Sunday, November 04, 2007

Fair Isle is my friend

Look what I made, look what I made! Not to be immodest, but I'm so impressed with myself. Well, actually I wasn't that impressed until Dave was really impressed, and then I thought, "Wow, these really are pretty damn cool mittens!" I have decided that the fair isle and I are friends - of the types of knitting I've done, it is by far my favorite. Why? Because you can see the project developing in real-time as you're knitting. None of this waiting for the blocking magic you have with lace, or the fear of overshrinkage you have with felting or the risk of your sweater growing upon blocking. Nosiree, just the pattern smiling at you as you go. Plus, fair isle is built for being knit in the round, and in my limited experience has not involved purling, and these are both concepts I can get behind.
Project Stats: Selbuvotter Mittens (NHM #7)
Pattern: NHM #7, from Selbuvotter, by Terri Shea
Yarn: Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift, Stonewash and Surf. One skein of the dark and just a tad over one of the main color. I got the yarn at Weaving Works.
Needles: Crystal Palace bamboo DPNs, size 1.5. Really worth the extra $$$.
Time to knit: October 7-November 4, 2007.
Impressions: I love them. Really. One of my favorite knits. The pattern was very clear (being a chart, of course it's clear, but the instructions were also quite good). I didn't really understand what I was doing with the decreases, so mine are a bit different from the photo (I followed the pattern colors, instead of doing all the decreases in the main color, which I think is what I was supposed to do.), but that is part of the beauty of these mittens. They are handmade and thus they aren't perfect (although I didn't make any actual mistakes, far as I know). They fit perfectly and aren't overly bulky. I think they'll be plenty warm enough for Seattle, but perhaps not for Alaska. I really enjoyed the Shetland Spindrift - it's not the softest yarn but it gives the impression that it will stand up to some abuse and last for a long time, and it's certainly soft enough for me, not having very sensitive skin. I knit these mittens quite quickly by my standards, only stopping to procrastinate a bit about the thumbs, which ended up being much easier than I feared. A bit fiddly due to the small number of stitches, but nothing unmanageable. The Crystal Palace needles are a bit spendy, but they're really worth it because they don't bend/break/chip/snag/split or any of the other problems I've had with my little Brittney birch needles, plus they're shorter than the Clover bamboo needles. All in all, this project was a great success!
So, what now? I finished the secret gift project on Friday (no photos), and these today, so that is my two projects finished before casting on the Ivy League Vest. However, as I mentioned last week, I'd like to finish the clogs I'm making my uncle for Christmas while my parents are visiting (starting on Wednesday night), so those will come first. I started them yesterday and I'm about half done with the first clog. They go really quickly so it shouldn't be a problem to whip them out in the next week and a half. I also have yarn to make my cousin Andie some pink/ivory Selbuvotters, so I'll probably make those before starting the vest, just to keep the Christmas knitting on target for early completion. Best to not be stressed about that! I also knit about five inches of the Drops Swing Cardigan on Friday, so progress is being made on many fronts. And the house is clean. We even washed the slipcover. It was a very productive weekend!

9 comments:

Nora said...

Oh, they're so beautiful.

Beth said...

Those are gorgeous! I so need to get my hands on a copy of that book...

f. pea said...

You are amazing! They came out so beautifully. I am so scared of fair isle i can't even think about it. You know what, I just opened my new IK, and I thought of you when I saw that Ivy League vest! I'm psyched that you're going to knit it.

Anne-Marie said...

I too am impressed!
The thumbs turned out great!
So pretty...

Megan said...

Those are awesome! I'll add them to my list of new things to try. And perfect timing, too! Usually I finish cold-weather things in the summer, and warm-weather things in the spring.

Octopus Knits said...

Great job - they're beautiful!

CraftyCanadian said...

GORGEOUS mittens! I just got the yarn for my Ivy League vest and I love it :) I got the tidepool heather and the marine heather which is much more blue than the tidepool but since it definitely has green in it, they coordinate quite well IMO.

I also ordered a color card - the swatches are small and the Marine heather sample doesn't give the full effect. I will try to take a good photo of the yarn and post it on Ravelry :)

yarnmaniac said...

Very impressive, indeed!

Marisol said...

Ooooohhhhhh Emily! These are gorgeous! You make me want to knit something Fair Isle!

I think Fair Isle is your friend! You two were MFEO:)