I have been knitting like gangbusters lately, and despite a very poorly written pattern, I've completed one shawl that gave me fits. I'm still so annoyed by it, I haven't been able to do more than cast off and throw it in a pile. I hate it, though I'm almost certain that given a fair amount vicious manipulation with blocking wires, pins and moisture, it'll all work out just fine. First I have to get past the hard feelings. The pattern was going well until I got to the lace decreases, where it all came apart. None of the numbers added up and none of the lace decreases were on the chart. Significant fudging was involved in the end. Why I didn't just rip the damn thing out when I butted up against the errors is beyond me, but I persevered, did the clever short row shaping--which looks a little cockeyed to me--and finally cast off last week. Yeah, hate is likely a mild verb to describe how I really feel about this pattern and the heap of lace sitting in the corner.
There will be no linking to that pattern from hell.
Moving right along, I cast on The Yarn Harlot's Cloisoneé mittens. I've owned the pattern since she first published, but until now I had not made them. I have an enormous amount of colorful worsted weight yarn ends though (which is perfect for these) and thought the time right for something simple. Except in my post-shawl mental state, it wasn't. Simple. The color work technique with this pattern was new to me, and my first attempt looked ridiculous, but I persevered with that, too. Who would think that K4B meant to knit only one stitch into the 4th stitch below and not to knit 4 stitches in a row like that? Only someone who had just finished FIGHTING with a poorly written pattern, that's who. I ripped out my first attempt, accepted there would be a learning curve and cast back on. Things went much smoother the second time. When I finally reached a point I could try the fledgling mitten on, I realized I was off on gauge. Really off. At that rate, had I kept going, those mittens would have fit Andre the Giant. I ripped the second attempt out and cast back on again using smaller needles and I'm happy to report, third time's a charm. This, no surprise here considering the source, is a superbly written pattern as long as you don't read too much into what you see on the page. No need, really.
Knitting these mittens from this pattern is like a soothing balm after the battle of the shawl. Now that I've got the hang of things, they're so much fun to make. I hope all of my friends and relatives will be happy with their Christmas gifts this year.