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Brewer Burns

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Latvian Mitten Gyro (and some Yarn Porn)






I finished the decreases in my latvian mitten. It is lovely. I've started on the thumb. See?

I've been meaning to blog the latvian gyro. The latvian gyro is a styrofoam container with holes cut in the top. The yarn goes inside the gyro and is seperated by chopsticks, thereby allowing me to knit with a minimum of entanglement. Stephen got so sick of heairng me yell at my tangled yarn balls that he decided to remedy the problem. Shortly after he made me the gyro, I figured out how to keep the yarn from twisting together with the other yarn balls, but still. It's really helped me through this mitten. It's been like training wheels for colorwork for me. By the way, when Elizabeth Zimmerman (I think) said that you should never put more than three colors in one row, I now know why. I've learned how to keep three balls of yarn, one background color (the black in this mitten) and two contrasting colors (green and orange) from tangling. Adding a fourth color makes it much harder.

My advice for those of you thinking of making these mittens? Definitely read up on fair isle work. Hold the main color in one hand and the contrasting colors in your other hand. Learn how to weave in the contrasting colors of yarn as you go, so as to avoid really long floats. Remember that you need to take the charts in the book and chart them out on graph paper. I used regular engineering graph paper, but you could use knitter's graph paper. Also remember that the patterns and the charts in the book are more like "recipes" for knitting a latvian mitten, and less like step by step patterns (although there are several step by step patterns.) Don't forget to swatch using two colors. Using more than one color really affects your gauge.

Okay, I'm working on the thumb but I have a confession to make. This is probably going to be a singleton mitten. Not my only latvian mitten. You see, I don't have enough yarn to finish my mitten. In addition I made the cuff very, very long. Finally, I could, but don't want to buy more of the yarn I used. It's stash yarn, Katia, a 50% merino and 50% acrylic. It has a nice feel and all, but I think that if I make another mitten I'm going to buy some nice 100% wool yarn. I'm thinking Dale of Norway (they make their yarn for colorwork) Helios. Just thinking though. I may make a not-quite-matching mitten that I will wear with this mitten or I might make a completely new pair using a different chart. I don't know yet.

Right. Last thing. I bought some yarn yesterday. It's Baby Ull, in green and peach. Remember that dragon hat I was going to make for my niece? Well, I'm finally going to do it. Stephen graphed me a fabulous fair isle dragon. The main color for the hat will be the green, and the dragon will be in the peach. It will be very pretty.

1 Comments:

At 3:02 PM, Blogger Moni said...

Wow! you could probably make a million dollars if you marketed that Lativian Mitten Gyro! brillant!

 

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