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Monday, December 2, 2013

Christmas Knitting Journal, Day One!

The title of this series of blog posts is sort of like the Creation story in the Holy Bible...day one does not necessarily mean it was all done on THAT day, just like all the stuff done on Day One in the Creation was not done in one day, but in one period of time, whatever Heavenly Father's period of time happens to be.

So, each year  I knit for the grandchildren and give them at Christmas.  Usually it is mittens but this year I decided to ask what they would actually like to receive.  This is the list:

G: convertible mittens in light green and light blue
A: convertible mittens in light blue and dark green
L: gloves in pink with some purple and mouse faces on the fingertips
T: a Christmas tree to go on a cardboard cone
A-2: a Christmas tree to go on a cardboard cone
J: a felted dinosaur
E: mittens
C: mittens
L: mittens
B: mittens

Three of the last four sets of mittens are already completed since I knitted them in January to get a head start on Christmas knitting.  The rest of the process is why I am writing this Christmas Knitting Journal....the other parts of the Christmas knitting have already been taxing in the extreme.

Having some Hilda Yates' Farm Bartlettyarn which is wooly and very thick and warm, I knit a prototype convertible mitten to see how it would go.  I found a pattern on Ravelry and knit it up true to the pattern. Her mittens/glittens are absolutely beautiful.

Sadly, this pattern did not work very well for me.  At least, I thought it was way too humpy and armour-like.  Kathy Cochran, the designer, said she had used DK weight yarn for years but had started using worsted weight yarn with the same needles which only made the glittens a little bit larger.  All her glittens were so promising but when  I used the Bartlettyarn  I was unhappy with them.  Here is the prototype I made with that yarn:
Bartlettyarn glitten closed

Bartlettyarn glitten showing fingerless glove interior of mitten

Maybe I mentioned above that the glitten feels like chain mail armour, or at least, how I imagine it would feel. I am a bit claustrophobic, so this is a problem for me.

Since this failed for my liking, I purchased some Cascade 220 Superwash in DK weight to try again.  VERY similar results!  SO...obviously the problem is with me and my knitting. Kathy's glittens are stunningly beautiful...

DK weight glitten backs...

DK weight glitten-palmside

DK weight glitten - palmside showing fingerless glove
Things I have already learned on this project to this point:

1.  The intensity of the yarn colors matters.  If you are going to go to the work to do a somewhat complicated pattern, there should be a vast different in hue so the pattern will show clearly.  No bragging rights if you can barely see the design.  Sadly.

2.  Even following a pattern exactly will not necessarily give you the results you are expecting.  This does not make the pattern wrong.  Expectations may need to be readjusted!

3.  Sometimes it is a good idea to have some kind soul try on the glitten to see if it fits on a hand more closely approaching the size of the hand of the recipient grandchild.  This can be encouraging.  Diana was kind enough to try on this DK glitten and found it comfortable and fine.  She suggested that the ribbing on the palm was the only flaw...should have been tightened up some, so when I make the second glove insert I will do it differently.  At least, I hope to do so...


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