In the time-honored Hungry Knitter tradition of disobeying the rules I'm not doing anything all that different for today's post. I had high hopes of making and posting a stop-motion video of a few hundred pictures I took to get this one shot of a lightening bolt as we drove through Oklahoma in a thunderstorm this last summer. But alas, it seems I deleted those billions of rainy car window pictures. Instead, I'll let you admire the one lightening shot I did manage to get, which I'm pretty damn proud of, and then I'll move on to discussing the actual topic of this post.
So what exactly is new and different about this post? Well for one I'm revealing a WIP, something I don't do all that often. But beyond that, I'm trying a new technique! Or rather, trying to do a technique I know in a different way. I'm making a pair of fiddlehead mittens for Phoe! I mentioned this swap a little while back but didn't really elaborate. Phoe posted a picture of this cowl a while back and said the superbright colors don't really suit her. While I love the superbright, I definitely understand that not everyone wants to wear it. I offered to take the cowl off her hands in exchange for a pair of mittens. Then a semi-ridiculous amount of time went by, and I cast on for the first mitten. Then I got absurdly sick and had a lot of time on my hands (don't worry, Phoe, they'll get a thorough washing!). Behold, a nearly-completed first mitten.
So I ask again - what is different here? I've made a crapton of stranded mittens, even a pair of fiddleheads once before. What's new is the way I'm holding my yarns. Until now I've always knit stranded by holding one color in each hand. I learned to knit English style (holding the yarn in my right hand), then later switched to Continental (left hand) so I'm pretty adept with both hands, and working this way seemed like the natural thing to do for me. Then when I learned double knitting a while back to make Minty's Tapestry Cowl pattern, I followed her (super helpful) videos and learned how to hold two strands of yarn in my left hand. Trouble is, I didn't really apply the technique to my stranded knitting, and instead sort of forgot about it. Although I am very much a process-oriented knitter, I'm always trying to do things faster. I just want to do more knitting! For whatever reason I remembered the all-continental method of holding two strands of yarn, cast on for these fiddleheads, and went along my way. For anyone wondering how I did this, I reviewed the video of Minty demonstrating the technique that comes with the Tapestry Cowl pattern, but I also found this video on youtube helpful.
If you look at the picture up above of the first mitten you'll see that my tension isn't awesome, but it's definitely not any worse than it was on any pre-blocking stranded knitting when I was holding yarns in both hands. If anything, I'd say it's more consistent. I had some trouble around the joins of my magic looping, but I worked that out quickly.