second mitten syndrome

Tonight at knit group, one of the ladies who hadn’t attended in a while glanced at my knitting and went: “You’re still knitting those mittens?!” And she was right, though only partially. Yes, the last time she had been there, about two months ago, I was working on my Fiddleheads. But where she was wrong was that I’m not working on them still – I am working on them again. Oh yeah, after I finished the first one, I got me some of that good ol’ second mitten syndrome! Funny how I don’t get that with socks… Well, I better not say that twice! ;)

Anyway, yes, I am working on the second Fiddlehead. And as I navigate the troubled waters of colourwork again, I’d like to say two heartfelt thankyous.

Firstly, to Adrian Bizilia, the designer, for having the brilliance and the foresight to divide the chart into 5×5 squares. It is indescribable how much easier it is to read and follow a chart that is presented like that. So great that it should be made obligatory, by knitterly law, for all charts. Ever.

Secondly, to the several people (both here and in real life) who advised me to try turning my colourwork inside out while I knit. At first the idea baffled me, but since I’ve tried it I haven’t gone back. I am now best friends with my floats and my tension.

And I think there might just be a finished pair of mittens soon. Maybe even in time to wear this winter… :)

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About fridica

I started knitting completely by accident, when I was visiting my parents for a holiday in 2008. On a boring Sunday afternoon, I decided to dig through their stash of books to see if there was anything interesting to take back to my apartment. A knitting manual happened to be one of the books I found. I got curious, my mom immediately dug out her old needles and yarn stash (which she hadn’t used in a decade at least), and in a few minutes we were both casting on - she by memory, I by following the instructions from the book… :) Since I normally prefer learning from books, this was ideal.. I took the book home with me, and very very soon - I was an addict.

20 thoughts on “second mitten syndrome

  1. Another thing you might want to try for color work is a magnet board. when I do a charted knit I slide the pattern into a plastic sleeve that they sell at office supply stores. Then I tuck a 8×10 metal board- that they sell in stores where you buy embroidery kits- behind the sheet of paper. The board comes with magnetic strips that you can use to mark your place on the pattern and underline the row that you are working on. I like to place my magnets so that the row below shows while I am working on the next row. I find I am able to work much faster without losing my place. I have heard of people using cookie sheets in the same manner and just buying the magnets and the cookie sheet acting as a little table with a rim around it to keep and extra needle or a pencil from rolling off.

  2. Heh, never thought of turning the work inside out…great idea! You’re so lucky you don’t get second sock syndrome (SSS-it’s a very serious affliction). The mitt looks great, is one of those colors ‘mint’?

    • No, I don’t think so… If you click through to my Rav project page, you can see the number codes for all the colours. It might look like mint because of my crappy light in the photo though :D

    • Think of the knitted fabric as a circle. If you hold it “normally”, the floats follow the inside edge of the circle, whereas if you turn it inside out the floats go along the outside edge of the circle, which is of slightly greater circumference. That means you have to worry less about spreading out your knitting and making sure that the floats are not too tight – it happens naturally instead. Overall it has significantly decreased the fussiness of my colourwork knitting, because I’m not constantly stopping and adjusting the floats to make sure they’re not too tight.

  3. So far, I did not experience the second “something” syndrome ;-) To me, the second one means that I now know what I’m doing and it is so much more mindless – which I really enjoy!

  4. I struggle with the tension on colourwork mittens but I can’t work out how the ‘inside out’ works. The mitten looks great. I agree with you about the charts, it makes them less daunting too.

    • Just knit a few rounds like you normally do, and then literally turn the knitting inside out. I couldn’t wrap my mind around it either, it seemed completely illogical, until I just tried. You’ll still be knitting on the right side! Just give it a try without thinking too much :)

    • Just knit a few rounds like you would normally, and then just try turning your knitting inside out. It sounds ilogical and impossible when you think about it, but if you try doing it you’ll see it’s simple! You’ll still be working on the right side, but the wrong side will be facing outwards. The only difference is, if you’re doing magic-loop, your left needle (i.e. the needle you knit from) will be the one behind, while the cable with the inactive stitches will be in front of it (instead of behind it).

  5. Heh, anything that comes in pairs are at risk of a “second” syndrome, but your second mitt looks good. I’ll cross my fingers for your finishing it soon.

  6. I get second mitten syndrome, too! but yet I never get second sleeve syndrome, oddly. I totally understand- I’m knitting my second mitten (Adelia mittens) right now, and I am dying to knit other things even though I really want to wear these mitts now.

  7. Those look great! Thankfully I’m a loose colorwork knitter so I don’t have to worry about turning them inside out. Mostly because I’d be turning them rightside out every couple of rows to check my progress.

  8. I get second “something” syndrome All. The. Time. That’s why knitting 2 socks/mittens at the same time is on my to-learn-list for 2012.

    And thank you for the idea! When I start colorwork (another to-learn :) ) I will definitely try it!

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