After reading through my Ravelry notes for these mittens, I could think of no other title for the post. Indeed, in the roughly five months that it took me to completely finish these, I changed my mind many many times about many many things.
One thing remained the same – I loved the pattern from start to finish and can wholeheartedly recommend it. It’s not one for beginners, I’ll say that much, and it definitely involved both concentration and deliberate effort, but it was also very clear in instructions and enjoyable. I won’t even mention the awesomeness of the finished product.
But back to the changing of mind.
At first I thought I would lead a knitting diary for this project – noting when I knitted and how much, and when I did not knit and why (thus remembering not only the good knitting times, but also the good reasons for skipping knitting – like hanging out with my friends). However, the diary idea died out with time. I seem to be as bad at keeping knitting diaries as I am at “real-life” diaries. Too bad, because I really enjoy reading the parts when I was still keeping up – it’s a nice snippet of my life.
I also planned to knit 5 rounds each day and finish this quicker. But in the end I gave up on that and simply followed my natural rhythm. I gave myself time, worked on this when it felt right and dropped it when it seemed smarter to take a break.
I had originally started this project on 3.5mm needles, but promptly decided that this was going to be too loose and changed my mind to 3mm. In retrospect, this was not the best choice, I am really convinced that the colourwork would have looked much nicer at this slightly looser gauge. However this realisation came far too late to consider ripping – there had already been too much work invested and I was not changing my mind again for anything!
I should also add that I had started knitting on double-pointed needles. At some point, I decided to try magic loop instead (I had never tried it with colourwork before), and this completely changed the whole project for me. It became so much faster, so much less fiddly! Yay! I’m never going back!
But the most changes of mind concerned the lining. At first I was convinced that the mittens were too snug to be adding a lining as well, so I considered the project finished when I completed the outer mittens. But then I wore them for a week. And started thinking that a little bit of lining would be ok. Just around the wrist, not all the way around the whole mitten. Then I wore them some more. And it occured to me that, since the yarn I had bought for the lining was a laceweight anyway, the thing would be so thin that it would probably fit easily even if I knit the whole inner mitten. Then I picked up my needles. And thought: man it’s going to be difficult figuring out these lining numbers for a laceweight. Why don’t I just try holding it double like that lady whose notes I saw on Ravelry…
And so we came from “No, no lining at all!” to “A full lining in the yarn weight the pattern called for”. :) Luckily, it seems to have been a good change of mind. I’ve been wearing these for a few weeks now and they are just heaven. So much so that I am even regretting a bit all the warm spring weather – as it just makes no sense to wear mittens with four layers of wool when the sun is shining…
One final observation about making a pair of something. Comparing my left and right mitten, the difference is obvious. The stitches are messier on the first one, the floats are tighter, the thumb has a larger hole which is stitched up awkwardly so that it’s a bit tight when I put it on… None of these problems appear on the second mitten. It is very easy to conclude that the first mitten was the one on which I tested things and figured them out as I went along, while on the second one I successfully applied the lessons learned. I wonder if this is simply inevitable – when I make a pair of something, will the two always be slightly miss-matched, the uglier and the prettier twin? Is it just the fate of making two in a row? Well, it’s impossible to make them at the same time! Or should I make three of everything then? One to test things out and practice, then two ‘for real’.
What are your opinions on and experiences with pairs of handmade things?