The Daily Purl

red swirls


It really is amazing how these windy scrolls1 take shape before your eyes. I didn’t hesitate to jump into this project even though I had yet to try two stranded knitting.2
While knitting the body of the mitten I realized that I was holding the dominant yarn in the wrong hand. The little red v’s looked lost in the white stitches, so I switched the red yarn to my left hand. You can see where I made this change and how I didn’t do a very good job of keeping myself on track with the chart. My knitting lacks neatness in areas I think of as transitions: when I knit the decreases for the mitten top, when I pick up stitches around the thumb (which is a little short). This is something I hope to work on in future projects and in the second mitten.
Knitting with two hands proved to be comfortable and I don’t think I had any major problems with tension. The woman who taught me to knit a few years ago knit Continental style, but I quickly switched to English style. My Grandmother showed me how to knit this way when I was young and although I didn’t continue the craft at that time, there must have been some physical memory of how to hold the yarn and needles. If my Grandmother3 was here with me today, she’d say, let me see your floats.
Wishing you all health and happiness in the New Year!
1 Eunny Jang‘s Anemoi Mittens.
2 A note on how I approach areas of knitting that are new to me. I cast on and forge ahead even if it doesn’t look perfect or I make little mistakes along the way. If it is wrong I’ll rip, but if there is a tiny mistake and I know how I made it and can learn from it, I just keep on knitting. Honestly, if I ripped out every mistake I’d never finish a project. It’s important to finish something that’s new and get the full flow and experience of the process. Push yourself to new knitting heights, put it out there on your blog, the next one can be perfect.
3 She knit amazing Fair Isle Christmas stockings for everyone in our family, including a sock she knit before she died intended for the first grandchild. A second grandchild has recently joined us and needs a stocking. I’ve slowly started knitting for family members this year but I’m hesitant to branch out into the stockings. It’s totally crazy, but I don’t want them to think I’m trying to take over something that was hers. I’m sure they don’t feel this way. They’ve sent me her needles and patterns. They obviously want me to carry on the tradition and yet I hesitate to knit this item. Knitting this mitten was a good first step in trying the technique, now I just have to get over the feelings that come with knitting a sock.

18 thoughts on “red swirls

  1. wow, this is your first fair isle?! you did a great job! i agree about leaving the mistakes in. i would never get anything done if i tried to be a perfectionist 🙂
    happy new year!

  2. Wow! Beautiful! I am just working up the cuff on my first one and I hope mine turns out as nicely as yours!

  3. The first one is beautiful. That red is really gorgeous, and you did a great job with the colorwork. 🙂
    I like mistakes in knitting – it means it was really handmade. 🙂
    Happy New Year!

  4. Seriously, seriously beautiful. Wow!

  5. Ooh! I’m loving the super long cuff! I thought of elongating the cuff, but ran out of steam… Hey, it’s pretty tedious to knit ribbing on size 0 needles!
    You picked a tough first fair isle project, and it’s coming out great! Good luck on the second one.

  6. OH, I L-O-V-E the super long cuff! Saw these mittens a few weeks ago and told myself then that I simply had to make them. You are giving me a lot of encouragement since you had never done stranded work before; neither have I. Now, knowing that you were able to do it without any previous knowledge I am sure I can too!
    Happy New Year!

  7. Thanks for the encouragement. I’m about to try my first colorwork and I’ve been putting it off. I think you and I have the same philosophy about ripping. Oh, and I do hope you do the stocking. I’m going to click around now and try to figure out what yarn you used…

  8. How pretty! I am with you – we learn a lot from each project, and if you can live with the little “boo-boo’s” from learning, than it’s not a big deal. I would get nothing done ever if everything had to be perfect!

  9. Gorgeous. I’m the same way with something new – just jump in and see how it goes. I think that’s the best way to learn. Fear has no place in knitting. Nerves, sure, but not fear.

  10. Pretty! I love that red!

  11. “Push yourself to new knitting heights, put it out there on your blog, the next one can be perfect”
    It’s my new motto.
    I, like you, forge ahead and try new things. If we didn’t, would we be this far in our knitting journey’s? Though you seem to be miles ahead of me with those beautiful mittens!

  12. That is gorgeous, truly.

  13. You give me great hope for when I get the courage to start on my own two strand knitting. Your mittens are great!

  14. I just bought her pattern–yours are so gorgeous! What yarn did you use?

  15. Great job with you mittens! Isn’t the yarn dominance thing amazing. I absolutely love your knitting philosophy and couldn’t agree with you more. It’s so important to experiment with new things, learn from your mistakes, and keep moving forward. Hey, it’s not a bad philosophy for life either 🙂 As for your grandmother, I think you should proudly follow in her footsteps and take on the family role of stocking knitter — she would be very happy to see her tradition continued.

  16. The mittens look AMAZING in red & white–most of the ones I’ve seen have been knit in softer colors, but I like these so much better! I like your philosophy on the little mistakes too–I need to learn to let go of the little imperfections!

  17. I love how crisp the colors in your mittens are. I’m currently working on these mittens too. (I think I am holding the dominant yarn wrong still, but I start getting a little confused every time I try to research to find out.)

  18. I love the motto of putting it out there. I think I feel so often that my blog projects need to be perfect but sharing what we learn about in our mistakes is often more valuable than with the perfectly done items.
    Beautiful mittens by the way 🙂

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