It's hard to blog about my design work right now because three of the four projects I'm working on must be kept secret until much later this year. But I can show you what's happening with a pair of mitts in progress.
I'm knitting them with a mini skein set of hand-dyed fingering weight yarn from Pigeonroof Studios:
I guess I've finally caught the gradient bug! I set myself the challenge of devising a Bohus-inspired colorwork mitt in two sizes that could be knit without running out of any of the six colors. (Bohus Stickning is a Swedish style of stranded-color knitting that flourished from the 1940s through the 1960s. A hallmark of Bohus designs are the purl stitches, which animate the surface with tiny flecks of color. To learn more, see this post about a Bohus workshop I took with Susanna Hansson.)
I began by charting out a few ideas on graph paper, then knit most of one mitt, only to decide that I didn't like the color sequence and felt the stitch pattern needed simplifying, too. So I ripped back, revised the chart, and started over. To keep track of how much I used of each color, I weighed them all at the start, and again after finishing.
Here's a shot showing how I block mitts (and all the bits left after weaving in ends):
A knitter friend commented that these mitts look hard—but I assure you, they're not. If you have some experience working in the round on double-pointed needles, you'll be fine. The stitches are knits and purls, and two out of every four rounds are just single-color knitting (I think of them as the "rest rounds").
A gradient set of six colors (40 yards each; mine was the Sahara Desert colorway from Pigeonroof Studios), is ideal for this design, but you can substitute fingering weight yarns from your stash. The pattern lists the yardage and grams needed for each color.
The Selfish Knitting KAL is going strong in the Blue Peninsula Ravelry group. It doesn't end until February 7, so there's still plenty of time to cast on something small—maybe a Rowhouse Hat? That would be a great way to practice some easy colorwork before the mitts are published.
If you are snowed in today, I hope you're able to curl up with some hot cocoa or tea and enjoy lots of uninterrupted knitting time. We didn't get any snow here in western Massachusetts. I have mixed feelings about that—I'm sad for the children who love the snow, but I'm really glad I don't have to shovel!
Anyway, I stayed in yesterday as if it really were a snow day and got the mitts pattern off to the tech editor. Look for it in February.