Needles, don’t fail me now

Finally, the weekend has arrived. I finally have some time to relax and get back to my knitting. My last semester has started here, so it leaves me slightly less time to knit. But apparently that hasn’t discouraged my optimism since I ordered more than enough yarn during the break.

First off, an update on the Latvian mittens (or mitten at this stage)

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No blocking yet, but I think for being unblocked the colorwork is actually pretty even. To be fair, I didn’t really like the patterns on the original, so substituted the bottom portion of the  two chart for a chart from Sheila McGregor’s “Traditional Fair Isle Knitting”. The top portion will be the same, excepting the palm. I used a seed stitch pattern for that which hasn’t quite worked up far enough to show you the pattern.

I’m really digging on those braids. Also, given that I finally learned how to knit continental style, I think my gauge is much better on this pair of mitts. Before when I’ve attempted color work I’ve done some weird bastard version of continental and english where I held the working yarn in my left hand but sort of picked the yarn into place with my right index finger. Real continental, I’m happy to discover, is actually far less complex than my previous method. Which means that this mitten is flying off my needles, and the colorwork does not look like a steaming pile of crap. That’s always been what’s put me off doing any serious colorwork in the past. I would knit it, it would have no relation whatsoever to the size of a human being, and I would let it sit in my stash box, thinking about what it had done. This time around I sat myself down with a nice tutorial and spent an hour with some stash yarn perfecting my continental style. According to the pattern, it is supposed to be 4 inches across the back, and I’m getting that gauge, but I’m not going to be cocky just yet. I may give these to my mother if they continue to be in relation to the size of a female hand.

Does anyone have any tips on blocking stranded knitting? I think I’m going to wet block it and put it on some foamcore, but if anyone objects to this, speak now, before I go and buy the materials. I can arrange a steam block if necessary.

Onto the next item of business, I have received my Knitpicks in the mail! Just some WOTA in sport weight. But I’ll see if anyone can guess the project I’ve got this all slated for. Hint, I’m missing one color still.

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