Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Project Free-The-Needles: Part 2

As we continue our efforts to save knitting needles held captive by various UFOs, we must delve deeper into my past to find those needles in greatest peril.

Back in 2008 I decided I wanted to knit some mittens.  It was October, winter was beginning to settle in for a lengthy stay, and I was lacking in the hand-protection department.

By February of 2009 I had one of the mittens completed.  Yes, I know, that's over 4 months.  We don't judge around these parts, especially once you discover that I then put this project away until, well, until about a week ago.

I needed a project to take with me to my audition in Pittsburgh (it went well for the most part, thanks so much for all of your good luck wishes!), and a mitten seemed small and portable.  It was.  I knit almost the entire thing in various airports - Appleton, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Chicago... and you know what?  16 months after starting the first mitten, the second one only took me two days to complete and I now have a pair.

They love each other so.

Pattern: Vespergyle Mittens by Elinor Brown
Needles:  US 0 (for the cuff) and US 1 1/2
Yarn: Rowan Yorkshire Tweed 4-Ply in colorways "Butterscotch" and "Feral" (but I'm not sure I agree)

My mittens, as you might expect, are not exactly identical twins.  You see, even if you knit the same pattern with the same needles and the same yarn, things aren't always going to turn out the same.  16 months is a long time to put between one and the other, especially if the knitter (me) has only been such for a couple of years.  Gauge changes.   ...and it did.

Ok, that pictures has magically exaggerated the difference, but it gets my point across.  One mitten is smaller than the other - specifically the one I just knit is smaller than the older one.  The stitches, however, are more even.  You win some, you lose some, right?  They both fit and I love them and wear them and that's what counts.

Besides, they're not that different, right? (Right?)

That's 2 for Peter and 0 for UFOs.  I think I'm winning this fight (oh, famous last words...)


  1. Awesome. Besides, when you're wearing them no one will be able to see the difference in size.

  2. Lovely. And since most people have one hand slightly larger than the other (I think I'm not freakishly alone in this, at least), I doubt the size differential will be an issue.

  3. Mel is not alone in this.

    Wonderful mittens!

    Of course, your knitting has changed. You've come a long way (baby!) since you cast on for the first one. And yet, the difference isn't a huge thing. I doubt anyone will even notice.


  4. You could always wear one mitten and leave your other hand in your coat pocket...;-)

  5. So nice to see them finished! They really do look beautiful.

  6. Great mittens and great photos of them! They look comfortable too with that kind of thumb. Isn't it fascinating when it's possible to see clearly how one's knitting has developed?

  7. Look at you, the finisher! Great job. I've never made mittens, but then again, they're less than practical for my locale. There are some really cute patterns, though.

  8. Why do I have an image of a rerun of the tv show the odd couple when I look at that last pix.

    And another one bites the dust.

  9. very nice, i think having them a little different is much more interesting.
    ps. (dorky fact) did you know tht persian rugs always have 1 deliberate mistake inserted in them because they believe that no-one but god is perfect, maybe if anyone did notice the slight difference (and i didnt until u pointed it out) then you could use that excuse?
    ^ i dont know where i got tht from, probably a YH book lol

  10. Just don't worry about it. As a musician you can claim that one hand is bigger do to stretching or something. Beside which those are great looking mittens

  11. Awesome mittens, dude!! I do hate that gauge change phenomenon. It causes so many problems when finishing long hibernating WIPs...

  12. They are really impressive. Congratulations on finishing them!

  13. Loved this post. And the pictures too! Lovely mittens.

  14. Peter, your mittens rock, and you are no longer a slacker in my eyes.

    Being just a little more serious, I like Asplund's point. You have in knitted form one of those "I Love You" paintings from mommy's little budding artist. Except, to kill the metaphor, mommy's little budding artist was rather decent with oil pastels.

  15. yay! and i love that pattern. argyle is one of my faves to do

  16. you are silly and the mittens are gorgeous!!! congratulations on a fantastic FO!!

  17. at least you did not knit two left mittens, a classic for me when the second hand garment takes too long to execute.
    And it is nice to see the progress in knitting skills!