I thought I'd have a pair of mittens by now but all I have is a single cuff. It's a lovely K1P1 cuff with a nifty tubular cast-on but it is just a cuff. (Note: Lucy Neatby's instructions for tubular cast on in the round are good, as printed in her sock book.) I knit up half the hand and it looked great but the fair isle pattern distorted too much when I tried it on. So I ripped back to the top of the cuff and added 4 sts and worked half the hand again and it still didn't look right. I usually add thumbs with a triangular thumb gusset on the side, which adds fabric to the side as the thumb grows in width, but this time the plan was to add the thumb later on the palm. After my Christmas knitting is done I'll tinker with the mittens some more and figure out which thumb method looks the best for what I have in mind. Maybe I should look at an actual mitten pattern with one of those palm thumbs? Yeah, that might have been a smart first move.
I drew a different chart for a mitten that requires more sts per round, here it is still in the rough draft stage (I'll figure out the decreases and pattern near the top as I work the first one):
The palm of the mitten is a simple 1 x 1 check (like the 2 columns on each side).
Mom's shawl update: I'm working on the 17th chart 2 repeat. Looks like I'll have to do 18 repeats before starting the edging. I'm hesitant to put the sts back on the extended Denise cables again to see the shawl's accurate size. I did that right before I left for Thanksgiving at about 2 AM ... and stayed up past 4 AM rescuing stitches (knowing that I had promised to be on the road by noon -- which actually happened thanks to my alarm clock).
See, the 40" cable was attached to another cable and then that was attached to a third cable. Pushing sts around must have twisted the connectors the wrong way because one of them untwisted and disconnected two of the cables, and about 30 sts quietly slipped off before I realized what had happened. (I made the decision to fix everything before getting any sleep, thinking there's no way I'd be able to sleep with that mess on my mind.) I suppose a lifeline would give me peace of mind if I really want to try it again.
That doesn't top last night though. I can blame the dropped sts on an equipment malfunction but last night I had a brain malfunction. I picked up the shawl and started a wrong side purl row and about 325 sts later realized I should have started a right side row in pattern. I had so much fun tinking 325 purl sts in laceweight yarn, uh huh. This is a really stupid mistake because the WS row is so obviously a WS row (the unblocked lace puffs out like giant blisters on the WS) so I should have noticed right away I was NOT on a WS row. What's bizarre is that about 1/4 of the way into this error I thought something looked wrong but I kept on purling. Why didn't I stop and examine what I was actually doing?? I have no excuse.
Last week I made a nice (boring) neck warmer for my older brother using a skein of dark blue Lamb's Pride Bulky in a K3P3 rib. Very simple and easy to make but oh so practical. It can be folded over in half for a thick warm collar under his coat or it can be unfolded to protect the face and ears when he's walking outside. I was thinking it'd be a great alternative to a scarf and he lives in Minnesota where rumor has it that the winters are very cold. So it was all done and looked spiffy and then I tried it on. I forgot that LP itches my neck and wrists so I can't use it for mittens or anything that touches the neck/face. Bah. I hate the idea of giving him something that he might not use because it itches, and that would be a waste of LP too.
So as you can see, the last 2 weeks have been one knitting mistake/disaster/boneheaded move after the other.
I talked to my older brother on Thanksgiving and he mentioned that he wore his fair isle hat to vote and the person who signed him in complimented him on it. He said I should sell the hats and I said "Nobody would pay what I'd charge to make them worth my time." He advised I could get $30 for each hat. Um... no thanks. The yarn alone costs half that much and it's not like I can knock out one of those hats in an hour. Maybe $30 for a hat knit with cheap bulky yarn in a single color -- but I don't think too many people would pay $30 for a boring hat like that, I sure wouldn't.