Monday, 20 January 2014

Some January Knitting. . .

The picture on the left is one of Lake Ontario that I took on a wintry walk in The Beach area of Toronto just after Christmas.  I then came across some balls of Noro Aya cotton/wool/silk blend and the colours really reminded me of the brown branches against the blues and greys of lake and sky. Plus I needed some mindless airport knitting. And so four skeins later, I have a long Noro chevron scarf, my first finished project of the year.

As with most Noro balls, you never really know what's going to come out when.  The pink was a bit shocking and I wrestled with cutting it out, but I decided to trust Noro and I quite like the unexpected punch. It also reminds me a little of the stunning, colourful sunrises you can often get on wintry days.  This is a better view of all the colours - when bunched up around my neck, it does seem to work and I think it has a very wintry palette. With the cotton content, it's a good deal cooler than woollen scarves and so it's perfect for a milder day. I think it will go nicely with my green spring jacket too.

I've also done a lot of work this month on my Tango cardigan, designed by Sarah Hatton.  The back is completed and half of one front.  Hmmm - not crazy about that cream stripe which I really should have cut out, but maybe if I have enough wool at the end, I can duplicate stitch over it.  This wool (Rowan Colourspun) isn't the greatest for making the cables pop and I knew that starting the project (I just wanted to use up some stash), but I do love how all the colours come alive in the double moss stitch.

Finally my most difficult project to date is well under way.  I bought this Latvian mittens kit at the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show last fall.  I just loved the pattern and the colours. 

I began with some trepidation.  The instructions say to knit clockwise and I always knit anti-clockwise in the round so the stranding is on the outside, meaning I'd have to wait quite a long time before I could turn it inside out and see the pattern. I also tend to pull my strands too tight even though I try to tell myself to relax and as a result I always worry it's not going to fit.  I've learned one new technique though - doing stranded knitting in 2 x 2 rib for the cuff.  There was definitely a lot of counting aloud at this stage.  Only try this at home!

And here's the first mitten (minus the thumb - I hate thumbs and am leaving them till the end). It's a joy to reach beyond the cuff and just knit each round, although there are a few rows requiring three colours which meant a lot of tangles.

It's looking a little puckered but I'm hoping that will go away somewhat with blocking.  It's been a slow process (I reckon I've worked about 30 hours on this so far) but I'm very pleased with it and have cast on the second mitten before my enthusiasm runs out.  With any luck, I'll be able to use them before the winter ends.


Dayana Knits said...

Are those little motifs on your mittens supposed to look like little mittens? Well, anyways, they do... cute!

And hmm, with that colorspun stripe, where did that come from. :/ The Noro pink is good, but I would have also had the same worry as you. But definitely good, in the end.

Blithe Spirit said...

Yes, that stripe is bothering me. There were little bits of the cream interspersed with the other colours but only in tiny tufts and not the solid line that appeared. I'm kicking myself for not cutting it out but I'm down to the wire with my yarn. I already am thinking of how to alter the sleeves should I run out.
I'm liking the Noro scarf more and more - it's certainly different to the other scarves I've knit.

Blithe Spirit said...

Added to say that it took me about 5 minutes to see the mitten motifs that you pointed out, but yes, they do look like little mittens! I don't think that's intentional (maybe it will be more geometric when I block them) but now I like them even more.

Dayana Knits said...

We will say they are mitten motifs, then, and be happy little knitters! :D