The third gift I made this Christmas was by far the biggest undertaking, and the one I’m most proud of completing:
From the moment I saw the pattern in Knitty, I knew it was something my sister would love. She’s always been one for bright colours, and she’s been drawing inspiration for her wedding (this coming summer) from peacock colouring. How could I not make these for her?
I did make one major change from the pattern: instead of the short cuff in the original, I wanted to add a deep cuff. Mittens, to me, need a substantial cuff to help them to stay on, and to keep snow out! But I was worried about yardage, not knowing whether there would be enough yarn left over from the mittens to make the cuffs — and yet, since the mittens are knit cuff-to-tip, I wouldn’t know about the yardage until I ran out, or didn’t, at the end of the second mitten. Luckily, I had a partial skein of KPPPM that had both the green and the teal in it, so I was able to use that to knit the cuffs without worrying about compromising the mittens themselves.
(Note: As it turned out, there would have been plenty of either the green or the teal to make both cuffs. I still like the effect of the multicolour version, though!)
I should note, here, that this was by far the biggest stranded colourwork project I’d ever undertaken. I had made one other pair of mittens (in worsted weight, in a geometric pattern) and done a few bits of ornamental banding on other projects. Whee, learning curve!
I don’t actually know how I managed to keep even tension. Technically, my knitting should suck — I knit English-style, but I’m ‘one of those people’ who can’t get the hang of tensioning the yarn around a finger, so I pick it up and drop it with each stitch. (Gasp. I know.) More to the point, I certainly don’t have the skills required for two-handed colourwork! Miraculously, though, I managed to maintain an even, if somewhat tight, tension throughout the knitting. Phew!
Anyway, back to the peacock mittens. Like I said, my sister has always been into bright colours… I figured that with these, I might as well go wild, so I flipped the main colour and contrast colour for the second mitten. It took a few rounds (and, oh, a fair few tinked stitches) to train my brain to read the chart in opposite colours, but I think the effect is really cool.
My sister’s thrilled with them, and I am delighted!