Wednesday, June 30, 2010

After a few days of NOT KNITTING

(because it was too hot to do anything!) I cast on for the color work mittens yesterday.

I am working free hand—there is no specific pattern, but I will use some premade charts/patterns from books for ideas. I cast on 72 stitches, with 3 colors of yarn (black, white, green) held together to make a Braided Color Cast on-- 1 row of purls (Wrong side of work) then joined into round(s) (working both mittens at once, natch) and followed up with a Latvian Braid in 3 colors (and towards the end, was counting each stitch!)

Latvian braids naturally twist the yarns up, and with 6 yarns--(3 per mitten!) it was a mess. But doesn't it make a beautiful edge?

The cast on edge rolls forward (the single row of knits does that) the beraid, (purl and floats on right side) bubbles out, and looks more substantial. Combinded, the alternating rows of knit and purl make a non roll edge—or perhaps more accurately, the alternating rows/rounds of knts and rows/rounds of purls balance each other to control the roll at the edge.

But now the braids are done (well, there will be another set at the end of the cuff). I've started the black and white cuff—a small, simple pattern—white stars on a black background. I went looking for a design—and found one in a photo—so I am using the photo as my chart. The beginning is simple, it get more complex in the next round, and then simple again.

At the end of the cuff (oh, about 3 inches) another braid (again in 3 colors) and then the hand of the mitten—Green fir trees on a black background. Again, I will just find a pattern I like, and fit it into the mitten-(if I need to change stitch count, that is easy enough do do at the transition between the cuff and hand.)

A large pair of mittens, suitable for a man simply decorated and dark colors. I find men who aren't married to knitters (or knitters themselves!) and don't know the joy and warmth of hand knit wool winter wear, tend to be conservative (and want plain black, or blue, or grey or other solid dull colors.)

Men who have experienced the pleasure of hand knit socks, or hand knit hats, or hand knit mittens tend to chose HAND KNIT first and are less concerned about the colors. (I know some knitters who' husbands will wear lacy socks in knit in a color array yarn that includes a small amount of PINK).

I still am thinking about what else to knit—a cotton tank top? A lace scarf? A cashmere scarf? An alpaca scarf? (both of theses would be lacy, and the cashmere large enough to almost be considered a shawl!)

The tank top is edging its self into the first place—we'll see—maybe by tomorrow I will have made up my mind.


JelliDonut said...

That Latvian braid really is pretty!

Susie said...

I just bought my first Fair Isle book, Alice Starmore of course, and can't wait to see these mittens all done.