Tag Archives: hard decisions

Fair Isle-ish

Lately I accumulated a lot of DK leftover yarn, and since I was craving some color work on my needles, decided to use them together. For quite some time now, I would like to practice knitting Fair Isle or at least Fair Isle-ish. I chose to knit mittens, and to add one more twist, opted for knitting them simultaneously on two circulars (in order to learn this technique and prevent running out of any of the colors on the second mitten).
Here’s my work:
P1150332

and here’s my experience:

1. Knitting with two circulars is just like knitting with magic loop, except that it’s easier in the first few rows.

2. Knitting mittens (and probably other garments that comes in pairs) simultaneously is very convenient. It was frustrating in the beginning because the progress seemed to be slower, but once I got past 50-60% and I was able to see both mittens taking shape, I realized that there’s not too much work left and once I’m done I’M DONE.

3. Using both ends of the yarns (the outer and from the middle of the skein) while knitting with multiple skeins and 2 long circulars isn’t such a good idea. Except if you are fine with untangling every 5 minutes. I wanted to save time, so instead of rewinding the skeins into two smaller ones I simply pulled out the other end from the middle of the skein. Retrospectively, I don’t think I managed to save time, in fact I probably spent more time untangling my yarns and needles.

4. I clearly have tension issues (I mean, look at the photo). While I knit I hold the yarn coiled on my left index finger and that works fine. So I coiled the main color on my index finger and the second color on my middle finger. I managed to work really fast this way, but the problem is that I tend to hold the second color much tighter which results in vertically wrinkled fabric. When I realized I have a tension problem, the damage was already done and I wasn’t sure if a redo would give better results. So I kept knitting and focused on my tension. That helped. Now I’m wondering what to do, should I finish the mittens and try to mask the problem with severe blocking (I checked, it fits even like this) or should I (not be lazy and) rip back. It’s been more than a month since I put this project aside, and still haven’t decided what to do. What would you do? (Feel free to tell me “stop being lazy”, I firmly believe in constructive criticism)

5. Knitting a color work makes increases (and probably decreases too) a bit more complicated if one doesn’t want to break the pattern. Until now, I always opted for making the thumbs on the sides, as it seems more comfortable to wear a mitten made that way. But maybe I’m wrong, maybe there’s no difference between a thumb that’s placed on the side and the thumb that’s placed on the palm. To find out the difference between the two versions of thumbs and the proper terminology, once again I turned to google and found this wonderful blog with this well written post about thumb knitting. I had no idea there’s so much options out there! Which is your favorite? I still have to find out which is mine.

In the meantime, I started yet another JC hat and knitted a hat from felted wool (an experience I want to share with you in my next post).

Cheers,
Mimi

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Stashache

A long long time ago there was a silly teenage over-enthusiastic knitter. One day she wandered into a yarn store where multiple yarns was on sale for ridiculously low price (the yarn was a leftover from export). She doesn’t remember exactly how much she bought from these 100% cotton (and by the way very good quality) yarns, but right now she still has a little over 500 grams of this one in her stash:

and she already have knitted 2 adult sized sweaters, 2 huge winter shawl (both with yarn held double…) and a hat from it. So yeah, it was a LOT. But it’s not all! She also purchased (most probably) 500 grams of this bee-yellow (back in the days very fashionable) variety of the very same yarn:

Now she can’t think of a garment that she would possibly want to make from it because the color nowadays is a fashion faux pas and honestly she never even liked it (please don’t blame her, she was a teenager and it was extra cheep).
If you think that she assumed she had enough yarn, well, that’s not how this story happened. After a year or two, when she had already knitted up some of the (black) yarn and liked it a lot, she searched the manufacturer and found it’s own shop (which is now one of her favorites) where –guess what- she bought more yarn on sale of the same type. Some of the yarn became what it was meant to became:

some of the yarn is part of a never ending story (a blouse that waits patiently for it’s sleeves to be knitted and attached):

and some of the yarn will be turned into a cabled poncho next month:

Now, the problem is that the knitter even if she loves to work with this yarn would like to work with other types too and make some garments for which this yarn is not a good choice. She would like to experiment and grow as a knitter. She is loaded with guilt every time she purchases an exiting new yarn because she decided to use up the stash first (the skeins above are just part of it) that “collects dust” since years and takes up a lot of space (another issue). But concentrating only on the stash would eventually turn knitting into a boring chore, wouldn’t it? Why does balancing wishes and reality has to be this hard? Do you have stashaches too?

PS1: I will show the socks when I finish them.

PS2: There is an awesome giveaway on Caffeine Girl’s blog, you can win a bunch of cool stuff: a skein of Yarntini sock yarn, a chocolate Cow Pie, a pretty mug, and stitch markers that she made. Go check it out on http://www.caffeinegirlknits.com/ Good luck!

Cheers,
Mimi

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