One of many.
I promise this will be the last post about the mittens.
When I was thinking about a project for the Olympics I knew that I could not undertake a challenge based purely on volume ie. knitting a jumper in two weeks. I have mild Carpal Tunnel problems which don't respond well to long periods of knitting and I certainly didn't want to come out of the Olympics unable to knit. Hence the decision to do the mittens - technically challenging but not too many stitches.
Since the goal of the Olympics was to undertake a project that would challenge me as a knitter, I thought I should review which parts of the project were a challenge for me.
Definitely the biggest challenge was the stranded colourwork aspect. Apart from the briefest flirtation (a border on a baby jumper) when I started knitting again 10 years ago I have never done any stranded colourwork. Why? I'm not really sure. Maybe because I like to wear quite plain designs so didn't really look at patterns involving these techniques. Anyway, I am pleased I tried it. I ended up going for the 'one yarn in each hand' method, although I did try carrying them both in the same hand as well. It definitely got easier with practice. The patterning on the second mitten looks more uniform I think and the knitting was definitely quicker.
The other techniques were challenges as well, but lots of fun. I've already written about the yarnover braids which I would happily use again - I think they would look good on the cuff of a sock, perhaps. The nupp stitch was interesting but not something I'd go crazy over. The other technique I hadn't tried before and really like is the double decrease technique used to shape the top of the mittens. I've tried to photograph it but it doesn't really show how neat an edge it makes. Another good technique for socks I think.
If you are thinking of doing these mittens, be aware that there is an error in the chart. I found it pretty obvious, once I'd completed one mitten. Incidentally, am I the only person who doesn't think to check on the Internet for errata before starting a project? I really should start doing that. When I did check the errata it seems as if this book is fairly good, I just chose the only project with an error on the chart. The thumb chart has no errors per se, but it is printed the wrong way round. Once again, no problem for me once I'd done that first mitten.
So what else have I learnt from this project? Well, I think that I might need to invest in some (oh the horror!) metal dpns if I plan on doing Estonian mittens again. I think the Brittany's found it a bit of a strain.
I should also have listened to the voice in my head which told me I really wouldn't need over 200g of wool to knit a pair of mittens.