Top 10 reasons these fingerless mitts are bitchin', even though they might look quite boring.
10. They'll warm me this fall and winter.
9. They're very soft.
8. I made 'em, and I bet Dave and the whole Bitchin' Mittens crowd thought I had bailed on the project, right?
7. They're the color of sunflowers.
6. They've got
5. I finished them even though I had absolutely positively no time to knit. (magical!)
4. They both came out the same size. (after I ripped out and completely reknit the second one. Ahem.)
3. They are made from stash yarn. (bitchin'!)
2. Even better, they are made from my very first Kool-Aid (and food-coloring) hand-dyed yarn.
1. And Even Better Still: They are made from some of my first handspun, as well. Handspun stash. Does it get any better or more bitchin'? I think not.
Here's the backstory:
One day recently I looked down from where I was sitting, looked at some balls of yarn that had been sitting near my computer chair, untouched for over a year, and suddenly something in my wee brain clicked. It was a color-click, not a project click at all.
I saw the ball of too-bright yellow-gold that was my very first (successful) wheel-spun yarn. It is Corriedale, from an "autumn sampler" I bought on eBay, and through beginner's luck it turned out really nice. Even being humble, as you all know I am, it was almost (heh) hard to tell this yarn from Koigu. I started socks with it once, long ago, but found the colors just wrong together, and just too bright. It has sat there all this time. I had no idea what to do with it. It's fingering weight, and I really did not feel inclined to do charity knitting with it. There isn't very much of it, either.
Also sitting there were the balls of the lambswool sportweight superwash wool that were the subject of my very first Kool-Aid dyeing. They were nice balls of wool that I had bought on eBay, but the original color was an awful shade of beige that even I, an equal-opportunity beige-lover, could not love. So that prompted me to use it for my first Kool-Aid experimentation. It came out okay, somewhat mottled, and small balls, all different colors, and again -- sportweight. What to do with it? It's been sitting there for at least a year and a half. The gold was my favorite color, but there wasn't much of it.
In my moment of inspiration, I suddenly saw the two of them together, the colors complementing each other, toning down and brightening up each other respectively, and adding a lot of depth and character to the knitting. I held the two yarns together and twisted them a bit to see how they would meld. Beautiful!
Now I had to come up with something that they could be knitted into. I went to bed that night with a notepad and pencil, and before I went to sleep, I had designed a lace-embellished neckwarmer that I thought would be great. I used the leaf lace pattern that I used a couple of years ago in the beaded scarf I did.
The next day, we wanted to watch a rented movie. Perfect, I thought, for knitting the neckwarmer, so I cast on. And I indeed knitted the entire thing during the movie. And I loved the knitting. I loved the fabric it was creating -- the two strands held together created a lovely effect, and amazingly it was impossible to discern that it was two strands held together. I marveled that that could be the case -- that two strands that were so different from each other could marry into such a pretty single-strand-looking marled yarn and fabric.
But when I cast off and looked at the finished neckwarmer, I did not like it. I did not like the lace, and did not like the way the neckwarmer fit. The two strands held together approximate, I'd say, an aran weight yarn, and it was too heavy for the lace and too heavy to wear on the neck, especially given the craziness of the large holes created by the lace. On the one hand, you've got a bulky, super-warm wool neckwarmer for severe weather. On the other, you've got big honkin' holes in it. It was a bit too large for my neck, and I really didn't think the lace looked right on it.
I should have photographed it, but I ripped it out without doing so. When I ripped it out, I balled it up together, and got what I showed you the other week on WTF Wednesday: Pretty, hm? (even for the gold- and yellow-averse?)
Many thanks to my husband, who was such a good sport in helping to take the photos.