Tuesday, January 16, 2007

54 year old woman gives birth to mitten!

I finished my first mitten! But I thought this was supposed to be relaxing and suitable for elderly women! Instead it was quite anxiety-provoking and I had a stiff back all day from the pressure of trying to finish it off properly. First of all, when I switched to double-pointed needles and knitting in the round, the fingertip section turned out inside out! How is this possible? I did straight knitting and and instead of the stockinette stitch coming out on the outside, it was on the inside!

Well, ok, once I figured that out, I just turned the mitten inside out (thus having the stitching on the outside, but that looked ok.) As a result, the right-hand mitten became a left-hand mitten. Which is all right the first time, but the next one needs to stay a right-hand mitten! I succeeded picking out the waste-yarn and and picking up the stitches for the thumb, and knitting a thumb-sized protrusion in the round, but again, the stockinette part was on the inside!! This is certainly not acceptable!

So I managed after a couple of rows to change to all purls, and the right side was on the right side. But all of this was more puzzling than I expected, since this pattern was basically meant to be a super-simple approach to producing a pair of mittens.

The end result looks very folksy--like a mitten knit by a slightly mentally defective peasant from Nepal, perhaps. But it fits very well (adding the ribbed cuff was a good call) and being all wool it seems to be nice and warm. This morning driving over from Hartland to Pittsfield, I wore one store-bought insulated mitten and my one hand-made mitten, and both hands were equally toasty, though I think the hand-knit one had the advantage in allowing freedom of motion.

So I am working away on the matching one, and hope I can figure out how to make the knitting turn out on the right side. I think I somehow got started knitting on the inside rather than the outside when I switched to dpn. (but how? I have no idea! If it happens again I'll be forced to rip out the stitches. Which is complicated on 3 needles!) My idea of buying just a set of dpn's and using point-protectors to turn them into single-pointed needles for the straight knitting worked out well.

Yesterday I spent the day in Hartland, and it snowed steadily all day long from 8 am till dark, with an accumulation of about 8 inches of soft snow. And today it was 17 degrees when I got up but it fell to 15 degrees by 7 am. It's sunny now and perfectly warm and cozy in Karen's house, but forecasts are for temps around zero by tomorrow morning. And there's a wind. A good day to stay inside, make brownies, and finish my mitten!

Karen got Zack safely to college in Farmington yesterday, got him into his dorm, registered for classes, and bought his books. She called around 2 pm to say she was back home. Not an easy drive in steady snow.

Liz is here today, telling me about her plans for the Peace Corps. It seems like quite a challenge, since she will have to take with her only what she can carry in two standard suitcases.

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