Wednesday, December 28, 2016

fo: Northman Mittens, and Some Blathering

Ye Gods!  Has this last 6 months been a major learning curve.  Series of learning cliffs.  Whatever it was, it was certainly busy!  I forgot how hectic Christmas season + Retail can be, and I barely made it though it intact - the only thing that kept me going was my wonderful employee N and the promise of 3 full days off over Christmas.

But made it through I did, and while I know January will still be busy, I might actually be able to breath!  ...maybe.

Anywho, there has been a PLETHORA of knitting and crocheting going on, and I'm going to try to bang out a few posts about that before 2017 - need to bolster my shoddy posting numbers at least a bit!  Also, it's killing me, not being able to blog.  Or read blogs.  I miss you guys!

Northman Mittens
Okay, first (and recent favourite!) project to share is my Northman Mittens.  Guys, this project basically reinforced that colourwork is probably my most favourite knitting technique!  It's so fun, and feels quick because all you want to do is just one more round or 12 to see the pattern emerging!

Northman Mittens
Pattern: Northman Mittens, by David Schultz
Ravelry project page
Yarn: Outer mitten - Ístex Lettlopi in Fawn and White; Liner mitten - Drops Alpaca in Light Green
Needles: 3.25 mm
Mods: Raised thumb by doing 4 additional rows after gusset increases before separating out the thumb stitches; removed 4 rows from finger section.  Did same mod for the liner mitten, and added more length to the finger section from what pattern suggests (they would've been too short).

These mittens are just what I needed.  I lost my old Rasta mittens and my hands were getting cold, and guys, I swear this pattern stalked and seduced me.  Everytime I went onto Ravelry - there it was.  Three people came into the shop and pointed it out.  One person came in and showed me pictures of their pair.  It just had to happen.

Northman Mittens
They took me a little over a month and a half to knit (Rav tells me Oct 5 to Nov 28), which is pretty good considering I was pulling 10-14 hour days, 6-7 days a week, including teaching way too many classes and the knitting that goes along with that!  lol

Northman Mittens
The top of this mitten demonstrates colour dominance really well.  Colour dominance is where one colour stands out more over the other, and happens because one strand in stranded colourwork has to go a wee bit further than the other in the back of the work.  Usually the strand that travels along the bottom of the row (aka the one held in the left hand of the two-handed colourwork technique) will be more dominant.  In this mitten, I let the white be the dominant colour...except on the one row at the top of the left mitten, when I obviously swapped hands and didn't realize it until the mittens were finished.  You can see how there's one row where the fawn shade stands out more than the white.  Oh well, it was a good teaching moment for my colourwork class.  <3
I LOVED working with the Lettlopi yarn.  I've had a huge crush on it for ages, and one evening I broke and started the project.  The outer mitts just flew off the needles, and the pattern managed to seduce my entire advanced colourwork class when I was discussing colour dominance with them.  They've got me half convinced to run a class on the pattern!  Sneaky sneaky pattern.

Northman Mittens
Of course, these mitts are also lined, which both adds SO MUCH to the warmth factor, and also adds a soft layer between the itchy Icelandic yarn and my skin.  I used Drops Alpaca, and I'm blown away by the results.  They kept my hands nice and toasty warm when Whitehorse weather dipped into the -35C range! Plus when I brush the snow off my car and scrape the windshields, these mitts wind up COVERED in snow, but despite my steering wheel getting soaked as the car warms up, my hands stay dry and warm.  THIS is why we wear wool, guys.  :)

Good night folks!  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, or whatever you celebrate this holiday season!  If you don't celebrate anything, well, sorry that you have to deal with us crazies.  :D  <3