I was all set to post about starting Yellow Harvest Mittens (Ravelry link) from Vogue Knitting Fall 2008 while watching the presidential inauguration, and then the week got away from me, and now we have on hand, literally, one finished mitten. I’m using my stashed Manos del Uruguay in Cornflower, so I decided to call the project Blue Harvest. This Manos stuff is rather a handful to deal with, it’s so bulky and, lumpy, and the needles just slip out. I used two circular needles the first mitten (pictured below), and it made it just a bit confusing for me, so I’ve found my doublepointed needles and will use them for the second one. The first mitten has gone quite well and using an I-cord as the foundation for the stitches makes it very intriguing, since I’d never done that before. The pattern relies on charts and utilizes 8 different cables stitches (left- and right-orientated), so I took out the colored pencils and colored the chart to make it less confusing (it’s just me, I have a short attention span).
On Thursday, I popped into that old Seattle fiber arts institution, The Weaving Works (I’ve been going there since I was a kid tagging along with my mother—a long time ago), and visited with the all the lovelies, and met the new generation of Manos del Uruguay. Now I know that the Manos I have is the old generation stuff. As you may recall, I bought my Manos about 4 years ago, and that was when it was spun very unevenly, making it hard to get good gauge with. Well it seems that things have changed, and if only I’d bought new Manos, I probably wouldn’t get these spots of thin stitches where the fiber thins from bulky to fingering; makes for a drafty mitten. But then I wanted to use my stash, and well, there you go. So, I find myself fiddling with the stitches on the finished mitten to close the thin spots where the yarn is fingering weight.
In looking around in Ravelry, I found out that the designer of Yellow Harvest Mittens, Mari Muinonen, is also the designer of the one and only Sylvi, which set many a knitter’s heart a flutter last fall, and which I still long for, and that she is also the same knitter whose modification of Tychus is something to be admired. Now it all comes together: this woman is a powerhouse of creativity! Such whimsy she incorporates into her designs.
I’ve also started started Shawl Neck Cardigan (Ravelry link) by Vladimir Teriokhin from Knit.1, Winter 2007. It was took a bit of hunting to find this issue, but I was able to track one down at Hilltop Yarn East at 50% off. Shawl Neck Cardigan was something that I found while digging around Ravelry, and it looked like a fairly reasonable thing to make; not too involved, which is good, because these days knitting time has diminished further and I’m down to about an hour or two every day. I’m using Elann Peruvian Quechua (65% Alpaca/ 35% Tencel) for this, which I’ve never used before, and it seems pretty nice stuff: it has a firmness to it, but it is soft and shiny.