FO: The Squirrel Mittens of Doom

The 4! Ounce! Challenge! prototype is finished, and it was moderately successful. Only moderately. The edging did not work out in any way that it was expected to, and despite my best effort, the bind-off still came out way too tight…but it didn’t seem way too tight right off the needles. Blocking showed that glaring flaw. Ugh…

Part of me wants to bail again, scrap the whole idea and return to the sanity of just knitting other people’s patterns. Another part of me wants to conquer the beast. We’ll see which part wins out in the end…

In the meantime, I’ve been working on some spinning, which takes so much less thought than designing, and I blocked out a long-standing FO.

The Official Squirrel Mittens of Doom

Yup, there they are, in all their insane-intarsia-in-the-round, squirrel-ridden glory.

I came, I saw, I conquered their fluffy asses…

Several lessons were learned over the course of this project. First and foremost, of course, is the most important lesson of all: Don’t do intarsia in the round. Just don’t. If you even think about it, get someone you trust inexplicably to literally slap some sense into you. No one needs that kind of hassle in their life. Ever.

Those nuts are nuts. And clearly I am as well.

Second, I learned that reading a pattern and chart—I mean, really reading it, to the point where you actually understand fully what your hands are going to be attempting to do—is ridiculously important. See, if I had really read and understood this before I cast on, I wouldn’t have been stupid enough to try intarsia in the round. I also would have recognized the fact that there are super-mega-long floats built into this colorwork, so choosing a wooly yarn that has some grab to it would be a really good idea.

I can almost hear them chattering away at me, mocking me for making such ridiculous choices.

Third—and this ties into Point No. 2—I learned that yarn choice makes a big difference in how high the Frustrate-o-Meter is going to go with a project like this one. Now, don’t get me wrong: I love Spud & Chloe Fine. I really do. It’s delightful to work with, and it would be perfect for colorwork with short little floats. But it’s superwash, and it’s a silk blend, which means it has no stickiness to it whatsoever. This equals crazy tension problems, some of which blocked out and some of which are still ripply and sad. But all tension issues disappear when they’re on my hands, so I can live with them. And I will totally use this yarn again because it’s just a joy to work with. Lesson learned.

The green merino/tussah blend laceweight linings finish them off really nicely…and hide all the ugly floats inside.

And finally, I learned not to use my favorite wood US 1 needles to pick up lining stitches. I broke two of them over the course of that lesson. Thankfully, the extremely awesome and wonderful needlemaker hooked me up, so I still have a full set, plus one extra, but I’m being a bit more careful with those lovelies now, for sure.

Such an innocent looking squirrel…

And that’s all she wrote on these bad boys. Very glad they’re done…and  I suspect they’ll  be making their debut at Rhinebeck in October.


5 thoughts on “FO: The Squirrel Mittens of Doom

  1. kazkitty says:

    Keep going with 4! Ounce! challenge! I know you can do it! 😀

    LOVE LOVE LOVE those mittens!

  2. Emilee says:

    They’re beautiful! If you can defeat the squirrel mittens of doom, you can TOTALLY do the 4 oz challenge!

  3. Allison says:

    The squirrels are mocking you….but you showed them who’s in charge.

    4 oz challenge!!!!! GO!!!! YOU CAN DO IT!!!! (I know it’s not effective from West by-god- Virginia… but it will have to suffice)

  4. tgulling says:

    I would try to fix the prototype challenge. What I saw looked great and I was looking forward to knitting it. Maybe not in a 4oz challenge, but definitely knitting the shawl.

  5. […] with long floats. However, instead of being a total dope and using a silk blend for colorwork (as I have been known to do in the past), I smartened up and used good ‘ole Cascade 220. The stickiness made the floats […]

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