Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A New Relationship

Last year, I was all about the lace. This winter, apparently, I'm all about Fair Isle. As you may recall, when last I visited the Isle of Fair, I was dithering between Eunny Jang's Autumn Rose and the Venezia Pullover. After much hemming and hawing (and many hours on Ravelry), I settled on a 2 colored version of the Venezia sweater (I would link to a picture in Ravelry, but I just can't put out a tease like that to those of you who haven't gotten your invites yet). Having picked a project, I thought, hmm, maybe I'd better learn how to do it - piece o' cake, right?

On Sunday, I sat in on a Fair Isle class at Rosie's. I kind of bucked the swatch, and worked on my End Paper Mitts. I don't have a photo - but the top of the Mitts look significantly different than the bottom. The bottom is tight - like someone who has a pole up their butt. The top is loose, relaxed, like someone who's just had a delicious cocktail, like a pear martini. And for me to loosen up, not stress over every stitch, not pull my floats tight, secure - that's huge. When I get my nails done, the manicurist is always tapping the back of my wrist - relax. Believe it or not, when it comes to potty humor, I bristle - I HATED BORAT. Yes, I'm a stiff. So, I am delighted with my new found lack of tension. I've got gauge, my friends, and it feels good.

So, before undertaking an entire sweater in stranded knitting, I decided to start small, with mittens. I don't wear mittens, I've never worn mittens. I've knit gloves, but after I lost the second pair of Koigu gloves I knit, I said, enough - I don't deserve them if I'm going to lose them. I just figured it would be good practice, without feeling like I was simply swatching. And then a strange thing happened (thanks to Ravelry, again), I am OBSESSED with mittens. I can't stop looking at them. Tiny little masterpieces of art - a different canvas on the palm and on the back of the hand. I love the charts. I love the teeny needles. Each stitch is dainty, and watching the pattern emerge is so satisfying. What I thought was practice, has turned into something much more. The endpaper mitts were kind of like a first date - eh, I'm not so sure this is going to take. A second date, a third, and all of sudden, familiarity, comfort, and the next thing you know - you have a boyfriend. These Eunny Jang Anemoi Mittens are my latest affair, and I love love love them - and no one could be more surprised than I.

I guess this Yom Kippur I'm going to have to atone to lace, for our apparent breakup. Have no fear, my laceweight stash -- I'm sure we won't be separated for long.

13 comments:

Kessa said...

Great work! You make me want to try fair isle!

Knitting Novice said...

I love your mitten!

Emily said...

Clearly I am channeling your mood.

I'm thinking - garish Venezia in the Kauni EQ (rainbow) offset byy 2 colours. And maybe changed into a jacket/cardigan with some of the lovely corrugated rib at the bottom like on the Autumn Cardigan.

And I enjoyed Anemoi, yours look lovely so far.

Carol said...

I'm feeling the same fair isle vibe. I just bought some Reynold's Whiskey to make the Latvian mitts in Avery's new book and more Felted Tweed to make the Fyne vest in Rowan 42.
Your mittens are looking great!

Elysbeth said...

Hmmn, perhaps there is subliminal on Ravelry? I am wracking up the stranded knitting, and so tempted to steal Magnificent Mittens from the Library that I forbid myself to check it out.

Your mitten is lovely, your rib looks so even. Perhaps I should have a caramel martini before doing mine.

Michelle B said...

FairIsle is so Zen! You'll love it. It's colour, balance and even pace - what's not to like!

Lisa said...

I want your mitten! As soon as I'm done with the other 3 or 12 things I'm doing, I'm going to find some yarn and make myself a pair. (We might be vacating SoCal soon for much a much colder clime--mittens will definitely be in order!)

buttercup said...

I've not yet fallen into an affair with fair isle. I'm still lovin' the lace and I'm itching for a cabled sweater.

Belated Happy New Year and I hope you have an easy fast.

Bridget said...

Wow, is that mitten great! I have not really attempted fair isle yet, but you may have just sucked me in ...

P.S. Did you get your problem worked out with the sample knitting?

Courtney said...

Don't know if you have it yet, but Alina picked up her Jamison's so you can come and pillage the shelves!

chris said...

They really look great! I started my endpaper mitts last winter - maybe when it gets cooler I'll pull them back out and try to finish. I had the same issue when I first tried color knitting and now I think I'm in the other direction - too loose.

Anonymous said...

You are clever!! I have not been knitting mittens for a long time. Waiting for a friend to bring over some wool from back home. Happy knitting! http://www.siddis-in-houston.blogspot.com/

Tikkunknitter said...

Shana tovah!
Your Anemoi's are delightful. And yes, gauge is a good thing with stranded knitting. You're entitled to rejoice in your new commitment to mittens ... think Sukkot and Simchat Torah! I'm waiting for the cool weather to finally return before restoring my wool&silk Anemoi's to the top of the UFO pile.