Fiber Corner

Daily life of a knitting designer/publisher of handknitting patterns

Sunday, January 18, 2009

New Beginnings

Started on a new project this week. The very popular Bird in Hand mittens designed by Kate Gilbert. Already finished the first one.
The yarn is Ultra Alpaca in Rose Spice and Winter White. I deviated from the pattern instructions in several places. First off, my mitten ended up way too short; my gauge was straight on and the width perfect. Hmmm. Ended up starting the decreases for the top a few rows later than charted and just worked the extra rows in white. Actually, done that way it gives a more balanced look with the hem, I think. Speaking of the hem, that was worked differently, too. To avoid having to sew it down, I used Joyce Williams Eastern European cast on (the one used for toe up socks on two circs) for the total number of sts needed and just worked the wraps on the first needle. Once the hem was worked and the number of matching rnds for the cuff, I knit the next rnd together with those remaining wraps from the second needle. I used size 1 needles for the hem, size 1.5 for the cuff and size 2 for the mitten body. The biggest change came in the placement of the beginning of the round. My preference is to place that at the karate chop (pinky side) of the hand instead of at the thumb side as shown in the pattern. It's easier to hide any small jog that way. There won't be much of a jog in the colorwork, but it's difficult to hide the one in the braid. My solution was instead of joining the braid as stated, to pick up the M1 stitch from the row below. The other big change was in the ending of the thumb. As graphed it made kind of a point and was too long for me, too. So, after working one plain rnd after the bird was finished, I K2tog for one rnd and then K2tog on a second rnd, ending K1. Still have to knit the second mitten. That may be my inauguration day knitting--talk about New Beginnings.

Here's the first 50 or so rnds of Mallins 44. As you can see, I did switch to working it with the #60 thread. It is small! Works okay in the actual knitting, but is a bear to see should any mistake be made and have to be undone. This is quite a different doily to knit with lots of design elements to watch for. On this go round I worked the inner petals with a twisted knit stitch and it shows up much stronger.

It's amazing how fast the mitten worked up compared to the doily. For the stitch count at this stage, 6 rnds of the mitten equal one of the doily. Which is good because with all the stranding, these mittens will be warm and it's cold out there! Forgot to mention how much I love this yarn, too. It's becoming one of my favorites. New Beginnings even among yarn.


At 3:20 PM, Blogger Melanie said...

Love the budding bulb - hope springs eternal.

The mitten is lovely, and it does look more balanced. I like it very much.

At 5:35 PM, Blogger June said...

Oh gosh Vicki, this is just so lovely!! Maybe I will try this pattern someday! :)


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