Monday, December 11, 2006

Delft blue

At the beginning there was beautiful Koigu from Purl. I'm always a sucker for that wall of color and memories of the ripped out mitten yarn from this weekend quickly went out the window (that will become something else, I promise). I was inspired by the colors of Delft blue ware. It's so hard to capture Koigu's colors accurately but these shots aren't bad.

Then, I cast on for the Anemoi Mittens. Eunny recommends a tubular cast on. Her instructions are incredibly detailed but don't describe this technique. No bother - although I haven't used it before, I am familiar... flash forward to 6 hours later when I have reknit the first 5 rows of these gorgeous mittens at least 6 times.

I started with Amelia Raitte's tutorial. It produced an lovely, clean, elegant edge. I recommend this tutorial; it is very easy to follow and yields great results. However, I could not believe my hand was going to fit through the resulting opening (you are instructed to cast on 56 stitches in a tubular cast on on 2.0mm needles; so I cast on 28, increased to 56 and went on my way). After a period of denial, I ripped.

Then I continued to the next approach: the Italian tubular cast-on. I saw Eunny note this on her blog when discussing the Endpaper Mitts, so maybe this was what she had in mind? It produces a more forgiving cast-on edge because you start with all of your stitches. I used the tutorial here (also recommended, particularly the little movie). This produced a more elastic edge. Hope! Here are some pictures.

But then I got to the set-up rows for the mitten ribbing... there are a series of twisted and slipped stitches which gathered in my formerly elastic edge and again made it impossible to fit my mitt in there. GRAH! Needles were thrown, rip rip rip. The husband was called in to confirm that yes, I was a good knitter and no, I was not going crazy.

I went up needle sizes, I went down needle sizes, I fiddled, I fudged. And finally, at the end of my rope, I emailed Eunny herself for advice (I really hated to do that - what does she need with me bugging her?!). We'll see what she says. For my own sanity, though, these need a time out until I hear back.

Updated to add: Eunny graciously emailed back and it appears all issues are my own. The twisted- and slipped-stitch rows are meant to prevent the tubular cast on from flaring, as it usually likes to do. I'm going to try just ribbing those rows instead to see if it helps. In the meantime I'm working up an itty bitty fair isle swatch and check that my gauge is behaving.

1 comment:

DebbieKnitter said...

LOL I just love your blog. I hope you don't mind me snooping. I found it awhile ago while surfing and it's kept me in "stitches" ever since *snicker* no pun intended heehee!!!