some beautiful fat shiny wool that I picked up at a yard sale and dyed during a dyeing class a few years before. I decided that I wanted to use it and I also decided that I wanted "boiled " mitts. Once knitted, you literally boil the mittens and they felt up and are warm, wind proof, and have a certain amount of water resistance. But you have to knit them big. The pattern calls for a 3 ply yarn that is "half again as heavy as worsted" So with my fat yarn and bigger needles (6mm maybe) I started to knit away. It was slow knitting because I was more interested in weaving (or soaking in a hot tub) in my spare time. Then summer came and who thinks about knitting mittens in the summer. Not me. At least I didn't think about it then. They got put away unfinished. A dreaded UFO. Eventually, I was sick of darning the darned darns and got them out again to finish them before Christmas 2004. They knit up HUGE. They were over 12" high. Silly me didn't think to actually measure them but I remember the looks that people gave me when I was caught working on them. I boiled them for about an hour and then I chucked them in the washer and then the dryer, checking every now and then so they would fit me and not some kid that I birthed. The result is these wonderful things that are actually still a little to big, but I'm not complaining.


ErLeCa said...

It looks like they turned out wonderfully! I could use some boiled mittens... then again, like you said, it's getting on summertime and who thinks of warm knitted things in the summer?

ErLeCa said...
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