When the class schedule was published for this year's Knitter's Frolic, the one session I could not not think about was on Twined Knitting. Trouble is I've been booked solid since mid-March helping my mum with her move - to say nothing of the fact that an awful lot of we Canadians spend the last day of April doing taxes - and I didn't know whether I'd be in a position to set aside an entire Sunday to learn how to twine.
Hand number one: Youtube or not I knew I'd never learn how to do this on my own, I live in a cold place where anything that promises a warm mitt is highly alluring, and the class would enforce 7 hours of sitting down instead of moving boxes and shifting books.
Hand number two: hello, reality? No Time!
So I didn't register in advance. But when I went to the Frolic on Saturday and asked at the registration desk to please be told there were no places left, there was one! so I decided to go for it. And now I have a mini mitten of my very own.
It was a great class, taught by Mairi McKissock who is one of those knitters who will make things just to experiment with new techniques. The samples she brought in to show us! Whoa.
This particular technique is super easy once you know how. Getting to 'how' took a while though. I think we spent half an hour learning (and then practicing until our brains could do it on autopilot) how to cast on the stitches, and another half an hour learning and practicing how to do the actual twisting.
You know, even the direction you should twist has to be thought out, based on the direction the yarn has been plied and how loosely it's been spun. I love this.
Finally knowing how to get this awesome braid effect (if not how to photograph it clearly). So much simpler than I thought!
how pretty the inside of a twined mitt looks.
Okay, so what am I going to do with all this new knowledge - assuming I get time before I forget it all?
This is the original Homespun Handknit from Interweave, and these very simple-looking mitts were designed by Carol Rhoades. I loved this book so much when I found it in the library a year or two ago I had to hunt up a second-hand copy (it's long out of print) and while I still look at it a lot, it's this picture that always makes me stop and ponder the longest.
The grey mohair/romney blend there is all I could think of when I was working on the sample mitt, but after I took that picture I held it up to my winter coat and, um
so now I'm thinking about one of the other Stoddart yarns. Specifically the one that weighs the most, because I have no idea how much yarn a fingering-weight twined mitt will eat. (hint: it's the one with the bunny beside it.)