Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mitt Alongs

My group on Ravelry, The Colorwork Challenge, is getting started with its first knit-along.  After changing my mind a couple of times, first on the project to do, then on the colors to use, I have finally settled with doing the Endpaper Mitts by Eunny Jang.  Everyone says it's a great starter project, so I figured I'd give it a shot.  The wife isn't too crazy about the colors, but I think they're great. So if she doesn't like the final product, then I'll give them to a good friend of ours who lives in Connecticut.  Surely she could use them up there.

I have to admit, that even though I have this pattern grouped in the "Advanced" section for projects for our members to choose from for this first KAL, it really isn't that difficult.  I've made it through the Italian tubular cast-on (twice, since I had to start over after deciding on a different yarn/color choice), the cuff, and one pattern repeat so far.  I haven't had any problems at all.  In fact, row by row, it's getting easier and easier to deal with the tension issues.

These seem like they're going to knit up pretty quick.  Which is good because I'm a very impatient person.  I need to see results, NOW!

I will post more progress as I make more.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

My first attempt with stranded colorwork

As I mentioned earlier, I started a group on Ravelry called The Colorwork Challenge.  What this group is going to be is a place for newcomers to colorwork, whether it's Fair Isle, simple stranded colorwork, intarsia, entrelac, etc.  People seem to be pretty intimidated by doing colorwork, and therefore don't ever give it a try.  But what I have found by starting this group, which has 190 members now, is that once people see others in the same boat, they're all of the sudden not so intimidated any more.  And they're more willing to give it a shot.  So we're going to build this group as a place for people to launch into the world of colorwork.  I'm pretty excited about it.  I've got a lot of work to do to get organized with it though.  Thankfully, a bunch of people have stepped up to the plate to help out and to be part of the growing process of the group.

I wasn't going to attempt anything related to colorwork until after we decided on the first project to do as a group.  But, I just couldn't resist.  Well, that, and I'm one impatient dude!  I found a pretty simple patten on Ravelry that looks more complicated than it is.  Here is a picture of my progress so far.

All in all, it hasn't been that bad to work on.  It's actually knitting up pretty fast.  The only real problem is trying to find my rhythm and to get comfortable with holding two yarns at one time. I still can't figure out if I want to do one in each hand or both in the left hand.  Normally I'm a continental knitter, so that's the easiest for me.  For now, I think I'm going to continue with one in each hand which is what I've done for most of the hat.  The hat was supposed to be for my 5 month old son, but a good section of the middle of it ended up way loose, so the hat is coming out a lot bigger than it was charted as.  It might end up being my 3 year old son's hat.  Hell, it might even fit me.  Who knows.

It's been a good learning experience though.  As with most new colorwork folks, the tension is what gets you.  I'm sure it just takes practice to learn how to get that just right.  It's kind of a pain in the arse getting used to how tight or loose things need to be.  But not a pain enough to not continue on with it.

My goal for this year is to succeed in knitting a Dale of Norway sweater, either for me or for one or both of my sons.  Once I get the hang of the two yarns at one time deal, then there really shouldn't be anything preventing me from being able to bust out a Dale sweater, right?!