Monday, November 12, 2007

Adventures with the Learning Curve

Nice title, eh? Well, let me tell ya: I have decided to make some thrummed mittens. I want to make them for Christmas. I have access to roving (Angora, no less), and yarn, of course, and I've never made this gift before, so people will be excited (in my happy world) to receive them. So I decided to make a pair for the three year old, just as a tester, to see if I was doing it right. Now, I was going to write a blog entry about how spoiled my three-year-old was, getting thrummed mittens. That would have been cute. Instead, I'm going to write about jumping into a project without doing proper research. (Darn it.)

I looked up the Yarn Harlot's thrummed mittens, just to get a feel for what they looked like. I remembered enough of what she said to do back when I read the entry, enough to get started anyway. I did look up the thrummed mitten pattern, which suggested I could thrum anything, if I figured out a way to make space for the roving. So I went up a needle size and started knitting. Mmmm, Angora is soft.... This is a neat technique, where you take a bit of roving/wool, twist it in the middle and knit it along with your stitch. The inside of this mitten was so soft I wanted one for myself. Then, about halfway up the mitten, I ran out of roving, and had to get another baggie of it. I started to get a bit concerned. I have four sandwich baggies of wool from the bunnies, and I thought that would be enough for this project and at least one other. Plus, since the bunnies kindly keep making wool, I wasn't concerned. But this was a mitten project for a three-year-old, I hadn't even finished one mitten, and I was moving fast through the fluffy stuff.

I went back and peeked at the thrummed mitten pattern to see how much wool/roving they suggested for the child's size mitten, but to be honest, I never got that far. Instead I saw, and I quote, “Read This BEFORE Beginning the Thumb Gusset.” Rats. That had to be at least six rows ago. Apparently, they had a technique that was going to work easier than knitting the mitten, then the thumb. Oh, well. That's adventurous knitting for you, right? I went back to my mitten and knit on.

The little darling had gone to bed, but she has little bitty hands, so I started the decreases. Really, thrumming takes some time. It isn't smooth knitting. But it is fun, and very satisfying to stop and keep feeling the inside of your mitten. I must say though, this morning, when she tried it on and smiled at the softness of it, her fingers were sticking up through the top. Rats. I have to tink back and add some more rows for her freakishly long fingers. Now, I'm not losing my happy thoughts or anything, but tinking back thrummed mittens ain't all the fun you'd imagine it is. I can't stop now, though, because she really would hate normal mittens now that she's felt the inside of these. So I'm adding enough rows so she can wear them next year, too.

Here's a pic before anything bad happened, when I was considering the smug little blog entry I would write.

9 comments:

Mouse said...

Thrummed angora mittens? Oooh.. what a lucky girl!

del said...

I can only imagine the softness! She sure is lucky. Good luck with these mittens; I'm sure you'll end up diong great.

Cheryl S. said...

Oh dear! Sorry to hear about your frustration with the mittens. I'm sure it will all turn out OK in the end.

LaurieM said...

Lucky you to have the angora on hand for thrumming! I've made a couple pairs of thrummed socks from the Fleece artist kits, and in my experience, it takes very little fiber to make a thrum.

I'm on the edge of my seat to hear the rest of the story...

trek said...

I do not like directions like that. Even if you have already skimmed the directions before casting on, there is always the chance that you will forget to read ahead in time.

Hmph.

AR said...

You sound like someone I know, just forging ahead, not heading directions. hehe, just kidding. I know you'll work it out! They sure are going to be cute. Now, are they just the right blue?

Julie said...

I have been wanting to make some of those ever since last February when I put my hands in a pair at SPA. I'm gonna have to get on that!

Jennifer said...

Thrummed angora mittens! How wonderful! I think it looks good and worth all the effort.

crzjane said...

Those mittens are so cute. I just finished my husband's thummed mittens. (Took me about 1 1/2 years) Be careful and not put too much fluff in there (like I did). Your mittens look so soft! Happy Knitting.