When you’ve got nothing left to lose… (a tale of mitten knitting)

Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose…Janis Joplin had it right, there is nothing quite so freeing than finishing up a project to realize it is an epic craft fail. That means “you can’t screw it up any worse!” so you can have fun playing with it! First I’ll show you how my mittens turned out (because if I lead with the “before” picture no-one would read this post.)

DCF 1.0

Here is the before picture of my awful mittens, what’s up with those thumbs? The only way these would be useful is if I was going to take up hitchhiking.

mitt3

So I decided to make a running seam along the inside of the thumbs to make them a tad slimmer without adding too much bulk. BTW, I know all you proper knitters are saying “just rip it out and start again” but Lindsay don’t play that game. It’s onward or nothing. I’ll never be a proper knitter 🙂

mitt4

The other mistake was that I did not measure correctly for length and started decreasing too soon so my mittens were too short so I employed a method every lazy knitter should know: The Steam & Stretch! I held my iron about 1/2″ away from the mittens (made from a bulky wool blend) and steamed away, stretched that sucker for all I was worth, flipped it over and repeated on the other side. I did this twice for each mitten. Here you can see the length I was able to get:

mitt6

OK, tragedy averted, I can wear them and they don’t look too funny, I would like to spruce them up and also hide the fact that when I seamed up one mitten it was not lined up perfectly so I crocheted on an edging. This is a great way to use up leftovers. I had 2 yarns that I used to make my cabled head wrap (free pattern and video here) and I added some ladder yarn that I have been hoarding for about 8 years:

mitt1

I held them together and, starting on the inside of the mitten (wrong side) half-double crocheted in every other stitch. I thought about sewing felt hearts and buttons on the back but aired on the side of caution because I was really liking them now!

That brings me to my mitten knitting tip of the day:

You see, if I had made one of these I would have been so discouraged there is no way I would have made a second one so knit 2 mittens at a time and knit them flat! This is the pattern I used for the mittens. It is a good basic pattern but I have a few changes I will make next time. I mean no disrespect for the writer of this pattern, anyone who posts a free pattern is aces in my book but I would not cast on 2 stitches to the thumb, and in the decreasing rows I would alternate the decreases, the first being k2tog then SSK and so on because I think every other decrease should slant the other way so all of my stitches point to the tip of the mitten, that’s my theory anyway. That said the pattern is simple and you can knit 2 at once! And it works for all sizes too! That is if you measure right LOL!

DCF 1.0

You know, now that I look at before photo I really don’t think they were all that bad. After I finished them last night I wanted to throw them in a snowbank. It is amazing what stepping away from your work when you are frustrated can make! That’s it for me today! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!