All over but the thumb knitting? I think not.
I don't know when I cast on my own pair of Bella's Mittens...sometime last week, or the week before. It's all a blur as I've battled fatigue from sinusitis--a leftover from my cold last month--and a work week that was off the hook. Over the weekend, I was determined I'd at least finish the left mitt or die trying.
I kept the mitten out and nearby at all times. At one point I tucked it in a project bag and when I pulled it out, I grabbed the free double pointed needle to start knitting and noticed that I'd inadvertently pulled out the wrong needle and liberated a full 1/3 of the stitches. No worries. I calmly grabbed a smaller double point and picked them all up in no time at all, but it's something that wouldn't happen if I'd been knitting the magic loop method, or even with two circulars. Still, I like working with double points. I think it makes me look like a knitter possessing mad skillz. Never mind that the whole thing is smoke and mirrors. While 4 or 5 needles are there in one project, circular knitting--like all hand knitting--still only occurs on 2 needles at a time. It only looks crazy and complicated.
Once I finished the gusset and had the thumb stitches on waste yarn, I began to have hope the project would fly...and it did. I tried the left mitten on for size and became annoyed with myself at the laddering in my mitten right before the cable. This occurs when knitting from one double point needle to the next and the knitter fails to tighten the first stitch or two of the new needle. It doesn't happen with magic loop like this...oh, I guess it could, but there is only opportunity for laddering in two spots, instead of three or four with double points. As the mittens are for me, I ignored this laddering, much to my detriment as you'll see in the photo, but could not ignore the fact that I'd forgotten to cable 10 rows back.
I ripped out the knitting to the spot where I'd forgotten this essential part of the pattern, picked up all of those stitches and knit them back up with an effort to be mindful of laddering from that point on. With the exception of the thumb, I finished the left mitt last night and feeling smug, I cast on mitten two. With double points.
This morning, I tried the completed mitten on again and with bright daylight shining behind me, noticed it wasn't laddering at all...it was two live stitches...one on the public side (a knit) and one of the private side (a purl).
Ladder in disguise
Somewhere along the way with all of that ripping, I'd missed this and instead of picking up what was clearly a decrease, I set free two stitches that wasted no time in traveling down the length of the mitt all the while disguising themselves as ladders.
Doh! Again, I don't think any of this would have happened with magic loop. I can knit magic loop--I do it all of the time for circular swatches, but I prefer double points for some insane reason. I think it's time to re-examine my preferences, especially when cold fronts are approaching and the need for something warm to wear is urgent.
Pre-op photoI now have pins holding onto the loose stitches so they don't unravel further as I consider the surgical options for the left mitten. There will be no ripping. I think I'll weave them up to the waste yarn and sew them in with the ends of yarn I'll use to knit the thumb. Sounds like a plan.
It also sounds like there won't be a completed pair of mittens ready in time for the cold front.
C'est la vie.