Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The brick wall

I have been happily plugging away on the hunting mittens. I have made fingerless mittens before, so I didn't anticipate any problems until the flap part. No new territory here, right? Famous last words.

Ribbing on the wrist: Check. Stockinette on the start of the palm: check. Increases leading into the thumb, at the beginning of the round: Check. Then, just when I was ready to separate the thumb from the rest of the work, what the . . . .?

"Cast on 4 stitches at the beginning of the round, TURN work, slip 16 stitches onto a thread, and leave for thumb. Knit to the end of the round." OK, I understand the concept of casting on a few more stitches. I think it would make a large gaping hole at the join, and have never actually done it, but I understand the concept.

Here is my problem. The thumb gussets are at the beginning of the round, so if I cast on some stitches, TURN, then set aside 16 stiches for the thumb, I am not setting aside the right 16 stiches. I am setting aside the 4 cast on stitches and twelve stitches from the back of the hand. Maybe it is just me, but shouldn't the stitches that I am setting aside from the thumb primarily be composed of the thumb gussets?

So this afternoon, I got the bright idea of casting on the four stitches. slipping the correct thumb stitches, then proceeding with the rest of the mitten. Sounds logical, right? I fumbled through the backward loop casting on method (oh, sure, easy in theory, but I find it unnecessarily fumbly, and producing stitches that are not very stable), slipped a dozen stitches.

Then I stared at my working yarn, sitting coyly between my cast on stitches and slipped stitches, far away from the stitches I wanted to start working.

Ok, new plan.
I figure I have two options.
One, proceed with the thumb now, ahead of schedule, then just start the rest of the mitten later, tying in a new piece of working yarn.
Two, I can forget about the casting on and the turning, set aside the thumb stitches, and proceed like I have on every other fingerless mitt I have knit.
On a completely side note, the camo yarn is turning out far more stripey than I anticipated.
Today, it is all about the stupid line in the instructions.

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