I've finished my shop sample of a White Witch Mitts (the left hand to be precise!) Here are my comments on this project:
- I've admired this pattern for quite some time now. So when I started knitting it a couple of weeks ago after I'd landed in Finland, I noticed that the name "Laura Rintala" just sounded SO Finnish. (Is it the Finnish lessons I'm taking that are starting to pay off? Or just all the Finnish words I see and hear each day that clued me in to this?) Anyway, after some online research, I think I might be right... So how coincidental that it's my first project in Finland.
- The pattern was a great one for me to practice my color knitting. I knit the English way, and though I can knit Continental, I prefer not to. My reasons? About 20 years of NOT knitting that way, plus a completely uncoordinated left hand make it very slow and painful. But, now that I live in the land of fair isle - where people knit with two colors because they need the extra warmth - I am determined to improve my skills.
- The ribbing proved tough because it was K2 with the MC and P2 with the CC. I started out with the MC in my right hand and that lasted for all of 10 seconds. My Continental knitting is slow enough but my Continental purling? Forget it! My workaround was to put the main color in my left hand and knit that Continental, and purl the CC "my" way with my right hand. It was a decision that saved the day.
- Once I got to the main pattern - which is all in stockinette - I did well. Still slower than normal, but I totally managed. I do find that my tension was a bit snug, so I should have gone up one needle size for that part. But the ribbing was fine.
- I love the finished mitten! I think the colors are lovely (Nature Spun Sport in Turquoise Wonder, Limestone, Deep Sea and Spring Green) and it definitely softened up after I blocked it.
- It's a touch small, mostly in the hand. I'm positive this is from my gauge (as mentioned above).
Now that I've successfully jumped back into fair isle, I am pondering my next project. I may practice on another one that I've been looking at before launching into designing one of my own.
But, since my hands were a bit cramped after all that color knitting, I am working on a few swatches out of a book on Mosaic Knitting I have from Barbara Walker.
They're looking good, and my hands are thankful.
It's definitely color work for cheaters!