alpaca, baby cashmerino, color work, debbie bliss, double points, fair isle, knitting in the round, lotus mittens, mittens, nordic knitting, nordic mittens, patons yarns, Scandinavian, scandinavian knitting, stranded knitting
It’s Blue Monday, the saddest day of the year. Apparently, an evil confluence is formed by post-holiday blues, the receipt of holiday bills, failing New Year’s resolutions and nasty weather. Frankly, I hadn’t noticed. Like any other Monday, it’s a great day for a big cup of tea and a knit. Since I’ve got to be back in the city to start a new children’s TV series on the 30th, I’m really trying to maximize my KDD (Knitting During Daylight) time. Besides, how can anyone be sad when gazing at that adorable blue owl by Josie Kitten?
And speaking of New Year’s resolutions, I am forging ahead with my color-work goals. I’ve started another pair of Scandinavian mittens. As you may recall, I knit the Ruba’iyat Mittens last year; the pattern was fantastic, but my tension, sadly, was not. Certainly, I’d been holding my carried yarn too tightly. This was causing an uneven texture on the front of the fabric; one stitch was raised and the next fell back. So naturally, I loosened the tension in my left hand (I’m an English knitter). Same problem, slightly less so, just looser. Working with a lighter yarn, I found that the problem was not in my left hand at all but in my right. Tightening the tension in my working yarn, the right hand, has made a huge difference. And because I’m used to tensioning with my right, I’m able to get more even stitches generally.
Since receiving the gorgeous Philosopher’s Wool sweater kit at Christmas time, I’ve been determined to perfect my stranded knitting tension. I thought maybe a small stranded project in lighter yarn might be the ticket. I think it’s working! I’m getting a nice, smooth and even texture on the front of the fabric finally. In the “Lotus Mittens” pattern, Heather Desserud describes the carried yarn as a ‘float’ and somehow, that terminology made the technique clear to me.
So here are my Lotus Mittens. I’ve used (believe it or not) Paton’s Kroy Sock FX for the graded color and Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino for the off-white. Heather’s patterns are beautifully charted, clearly explained and an all-round joy to knit.
In fact, I am so enthused that I think I’ll knit her “La Joie du Printemps” pattern next. As the accent color, I picked up this lovely alpaca blend by Manos del Uruguay over the weekend. Can’t decide whether I’ll use the charcoal or the off-white as the MC but that’s OK…Blue Monday is a looooong day