Friday, April 11, 2014

Knitting: a training ground for perseverence and ingenuity

The thing about working with inexpertly handspun yarn is that if you're making two of a thing, the second is going to be a good deal more complicated than the first - because you have to watch to see how to make it matchy.

handspun knitting

And straight up, you can see the difficulty with this particular pair of handspun Ferryboat Mitts (pattern from Churchmouse Yarns and Teas.)

I suppose the solution is not to care about the matchy, but sadly, I do not seem to be able to change who I am, even for gorgeous handspun fingerless mitts.  So I spent a lot of time fussing with my yarn once I realized I was not going to get that nice brown stripey cuff on the second mitt, forgiving the fact because it might with luck be hidden under a sweater cuff.

Soon after I accepted this fact, it became clear that the second mitt could be persuaded to fall into line with a symmetrical blue patch around the middle of the thumb gusset, and I took heart:

fingerless mitts

But I could see there would still be work to do.  I looked ahead, comparing the first mitt to the yarn that was coming off the second half of the yarn cake and manipulating things a bit,

and then I started comparing both of those things to the remaining scrap of yarn cake that was spun to a different weight and is meant to be yarn backup for a second pair of mitts (note: this is the mark of true desperation),

and I just made it work.

At rather a large cost to the business of running in ends.  I mean honestly, it's like there's an octopus conference in there.

Still, check out the results!

handknit hand warmers

Okay, this pair of mitts still don't look perfect in the colour department.  But given what I was working with, they're not bad.  Especially if you figure that only the tips will show under a nice big sweater or jacket or something.

And anyway: handspun mitts.  Everybody wants those, right?

(that's my mantra for getting me through all those ends, in case you're wondering.  it'll be Mantra and Really Good Audiobook, I think.)

And that's me for this week.  Have a wonderful weekend full of delights and I will see you back here again on Monday!


Leslie said...

They look awesome! I can never make myself worry over matchy, so I try to make sure that they look purposefully mis-matched...Interestingly I have the hardest time doing that with Vesper socks!

Mary Keenan said...

Vespers want to be matchy I think, espcially if you start them at the same colour point - I never have such matchiness luck with other yarns, even semi solids where the depth of colour can shift unexpectedly. Maybe that's why I love Vesper so much ;^)