Monday, January 31, 2011

The Post That Time Forgot

I wrote this post several weeks ago, but waited for pictures to post it. So, I have added responses to my earlier thoughts on the subject, which will look like this. The parts I wrote ages ago will look like this.

I think I will never be finished with these mittens. I am.

Obligatory Mitten Picture.

I purchased the pattern and yarn months ago, right after I finished my Strawberry Mittens. I decided that now I had conquered color work, I could have a color work project hanging around for the days when one ball of yarn wasn't enough. Yeah, I have those days. Don't you?

I worked the cuff. Then I started stranding, then I frogged it. My problem was simple. I was using double pointed needles, and the ladders were horrific. Never mind. I was used to them now. No need to switch to a long circular. I started the chart again, and promptly frogged again--too tight. Such is my curse. In attempting to make the ladders between needles disappear, I had prevented my floats from floating. Oops.

I began again. This time, the color work looked great. Then I tried it on. HUGE. It looked like I'd grabbed a mitten designed for a much-larger man. I could have fit three hands in that one mitten. I frogged it. Then I wound the yarn back up all neat and nice, rammed it into a zip lock bag, then threw it back in with the rest of the stash. It's a wonder the stash didn't swallow the mitten yarn whole. It ate a sweater once. I only just found that sweater again. Am I working on it? Not anymore.

That was months ago. And it's cold now. Cold enough that knitting a pair of mittens starts to look mighty good. Really? Is that what I thought? Yeah. I started knitting the mittens again because I was sick and wanted to feel like I was accomplishing something other than blowing my nose repeatedly.

I began again. I had my lovely Blue Sky Alpacas ebony needles, size two, and my yarn and my chart spread out before me. I started knitting. What I failed to mention here is that I would knit one round of the mittens, than a few on Olive, then back to the mittens. I was sick. And indecisive.

Then, later that day, I tried on the mitten, resisted yelling something profane regarding the lineage of sheep from which the yarn originated, then frogged it. There may have been tears.

You see, when you knit something, realize there's a Big Change you need to make, then frog your project before putting it away, it's easy to think you can just follow the pattern and you'll be fine. You forget that you have freakish E.T. hands with long, skinny fingers, or that the width of your palm is roughly the same as your wrist. In short, you forget that you are a human sideshow attraction. I have nothing to add to this.

I frogged again. I dragged out my size one needles, and I started again. My size one needles were bent in a half-moon shape. It was like knitting with the letter "U."

I could sit here beating myself down, thinking I am a terrible knitter and that the knitwear gods have cursed me. Instead, I am going to do what my countrymen here in the U.S.A. do best. I am going to blame someone else.

I would never have picked up these mittens again if not for Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. That's right--I blame the Yarn Harlot. She made me cast on for this project again with her Startitis post. She made me choose to knit this SpillyJane pattern I had sitting next to its required yarn in a zip lock bag. She made it impossible to resist the call of fair isle, when I saw the lovely floats she displayed in this post. Clearly, I would never have picked up another project without her interference. I'd be finished with Olive right now, or finished with the rapidly dwindling supply of yarn for Olive and praying there would be more yarn in a similar dye lot at Knitting Off Broadway so I could actually finish. It's Stephanie's fault I have been stabbed repeatedly by these accursed bamboo needles, size one, that have been overused, bent into curves, and sharpened enough that they could double for torture devices. Oh, I did mention those needles. They really are sharp, too.

If not for the Yarn Harlot, I would be free. Yeah, whatever Laura. If not for Stephanie, you'd just have started knitting something else. And you'd be begging Twitter to do math for you again, since you refused to take remedial Algebra.*

Another Obligatory Mitten Picture

One Last Obligatory Mitten Picture

Visit the mittens on Ravelry!

Pattern: Polska by SpillyJane
Yarn: Knitpicks Palette in Cream, Marine Heather, Autumn Heather, and Verdant Heather
Needles: Size one double points

*Yes, I did just mock myself in the third person. No, I don't see any problem with that.


  1. Well, you know what? I'd totally take the blame for those. They're lovely. And you're persistent. And that's probably not my fault. That part.

  2. I've learned that letting you talk me into things is always a good idea, Stephanie.

  3. A knitting goddess has favored you.

    Your cred, which was already sky-high with me, has just rocketed into some far dimension I can't even begin to quantify.