Tuesday, January 09, 2007

not monochrome

my Komi mittens

pattern 25 (the one on the cover) from Charlene Schurch's Knitting Marvelous Mittens
Harrisville Shetland Style (fingering weight)
extra pointy size 00 needles

Should I go into the saga of getting a decent photograph of these mittens? I'm not sure what it was. Maybe I'm rusty with the camera, maybe the light was never quite right, or maybe I just need a better camera. But I took hundreds of photos over 2 days (not an exaggeration), and really wasn't fully satisfied with anything. I finally got the above shot this morning, which isn't my ideal finished project shot, but I figure there are enough in-progress photos to give a better idea of the size and shape of these particular mittens. My best modeled shot:

my Komi mittens

There's no particular reason for the Buddha, except that it was sitting on the windowsill, and was just the right size to cuddle in my new mittens. I like this shot because you get a decent view of the thumb gusset.

my Komi mittens - tippy top

And the tippy-top.

For all my whining about photos, I'm really happy with these mittens. They're particularly special to me because Alex bought me the yarn on my birthday trip to Harrisville last year, and I finished the mittens on my birthday this year. (It was Sunday, and a big one. So I guess the nice, round Buddha in that shot above is appropriate, to go with my nice, round, shiny new 0.)

Again, I'm very happy with what a washing does to Harrisville yarn. I talked about it when I knit the orange Fibertrends hat last year, and I'll talk about it again. The yarn is so much softer after a washing, and the bloom really finishes the colorwork nicely. On a recent Weavecast, Syne and one of her guests were talking about finishing weaving, and how it's not really cloth until you wash it and do other necessary finishing techniques. I feel that these weren't really mittens until the wash. They were a big, pretty knot of 2 colors of wool. After the Eucalan bath (and an inside-out blocking), they relaxed into beautiful colorwork mittens. I don't think it's something I could have captured in photos, even if I had a better camera and more photography talent. But the change was quite salient in person.

And that blocking really was just washing and drying the mittens inside out. Very easy. For the most part, the mittens are true to the instructions in the book. I skipped the corrugated ribbing on the cuffs, and as I mentioned in my previous post, closed up the tops of the thumbs by pulling the yarn through the remaining stitches (like at the top of many hats), instead of grafting.

(All photos of this project.)

I may end up making a liar out of myself, but this may be the last colorwork for a little while. While I adore colorwork, I've done so much of it recently that I'm a little burned out on it. In the past 12 months, I've knit the Mamluke socks, Ingeborg, the Vertical Stripes pullover, the mitten and hat set, and a couple of bags. Considering the scope of a couple of those projects, I feel like I've barely done anything other than colorwork, though looking through my photo gallery, that's obviously not the case.

There are colorwork projects I really want to work on, when the bug hits me again. (And it will. I have no doubts at all about that. In fact, sitting here thinking about it, I almost feel like I'm ready to start a fair isle sweater. It's been, like, 3 whole days since I knit with more than one color!) I keep mentioning it, and still near the top of my list is the gorgeous cover sweater (Autumn Color Cardigan) from Sweaters From Camp. And there are some things in Latvian Dreams that I can't stop thinking about. But I am looking forward to delving more deeply into textures again, and to having projects that are slightly more portable than all of this colorwork I've been working on. Even when it's just a small 2-color project, like these mittens, it can feel like an ordeal to even move the project from one room to another, what with all of the yarn to get tangled and the chart to keep track of. Time to relax with those plain, grey socks for a few more days. Then on to the next monochrome adventure.

(A., if you're reading this, I couldn't help but borrow your fabulous pseudonym for this post title.)

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Blogger Unknown said...

Hee, yup, I read, even if I don't comment. The mittens are fabulous, though I'm not sure I could deal with 00 needles. Right now I'm working on my first pair of socks (toe-up, I'm just 1" away from done with the first one) on size 0 metal needles, and if I do any more socks I'll invest in some bamboo, becayse the metal are ruining my hands.

1/09/2007 10:40 AM  
Blogger JD said...

Hi Rebekkah,
Goodness, your mittens are just glorious - as is all your knitting! I've been a fan for a while, 'de-lurking,' as they say, as one of my resolutions is to be more (inter)active in the blogiverse. Well done! Looking forward to your future projects!

1/09/2007 1:23 PM  
Blogger Sonya said...

Beautiful mittens! I love the thumb gusset. And Happy Birthday! I always find the ones that end with 0 a little tough to take.

1/09/2007 2:41 PM  
Blogger gray la gran said...

wow! i love the mittens ... i bet they're wonderfully warm. i will have to remember your tip of washing & blocking inside out, if/when i ever get around to knitting a stranded project in 2007.

1/09/2007 7:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very nice job. I love the red and white.

1/10/2007 12:22 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

Those mittens are gorgeous!

1/10/2007 6:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations on knitting a pair of stunning mittens! I have Charlene Schurch's hat and sock books and am now thinking about buying her mitten book as well.

1/10/2007 11:10 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

I've seen your work from the knitting! community and I have become a fan of your work. It is beautiful! I do understand about being burnt out on a knitting technique. I have about reached my limit with lace but for some reason I just keep buying more lace patterns!

1/10/2007 4:50 PM  
Blogger Theresa said...

Gorgeous mittens. You just have incredibly high standards for your photos, that's all. And Happy Birthday!

1/12/2007 2:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been trying to leave comment on your great knitting. I don't know why they don't post. Maybe you could help me a little? In case you end up with multiposts from me, erase the extras.

This is my last try until I figure out how to do this.
Love the mittens.

1/12/2007 3:45 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

Those mittens (and the ones you knit for your friend) are gorgeous! I am so jealous of your patience and your results. After seeing two beautiful projects from "Marvelous Mittens," I went to buy the book for myself, but it's out of print!!

1/14/2007 5:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really think this is one of your best photos. It would be gorgeous for... hmm... an October or November, in a calendar.


1/14/2007 10:23 PM  
Blogger Kirsten said...

The mittens are fabulous. I've had that book sitting in my Amazon shopping cart. Perhaps it is time to click the "check out" button!
Happy belated Birthday!

1/17/2007 7:30 AM  

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