Monday, January 24, 2011

Squared Away

New mitten up: 36x36 mitten Building Chart, to be exact, charted from a historical mitten by Jessica Tromp. Check out her site. Quite amazing the number of charts and information it contains.

I have had this in my queue for quite some time. When I finally succumbed and ordered some Evilla yarn, I knew its time had come. Kauni and Evilla yarns are both lovely Estonian milled lace weight yarns. They are natural, contain some lanolin still, and have a bit of "stickiness" to them. For a knitter, this does not mean they are literally sticky. Rather, two strands of yarn together will tend to hold onto each other and not slip past. This is a looked-for quality in yarns when a knitter is knitting with more than one yarn and carrying both yarns along the backside of the work. This is called stranded work, or sometimes, fair isle. Fair isle is a real place, one of the Shetland islands off the coast of Scotland. More places than this one has a tradition of stranded work, so it isn't always just called fair isle.

Both Kauni and Evilla have wonderful colorways available which have very gradual color gradations. That is how the colors shifted in the last set of mittens I knit. I just got a Evilla yarn with gradually changing blue colorways, and I thought, "a-ha! windows in the architecture mittens."

At first I thought I would like to knit the building in brick red. But red with dark blue windows isn't enough of a color difference. After researching on Ravelry some of the colors these mitts have been knitted in, I decided I liked the the windows and outlines in a darker color than the building color. With the colors I own, that left a nice cement gray for the building.

The pattern does not specify a cuff. I thought a nice braid and some corrugated ribbing would be lovely. Concerned that 2x2 ribbing in navy and grey would be too stark and not balance the rest of the mitten, I decided to stagger the ribbing. Maybe make it look a bit like a cobblestone path?

Here are some pictures of the cuff so far:

If you can see in this photo, the purled blue makes a nice textural square. I really like this on top of the braid.

In order for the blue and grey squares to have clean edges, it is necessary to KNIT the first row of blues and greys. The second and third round are purled for the blues, and knit for the greys. If I had purled the first rows of blues, there would be a grey strand that would pop up in the first ridge. When wanted, this is a lovely decorative technique. Bohus sweaters incorporate this with great artistry. For this cuff, however, I wanted a clean line -- so I knitted that first set-up row.

Off to tame the house, and maybe, just maybe, knit another row.

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