Fair Isle is a good gift


So, after all that antsy-ness about the shawl, I have yet to cast it on. I was going to. But then I looked at a calendar and realized that I’m entering into a time crunch. The thing is, friends of ours are getting married in three weeks. I’m the bridesmaid, L is the groomsman, our friends are lovely people, so I wanted to knit the bride a little something. I thought about a shawl, or a hat, or a cowl, and then, way back in June, decided that what would be a really nice, useful, and pretty gift would be a pair of Norwegian fair isle mittens from the book L gave me for my birthday (I’m knitting “Mittens with a Red Thread,” but without the red thread).

I got in touch with the groom to make sure I went with the right colours, I bought the yarn, heck, I even swatched! And then, well, then I did nothing. Or, rather, I went away to Nova Scotia and knit half a pair of Jaywalkers. Then I knit a baby sweater.

I am teaching this little cardigan at EweKnit, so I had to knit up a shop sample. Cute, right?

That’s not nothing, but neither is is mittens. Anyway, I was starting to feel some pre-wedding panic last week (my dress needs alterations) and, in the midst of that, I realized I hadn’t started the mittens. I cast on and started the rib on Thursday night, and was half-way through the first motif by last night.

This is kind of a crapy photo since it’s overcast today, but you get the idea.

This is by no means fast, but it’s certainly faster than I was expecting. And honestly, I’m pretty pleased by how they’re turning out. I’m knitting them in a magic loop, because after a few rounds on dpns I realized it made much, much more sense to keep the palm stitches on one side and the back of the hand stitches on the other. I’m also knitting these two-handed. Remember when I learned continental knitting? Well, I must admit that I haven’t practiced since, but I sure am glad to be using it now.

Palm plus ribbing. The red yarn there is holding my thumb stitches. You can especially see the dpn vs magic loop difference here. I’m hoping it will block out…

I’m holding the grey in my left hand and the purple in my right and it is going well. My tension is even, my floats are long enough to stretch without being so long they’ll snag fingers, and I’ve only had to tink back a couple of times. That, though, was due to my trouble reading the minuscule chart. I have a system now, but back at the beginning, it was tough.

I’m hoping to have this one (minus the thumb) done by the end of the week. Am I crazy?

3 thoughts on “Fair Isle is a good gift

  1. anastasiamw

    I love these. I’ve been working on Fair Isle with Christmas stockings recently, and I can’t seem to get my rhythm back for holding one color in one hand and the other in the other. Any advice on how to make the rhythm more smooth?

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