Sunday, January 24, 2010

Training Day

With the weaving soundly in time out for a bit, I've embarked on a training project for Ravelympics. I've been spinning the yarn I'll use for the mittens I'll make in competition and I was stuck not knowing if I wanted to use the alpaca singles or ply them. I had enough wraps per inch to use singles, but I spent yesterday swatching a plied sample while my wheel sat idle at my spinning circle. As is the case on Saturday mornings, one conversation led to another, and Sue asked if I'd seen the new Piecework Magazine. I had not, so Marilyn promptly put an issue under my nose.

The swatching tasks at hand fell instantly out of my mind as I paged through the annual historic issue of Piecework. Once I came to the article on Latvian mittens, it was all over but the yarn selection.

Last night I cast on for the Birch Mittens and today I've started the color work all in leftover Blue Sky Alpaca. I may have bought the magazine, but I've stayed on my yarn diet.

Interestingly, the knitter who was famous throughout Latvia for her mittens was initially limited with the yarns she could use. I think it's possible that some of her techniques for weaving in strands of yarn for detail, may have been done to conserve her stash. For instance, though I didn't do it on my cuff, the directions call for splitting the plies of yarn for the weaving of contrasted stitches (those sideways slashes that look like Morse code).

I'm usually not thankful for the rain, but I am today. It gives me an excuse (not that I need one) to stay indoors and knit. Rachel is watching Winnie the Pooh and I'm engrossed in a complicated, historical pattern. Since this pattern involves color work, I'll just chalk it up to a day in training for the events that start in just a couple of weeks.

Pattern: Birch Mittens from Jan/Feb 2010 issue of Piecework by Barbara Plakans
Yarn: Blue Sky Alpaca from my stash
Needles: US 1.5 (2.50 mm)


Miss 376 said...

Looking forward to seeing the end results,lovely colours

Winifred said...

Lovely. Bet they keep you warm as toast.

debra said...

what a wonderful pattern and colors, rudee. The yarn seems like it would have a great feeling to it.

Stephanie V said...

Happy discovery and a nice choice. The green is lovely against the cream.
I used to buy every issue of Piecework...must get them out and look through for inspiration.
Happy stranding.

Rose said...

What a good idea, to have a training day. I should take a look at the pattern I'm planning to use and swatch the yarn, shouldn't I?

Brenda said...

It looks hard to me Rudee. But really pretty. Have fun with it!

Anonymous said...

Yes the colors a smashing. No an English word, but it just came to me. You are doing wonderful work, picking colors and learning the new machine.

Jadekitty said...

What beauties!

SkippyMom said...

I didn't understand a word of your post, but I sure do like the purty picture. They are going to be gorgeous.

Did I see you say they were for a competition? How long do you have?

J'Ollie Primitives said...

Beautiful colors ~ makes me want to learn something other than my one-and-only sock pattern.

You work so FAST, how do you do it?

Miss T said...

Impressive use of stash yarn!

sapphireblue said...

My yarn diet is killing me. The my debit card is saying, "Go to the yarn store!"

Great work on those!