I am really pleased (knock wood) with the way these mittens (well singular, so far--mitten) is working out. It turns out that on closer analysis, the decreases and the positioning of the thumb are very simple to translate into a 2-needle method. In fact, easier than all the fiddling around with 3 needles and uneven numbers of stitches. This way I have 22 stitches on each side, and make the decreases at both ends of both needles. Or at least that's how it looks. I haven't quite gotten there yet. The knitting is nice and tight, as it should be for mittens, but it's also rather slow-paced. However, with some work, I might have mitten 1 done this evening, or tomorrow at the latest. 3 days? Of fairly obsessive knitting? Per mitten? Well that still gives you a pair per week. Heck , that could be 52 pairs a year! More than enough mittens! :-) After I get this done, I will post my revised instructions.
On Sunday I went to Teresa's house for knitting instructions/gathering. Teaching people to knit is really hard, imo. It's hard to see and feel what they're doing unless you just take the needles into your own hands and try it. It's hard to explain things so that 5 or 6 people all get it at the same time. Basically it has to be one on one. That's why the old way of mother to daughter or grandmother to granddaughter is really best. Because daughter can practice for however long she needs to and turn to mother for help at whatever point help becomes necessary. In a lesson setting, you tend not to need much help while you're there, and then as soon as you get home, things fall apart and you need help just when it's not available. I was very impressed with Christine's calm and patient manner. Very soothing.