Tuesday, May 24, 2016

(un)Knit Happens

Back in January, while anticipating cold winter days, I decided to knit a pair of mittens. I knew exactly the stash yarn that I wanted to use: Plymouth Yarn Zino in colorway 1 and Red Heart & Sole with Aloe in colorway E745 Ivory. I had used these yarns together in a pair of socks back in 2011, but I gave them away as a gift so I never had the chance to fully enjoy those colors!

I chose the pattern Marko’s Mittens by Nancy Bush. The first mitten was coming along wonderfully, and I had all but the thumb complete when disaster struck. As I started knitting the base of the thumb, a few stitches slipped off one needle. Normally, it wouldn’t present a problem to pick them up and move on. This time, the combination of the stranded colorwork and the location of the dropped stitches conspired against me. No matter what I tried, I could not pick up the stitches without misaligned colors and gaps between the stitches. Gaps make for drafty mittens, and that’s not good!

I set the mittens aside, hoping that after a short break I would be able to figure it out. It ended up being a mild winter, so there was no urgency to work on them again. This week, I decided it was finally time to revisit the project. I devoted an evening to trying the salvage those stitches before making the difficult decision of frogging the mitten (rip-it, rip-it) down to the thumb base. It almost physically hurt to undo all of that work.

Hand knit colorwork mitten in progress on a tangled pile of unravelled yarn on a white background.

So, here we are: about a third of a mitten and a tangled mass of yarn. I’m easing back into knitting the mitten, taking it slow with no sudden movements. I have plenty of time before the cold weather returns.

Have you ever had to start over on a complex project? Or is it still too painful to share?

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