Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Knots and Thumbs

I'll be honest with you. I hate fiddly knitting. What is fiddly knitting? Well, I think it's probably a personal definition, but it's working in the round over only a few stitches on double points so that every 3 seconds you have to pause, rotate, and start again.

It's annoying. This probably explains why I have a bunch of thumb-less mittens and finger-less gloves in my box o' unfinished business.

Fortunately I'm in the process of moving, though, and so even fiddly knitting can pass as an activity which is "not packing." It also counts double because I want to stab myself in the eye while doing it. But somehow, every time I put it down to seek out better things, the allure of packing everything I own into boxes for the 3rd move in a little over a year seems so non-existent that I cannot help but pick the mittens back up again.

In other words, if you hate doing something, sign up for something you hate more and *snap* the chore's a game (at least I think that's what Mary Poppins told me.) And so, over the past few days I have finished two of three hand coverings.

The Druid Mittens finished first, but also slowest for 2 reasons: I insisted on working on them at night when light was low and I miscrossed a cable in the 2nd thumb and couldn't bring myself to pick back 3 rows of slippery, tear inducing yarn... in the dark... The yarn I used for these (Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine) is not a nice yarn. I dislike it. I have purchased it twice out of ignorance. It will not happen again. It doesn't cling to itself very well, and once wound from a hank into a cake it devolves into a mess of knots involving the interaction of multiple layers of the cake (and not neighboring ones). We're talking colossal, brain bending, MENSA level knots that will leave you sitting on the floor for hours after telling your husband to take the scissors to the other end of the apartment.

The mittens themselves are alright. They're a bit short through the hand, but I can't really think of how to best remedy this. They also have this weird curve to them because of the slipped stitch palm--every other stitch is slipped every other row, creating a nice linen stitch pattern. This means that for 4 rows of pattern worked, each stitch on the palm is worked only 3 times and the palm itself is a full 1/4 shorter than the hand.

Still, a fun pattern--very intellectually stimulating. I think I'll give them to my sister, who has "the hands of an infant" in spite of her six foot frame. She's been asking for mittens for a while.

The second set I finished in about 3 hours--the Snapdragon Flip-tops. I had to knit the entirety of mitten #2 but the mitten body is only 56 rows. The cable chart is a bit confusing, but once you finish it, the rest of the mitt is smooth sailing. I am very much enamored with my button choice.

The yarn I chose was Queensland Leche and as that name indicates, it is spun in part from milk protein. I don't know if that actually effects the fiber very much, but it's nice to work with (except for the silk. I hate silk. It gives me the heeby-jeebies) and the stitch definition is lovely for something with as much of a halo as this has. 
All that's left is 2 fingers and a thumb on a pair of gloves. Also >40 ends associated with those fingers... hoo boy. This one may convince me to pack

1 comment:

  1. And now I read this post. (because I'm reading this backwards like a good girl) and I am psyched for mittens!

    My tiny infant hands will rest comfortably in your handiwork. The 2 glasses of wine I have drunk in an effort to make this Pippin-less day better have made me much more amenable to you calling my hands infant-sized.