Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Fiasco (part 2)

I'd rather be knitting ... but my to-do list included a blog today, and so I will blog.  Then I can knit with a clear conscience.

Where we last left off, dear reader, I was in the middle of knitting a fourth mitten and realizing that the second mitten did not follow the prescribed color theme.  Or at least, it did not follow the prescribed color theme above the wrist.  Below the wrist, it was fine.  No, I managed to  mess it up ABOVE the wrist only.

From the first mitten, I learned 'Write down the color names/letters CAREFULLY.'
From the second mitten, I learned 'READ the color names/letters, not only when you start the mitten, but also when you are in the middle of the mitten.'

What could go wrong from there?

Not all that much, actually.  A healthy dose of paranoia kept me checking the color combinations every 3-4 rounds of all the remaining mittens. (That made a total of 6 mittens.  Two botched, and one correct.)  I knew I wanted a mix of thumbs -- some on the left, some on the right -- and by not paying much attention to things ended up with 3 left thumb and one of the right thumb.   On the correct mittens.  The botched mittens had right thumbs, through no fault of their own.

At that point, I weighed yarn, considered, and the decision was made to make pairs out of all the mittens.  With an eagle eye to matching colors, I successfully knit a purple mitten to match the purple  mitten, and a green mitten to match the green mitten.  By diligent observation, I managed to make the second mittens of each pair so that they would fit on a standard pair of human hands.  No 'two left mittens' for me!

And then, it was decided to have a yellow pair and a red pair.  Botched, but paired.  And for this, I pulled out a Very Special Bag of Tricks.  Because by the little gremlin that was throwing monkey wrenches in everywhere she could, I had two yellow mittens with two left thumbs (or rather, a left thumb and a left thumb opening), and two red mittens with two right thumbs.  AAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!

 Fear not.  I am an intrepid knitter.  And I have friends who simplify some of my convoluted ideas.  (You know who you are.)  

Step 1:   Pick up stitches in the row below the waste yarn, and the SECOND row above the waste yarn.   Remove the waste yarn, and gingerly snip the yarn in the first row above the waste yarn in the middle, so there will be enough to weave in.  Hopefully.
 Step 2:  Work a simple single-color graft across the unneeded thumb opening.
 Step 3: Cleverly use Swiss Darning (aka Duplicate Stitch) to add four green stitches just where they belong, more or less.

 Step 4:  Pick up stitches for a thumb on the right side.

 Step 5: Remove the sacrificial row of yarn between the two rows.
 Step 6: Knit a thumb in four colors. 
Step 7: Take a picture of the finished fix, to delay weaving in all those ends.
Fixing the second mitten is another excellent way to put off tail weaves.  Let's see how this one goes!

Step 1:  Pick up stitches all around the top of the mitten, just beneath the first tip-shaping row. 
Step 2: Undo all the tail weaves at the tip and unravel the mitten top.  Only down through and including the first decrease round, not down to the thumb.  Why ever did I think that would be needed? 
Step 3:  Squoosh the mitten so that what was a right thumb is now a left thumb.  While leaving the beginning of the round where it was, work the decreases in what was the middle of the palm/middle of the back, so that the right mitten is very neatly converted to a left mitten. 
Step 4:  (Not shown.) Weave in ends, and ends, and ends.


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