I love knitting. I love cables. I especially love lace. But what I have never been all that excited about is colorwork. There’s some pretty stuff out there, but none of it really ‘spoke’ to me and said ‘knit me’. And so there was never any incentive for me to actually learn how to do stranded colorwork, because I had plenty of cables and lace to keep me busy.
But I know myself too well. If I don’t keep on challenging myself to learn new things, I will just keep on doing what I’ve been doing – and while that’s not such a bad thing, especially when it comes to cables and lace, there’s a whole world of design out there that I haven’t ever even touched.
So this weekend I finally broke down and took a class for it, not because I thought it was going to be difficult, but because I knew that this would force me to get over my ambivalence about the whole thing and just do it. I was the only one in the class, as it turned out, but that was okay because that meant we could just sit and chat with everyone else in the store while I worked my way through some corrugated ribbing, and hashed out in my brain how best to hold two strands of yarn and knit the right one at the right time, while avoiding tangling them and also carrying my floats. And just like when I finally bit the bullet and tried out socks, and when I first did lace, it turned out to be fun. A *lot* of fun. So much fun that after the class I went home and immediately got online and, with the help of my good friend Google, found myself a real pattern to try. Something small and quick was what I was looking for, so….how about mittens? I rummaged through my stash, pulled out a few balls of some heathered blue and dark chocolate brown vintage Paton’s yarn I got in a free exchange a year or two ago, and cast on for this:
The back (the true colors are not so dark, but there is only so much tweaking I can do):
The front (palm side):
The pattern is Corazon, from Knitty, which I picked because it is only two colors, and because I liked the pattern.
This was definitely a learning experience. I need to work on my tension – this took a lot of tugging from top to bottom and from side to side to get it to even out – but I suspect that will come with practice, as will my speed. I had pondered making the mate, but the first one turned out a bit too large in the hand and a bit too small in the thumb, and it was only ever meant for practice anyway. In fact, I suspect that eventually, I will just rip this one out entirely, and use the yarn to make something else (likely mittens, though, since the colors go together so nicely).
But for my very first attempt at stranded colorwork, I have to say that I’m pretty pleased.