Finished Persnickety

So going through my box of mittens I discovered that I had actually finished the persnickety mitten! Which means it has been done for about as long as the other (the first+a week). So of course I’m going to share it with you …

Finished Persnickety Mittens. Pattern by SpillyJane Knits. Knit by: Anne Grove.

Finished Persnickety Mittens. Pattern by SpillyJane Knits. Knit by: Anne Grove.

In the first post about the Persnickety Mitten I asked what persnickety means. I love the name as it seems whimsical to me. Ellen Anthony answered my question and thank you so much, Ellen!

persnickety means something that is difficult with small and demanding parts, and is not correct unless you do the parts right! It can be 2 colors of pale pink and if you use the wrong one you won’t know until you have finished the second mitten, or it could be a very complicated recipe from your grandma, or it can be your grandma herself!
So something difficult with small parts! That is has this pattern, but I must admit I did get into a rhythm that made it easier as the mitten progressed. So don’t worry about the name ;)
Persnickety Mitten back side.

Persnickety Mitten back side.

The autumn has ben crazy. I’ve been occupied with school to such a degree that I have had no energy for doing almost anything outside of school. The little energy I’ve had I’ve spend on relaxing and my volunteer work. I’m the chairman in a steering group that runs an educational role-play for 14-17 year old, and the steering group has had a very tough year so a lot of work has gone into getting us on top again. And luckily we are getting there.

I need to close the mitten project and I’m going to do that by posting the last 2 or three mittens that I have found in my stash and then hold the give away. There is two pairs done in needle binding! The technique used in the Northern Europe before knitting came up through turkey and Central Europe. The two pairs I have are of different stitches so I hope you look forward to seeing what they are!

From the woolly mists

It has been about 3 months since I posted last.

I have for about a month dreaded writing in here, even though I owe it to my self and my project to do so. Fact is life started again. Just before the summer holidays I started school again. From January to May I was on sick leave due to a neck injury. My doctor let me in to the school again so that I might have chance to catch up during the summer and not get behind.

So before the school closed down I did a 3 week project in collaboration with a fellow student and from then on I started an internship at the Danish company Eva & Claudi. E&C specializes in knitwear. They wanted to ad hand knitted items to their AutumnWinter2014 collection and this is what I have been working on designing for them. It has been a wonderful time and I have knitted my arms off several times during these three months. But is has not left much surplus to knitting outside of work and not at all to this project.

Gauge samples.

Gauge samples.

To be honest it has been a bit of a blessing to do something else. It turns out I’m not that good at limiting myself to doing only one kind of clothing. It’s simply too narrow for me. Also it is very very difficult for a knitter who always has just knitted completely on her own terms to listen that much to others, for what to knit. Fun! But hard. It is all a pretty awesome lesson. And it has fueled me with inspiration to start a project with complete looks. It is still in the making but I promise to share a link or two when the photo-shoot has taken place!

All that put aside I do feel a bit like I let you down. And it sucks. I am presently trying to find a way to get into my own race again. On the needles is a pair of Beehive inspired fingerless mittens in an yummy mustard alpaca silk form Viking Garn. Also…don’t I owe you a post on a done persnickety mitten?

Samples in piles, from my internship.

Samples in piles, from my internship.

Persnickety Mitten

Persnickety

Persnickety Mitten with yarn balls. Pattern by SpillyJane Knits. Knit by: Anne Grove.

Yet a mitten from SpillyJane Knits. This is one is really cute. Cute and simple. I am not sure what drew me to it: the pattern or the name. I have no idea what is means – is it a place perhaps? It’s just so darn fun to say (not that I know if I pronounce it correctly).

The palm is not my friend. At least not before blocking it. I don’t know quite yet. Perhaps I’ve just been occupied and tired this week. Lots is going on and thoughts are wondering off every time I sit down to knit.

Anywho, this is going to be a short post as I am currently out feeding 30 geeks. I probably won’t find the time sunday to post the finished mittens as I won’t be home before very late. But don’t despair – I have a small post ready for the sunday read ;)

Back of Persnickety Mitten.

Back of Persnickety Mitten.

I have done two pairs of mittens from SpillyJane before on this project. Or one as a warm up and one as the first pair of mittens. The gnome mittens and the flamingo mittens.

SpillyJane patterns contains instructions as well as a chart. It costs $ 6.00 USD but if you purchase several at a time she gives a nice discount. You can find the pattern here on Ravelry or on her etsy shop.

Rosa Ros

Rosa Ros is a modern version of a traditional scandinavian motif. The rose is seen throughout Scandinavia but are of course mostly know as the selbu rose (from Norway). Gotland (Sweden), how ever, has a lot of roses – less figurative than the Selbu.

Solveig Larsson, the knitter behind has dedicated her life to mittens. She published the book The Mitten Book and I tell you, it’s an inch+ thick book of mitten after mitten. Almost every other page is a new one.
All Solveigs patterns are

Rosa Ros. Pattern: Solveig Svensson. Knitted by Anne Grove.

Rosa Ros. Pattern: Solveig Svensson. Knitted by Anne Grove.

This project, let me tell, it was a joy! The stitches just flew from one needle to the other and before I knew of it I had finished the first mitten. I had actually intended to knit these on the span of two weeks as per the setup of this project. But as a good book I just couldn’t put it down. It has been a joy doing these mittens. I think they might be my favorite so far. I’m sure they would be yours too if you could feel them. ‘Cos yum!

Solveig is very clear on her choice of yarn: alpaca. And this does give a wonderful mitten. If you are not used to knitting with different qualities of yarn you should do yourself that favor. A wonderful project can be amazing with a good quality yarn. I am glad I did these mittens in the recommended yarn^^

Front and back picture.

Front and back picture.

The cuff

The pattern doesn’t have a start to the cuff, non of her charts do. Normally most mittens will have some kind of edge before the charted cuff part. In The Mitten Book, Solveig have a chapter in the beginning showing different kinds that one can pick and choose from. I don’t remember if she writes this, but I have seen her use it on several mittens. I did a 12 rounds garter stitch. Plain and simple. I like that it doesn’t take from the pattern, but I do figure that others will like some cute edging – luckily you can choose which you use for your project ;)

Close-up of cuff, Rosa Ros.

Close-up of cuff, Rosa Ros.

Notes and thoughts

1. Choose an edging for the cuff. I chose a simple and somewhat stocky cuff: 12 rows of garter stitch.

2. I also added a very little detail to the pattern. I don’t know if it shows in any of the pictures but casting on I used both green colors. Giving a small row of light green loops before the cuff. I didn’t do it in any fancy way, I just made a loose knot to tie the two strands together and unwound it afterwards.

3. Yarn choice. Do yourself a favor and knit this pattern in alpaca! It deserves it and it’s what Solveig would do. It makes it a little fluffier, softer, smoother and much more yummy^^ I used DROPS alpaca for these, but you can use any alpaca

4. Color choice. The three shades of light pink for the rose can be tricky. I love the three colors I chose, while on their own. But the leap from first to second was just too big. Several times while knitting I discussed with myself if I should unwind and do it only in two. Just have in mind when you pick out colors that one color isn’t too powerfull and take out the pallet.

Besides being an awesome knitter and author she is also a wonderful person! She helped me to the pattern without much ado about nothing. And thank you for that, Solveig!
If you want to see more of her amazing mittens she has about 160 on Ravelry, you can see them here. You can also go to her webpage, though I could only find it in Swedish. Her website can be found here: solveigs vantar.

If you want to get your hands on this pattern you can get it, and many more patterns by purchasing The Mitten Calendar 2013 through the webpage. I will also recommend buying her book. It’s simply amazing. It comes in scandinavian languages and english (at least! that’s just what I know of).

Closeup of rose pattern - just because I'm in love with it!

Closeup of rose pattern – just because I’m in love with it!

Testing and geeking or just being weird and struck by madness?

Testing. Testing. Testing. Testing. Testing. Testing.

Yup. I finished the deadline for today and I am not allowed to knit more than that says the doctor lady. Actually she said no knitting at all but hey, 14 rounds a day is hardly knitting! Right? ;P

So does that mean that The Mitten Project lyes dormant until the next day? NO! I really want to collect some the pattern elements I discover during this year. To make clear not to copy the patterns I buy but many of the traditional mittens have amazing elements that can be used for further design and inspiration. I would love to collect those in a sketchbook. So why am I babeling about this? In what way do I use my evening on that? Well here it is: I am testing methods for drawing charts. It needs to be fast, pleasant to the hand and show the pattern clearly.

This is something I have been dreaming of doing for a while so awesome it is. But I also found out that it was common for the young girls to do pattern books of their own. I have seen a few pictures of these books and seen a couple of different methods. Now I’m testing them!

I have tested four pens. A simple 0.4 pen with a hard and round, a SignPen with a soft and rounded head, a PITT pen (b) with a brush head and a 3.0mm calligraphy pen. I tested 6 different ways of drawing.

What is clear to me is that the symbol needs to be clear on the page. The smaller ones are too vague.

  1. Column: The normal (for me) to draw charts for color work. One might call it the cross stitch symbol. This a little comprehensive but as I’m used to doing it doesn’t seem as bad as such. It is however a lot of work for my wrists. I prefer SignPen the most in this.
  2. Column: The dot. Simple. Easy. Looks very frail and somewhat hard to read on the page compared to the other methods. I am not choosing a favorite in this as I can’t see it working for me.
  3. Column: The circle. This symbol is very easy to do and is definitely the symbol that needs the least work compared to how visible it is on the page. It works best with a fuller pen. SignPen or Pitt brush pen is best here.
  4. Column: Small cross stitches. These are actually easier to make than the full cross stitch as they need less movement of the hand. They are also funner to do hehe. It’s however a little more work than the circle.
  5. Column: The square filled completely. This is a very nice and clear way of showing a pattern. It is however quite a lot of work. It was definitely easiest to do with the calligraphy pen. I consider if I could find two or three colors of this pen then I could mark the contrast colors.
  6. Column: Large dot/filled circle. This is a bit too much work for me. It’s more work than the circle as I did the circle and then filled it in. So this is out of the picture.

Now I’m also considering trying out the circles and dots on millimeter paper. It could make it easier to get a full mitten on one sheet of paper however it’s a bit difficult to find a sketch book with it and not just a pad.

There is so many very very big decisions as you can hear! …..I am such a weird geek! I am thrilled about this kind of work and I feel so odd because of it. Oh well. I am amused and happy, but mad, I’m sure.

Internet. I has it. Finally.

Yup, it turns out internet is such a snazzy thing that it’s practically impossible to blog without! Who would have guessed!

I have had internet problems for some weeks now but I am finally back online again! It has been immensely frustrating. Working from home and having a 2 hours commute to my school with internet hasn’t helped much in the internet department. Though my knitting hasn’t stopped because of that. How should that stop me?! ;) Well. I finished the Rosa Ros mittens and to keep on track I found a pattern in my library that I started. I have one finished mitten and the next to be knitted this week. Oh also, I had to do a little moving day as this project is taking up a little more space with time^^

So the next couple of days I will post several posts get back on track.