Project: Selbu Mittens (aka The Mittens of Shame)
Pattern: Rigmor's Selbu Mittens
Yarn: Lion Brand Vanna's Choice
Needles: US size 3
For: my long-suffering mother
Cast On to Cast Off: a little over 13 months (Dec 2011 to January 2013)
First and most importantly: The issues that I had with this project are NOT a reflection on the pattern itself or the designer. I over-reached and the project bit me hard.
I figured that with the little tiny bit of color work I had done in the past I was totally ready to attack a bigger color work project. And I *was* ready, but not as a last minute Christmas gift. Not sure where my brain was when I attempted that one (Well, I do actually. I was pregnant, and pregnancy brain only gets worse with subsequent pregnancies).
As I wrote in the notes on my ravelry project page, if something could go wrong with the project it did. Mistakes in my reading of the chart (again NOT mistakes in the pattern, mistakes in my failing to read the chart as it was written) led to ripping again and again. These mittens spent the better part of the year in timeout because I would banish them every time they needed to be ripped back and then I'd avoid them for a few weeks because I knew working on them again would mean ripping back before knitting more.
Then for awhile I was hung up on the thumbs because every time I tried to get them started I had issues with tension on that small of a circle.
So as I worked on setting my fiber goals for this year I had a little moment where I finally got stern with myself and decided I would definitely finish these mittens so that I could finally knit with true freedom on other projects- the guilt of these mittens was just too much hanging over me!
I set a deadline for January 31 and last Thursday night I grafted the second thumb tip and cried out, "I'm done! I'm done!" And I reached in my bag for the other mitten and put them side by side.
My stomach dropped.
All that joy fizzled out and I stared in horror at two mittens that were not the same size.
I have always had a very consistent gauge, no matter the type of yarn or needle. However, my gauge changed significantly on this project- I suspect it's because I got better at managing the two yarns and treating the stranding on the back more consistently.
The difference is like the difference between a small and a medium.
I called my mom to tell her the horrible news, and she reassured me that it was probably not that bad. She had a look at craft night Saturday night, we all had a really good laugh as I threatened to take them out back and burn them, but Mom declared them completely wearable and took them home with her.
And now I'm knitting her a cowl to make up for the LOOOOOONG wait for mittens that don't even match each other.
Things I Learned:
1} Don't plan to gift a project that involves new techniques until after the object is complete and worked out just fine.
2} Don't let knitting hang over my head. There are much bigger things to worry about.
3} Pay closer attention to my gauge consistency when a project involves new technique. This one thing could have saved the whole project.
The pattern itself was great. My reading comprehension not so much overall this project was a giant bust for me, but I'm glad it's finished and that my mother doesn't mind one of her hands appearing to be larger than the other.