Tuesday, March 17, 2020

I'm smitten

Smitten with my new mittens, am I! Last weekend my calendar emptied of one engagement after another, so I was able to put in a lot of knitting time. And when I am monogamous in my knitting, stuff gets finished. Specifically, these mittens got finished:

These are the Wisby Mittens. I chose this pattern for a couple of reasons. First, I was intrigued by the Spin-off Winter Mitt-along and Annette nudged me to participate. Second, March is a Project Month in The Sheepspotters' Society, and the idea is that you use handspun in a project. It's the perfect double dip.

I've done a little bit of colorwork, but not very much and definitely not enough to consider myself more than an advanced beginner. I've found it more challenging to work stranded colorwork on a small circumference, where I prefer to work on two circulars (like I knit socks). But finally, something clicked, and I did just fine on these.

First, let me tell you about the yarn. The grey yarn is spun from Jacob roving purchased from Spot Hollow Farm at MDSW 2016.

I only spun one of those balls (about 4 oz) and I got 318 yards of 2-ply, woolen-spun yarn:

The purple-ish yarn is Manx Loaghtan from Sheepspot, in the colorway "5 Violets." The fiber was not white to begin with, which makes those shades of purple really dark and moody (I love it). Here's what the fiber looked like when I got it:

And here is the yarn, spun exactly like the Jacob - 2-ply, woolen-spun.

After last month's finished experiments, I decided (with input from my local knitters) to finish the yarns by agitating and thwacking. That was fun! And then I actually made and washed a swatch:

To my surprise, my stitch gauge was spot on - but my row gauge wasn't. That was okay, though, because it's pretty easy to make the top of a mitten longer and customize the fit.

These mittens are worked from the cuff to the tip, and the cuff involves two Latvian braids. I've never worked these before and it was fun to learn. Here's a close up:

Please notice that I worked them in opposite directions for each mitten. The thumb gusset was a lot of fun:

And notice that the pattern is a bit different on the back than the front!

I'm sorry I don't have photos of me wearing the mittens today (it's been a WEEK - actually two - of dealing with coronavirus in a higher education context) ... but they fit. The left mitten, which I knit second, is a little bit bigger than the right mitten. I think I relaxed into the technique, in a good way. But they still very much match and are wearable.

I think this photo shows the colors best:

I am suddenly feeling very capable in the Fancy Mitten Department and thinking about what to make next. I think I'm ready to get back to some of my yarn from Scotland. Maybe the stranded colorwork beret next? And as the weather warms up, the sanquhar gloves?!?? That would be a big challenge!

1 comment:

  1. I love everything about your Fancy Mittens, and your capability really shows in these! Looking forward to seeing more Fancy Knitting.