Last night was the Akron Stitch 'n Bitch birthday swap. It was great fun having all the ladies together again! I finally finished one of my handmade items (I'll post on the other later this week) for my partner, Mary, in the wee hours of the afternoon. May I present, the first piece of stranded knitting produced at Life on Laffer, the ever wonderful
I know how much Mary loves Totoro but didn't find this pattern in her queue until a few weeks ago. Keep in mind, we've known who our partner is for about two months or so. Could I do it? Well I had to at least give it a try. I had never done any sort of stranded knitting before, not even stripes. My first mitten came out too tight on my small hands so I new they would be too tight on average sized hands. I didn't want to go up another needle size because I was afraid of having the stitches too loose and the finished mitten looking shoddy. So I consulted a knitting teacher and blogging friend, Mary. She was so wonderfully helpful! She looked up the pattern, gave me some ideas on how to increase the size and where to add extra stitches. She definitely went out of her way. Thank you so much! I couldn't have done it without you.
Eventually I got things (mostly) figured out and they came out better than I had expected. They are not quite the same size and one Totoro has a bit of a different expression than the other but Mary was very happy to receive them. I also gave her the rest of the yarn I had used to make them. Perhaps we'll see another pair of mittens form her.
Overall, for my first (and hurried) attempt at stranded knitting, I don't think it turned out so bad. I'd like to give it another try with a different pattern. I didn't really love the long floats of color since I didn't really know what to do with that yarn. I know my gauge was kind of wonky. Again, they aren't quite the same size (a sure sign of wonky gauge). I also need to practice holding my yarn for colorwork, which I'm sure will take some getting used to.
Pattern: Norwegian Totoro Mittens by Brella
Yarn: Cascade 220, colors #9325 (light blue heather) and #8505 (white)
Needles: #3 dpns for cuff, #6 circular for hand (magic loop)
Began: August 27
Finished: September 8