Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Four hands are faster than two

See these beautiful mittens? They were a gift, a very special gift for someone far, far away, in a land much colder than mine.

And you know what? I only made one of them. That's right. The other was made RoseRed. We collaborated on a knitting project!

A couple of months ago, we got to thinking that our absent friend Sharon, or Shazmina Bendi, who really ought to blog more often, would be having a special birthday in November and we wanted to do something for her.

We cooked up the idea of making something together for Sharon (she is also a knitter) and then RoseRed came up with the notion of the mittens, and in particular these Cat Mittens. Sharon left her beloved cat behind in Australia when she moved to England so it seemed fitting. We decided each of us would make one mitten. Four hands are faster than two, obviously!

But, I hear you ask, isn't that a bit risky? The two of you might have different tension in your knitting, yes?

Yes. We might. But historically we've found we don't differ in tension much. We tend to both knit a bit on the tight side, needing generally to go up half a needle size to achieve gauge. More or less. And besides, it'll all come out in the blocking, we decided. And we were right.

This was my first venture back into colour work since the Everest which was my steeked jacket. I could have left colourwork behind me forever, I thought at the time, but no, the itch returned and I thought making fair isle mittens, or really just one mitten, was a lovely way to get reacquainted with what is actually a really enjoyable style of knitting.

We made them pretty quickly. I think mine took about ten days and at first it did seem like one was going to be a bit bigger than the other, and the thumb on mine was a bit short. And not only that, but they were both almost excessively tight. We were worried. They seemed like they'd fit a large child. But we blocked them over sock blockers and they turned out just fine.

We used Colinette Jitterbug in Salty Dog (the blue) and Oyster blush (the grey). And we knitted them on 2.75mm needles because there seemed to be such variation in what needle sizes people used. With our time over, we both agree we'd go to at least a 3mm needle since they were so tight.

And look at the cute palm side of the pattern - a cat's paw! So clever. So much fun to knit! RoseRed and I collaborate really well. We should do it more often!

Look at the thumbs. Can you see? They've got little fish skeletons on them! Clever design!

So happy birthday dear Sharon! We love you lots and can't wait to see you when you come home over summer for a visit!


ps thanks to RoseRed for the photos. In my haste to get mine finished I didn't even take photos! But we have posted them at the same time on the same day, so the photos will no doubt look familiar!