Sunday, 18 November 2007

A Tale of two Mitties...

... I know, I'm sorry...

My enthusiasm for colour work remains undimmed as work continues on my Marvellous Mitts. With any luck there will be satisfying photographic evidence of my labours shortly.

Working away on the second mitt, having got the hang of the new techniques my mind naturally turns to my next project. I am definitely going to do some more colour work, probably Latvian Mitts which means that I am going to have to get to grips with choosing more than two colours. A few weeks ago I was talking with friends about understanding enough colour theory to choose a combination of colours that will give me a finished article that lives up to my expectations. I found this article very helpful in explaining what went wrong here...


The mitt on the left is one of the my first experiments in colour work. I didn't have a great choice of colours but somehow, through luck rather than judgement I manage to choose a combination of colours for the central panel that made it stand out but draw the eye towards the whole pattern in a harmonious way. The two outside stripes, whilst not actively ugly are way too close in colour value to stand out as they should.

However, buoyed up by this partial success, I bought myself a palette of some of my favourite colours in Jamieson's Spindrift, very excited about creating a pair of mitts which would be superior in every way. Because of my ignorance of the importance of colour value the two colours in the central band of the pattern are so much out of balance with the rest of the mitt that they draw the eye away from the pattern and focus entirely on the stripe through the middle. This mitt is not likely to acquire a thumb or a partner, poor thing. In terms of helping me learn a lesson, however, it is invaluable.

Other knitting carries on. I have finished the first of the Rose Hip socks. I am very pleased with it as the pattern suits the yarn well. As I brace myself for another glorious week of commuting I can content myself with the prospect of finishing the other one.

I spent yesterday on another fabulous day with knitters, this time in Swindon with a group of people from the Crafty Threads and Yarns forum. It seems to me that knitting draws together the most amiable of people but as usual I was far too busy to get my camera out. Someone asked me if the rose hip sock was another one of my patterns. As all it consists of is a four row repeating pattern incorporated into a standard sock pattern with a picot edge I didn't really feel I could claim it as a sock pattern but it got me thinking. Most patterns use established formulas of some sort so it's not possible to be completely original but how much originality is enough?

We were all looking at the new Cat Bordhi book, New Pathways for Sock Knitters which revolutionises sock patterns by placing the gusset increase/ decreases in all kinds of places and combinations. Something like this is clearly a new development but at what point can we claim to have designed a sock pattern?

For me, I feel I need to find something a little novel and different that will capture a knitter's imagination and be fun to do or encourage someone to tackle a technique they might not have thought about before. The basic discipline of a sock remains. I'm no Cat Bordhi!

I really must tackle one of her patterns very soon. Back to the knitting...

6 comments:

K. said...

I love your rose-hip socks. Not just because they are red, either! Socks are a pretty straight forward object and there aren't many truly new twists to them. Every once in a while you see something truly unique, but mostly it is just a new lace or stitch pattern.

Maureen said...

I've just tried my hand at two colour mitts. The first attempt was too tight so I tried a size larger needle and they're a little better. I was wondering....do you block yours? and if so, how. Silly question perhaps, but I've only ever blocked single layer items such as scarves or parts of sweaters before stitching together.

Arianne said...

I'm so bad at choosing colours that I'm a bit tied down to whatever colours are used in the pattern...(Unless it's two colour. I can handle that.)

Arianne said...

I'm so bad at choosing colours that I'm a bit tied down to whatever colours are used in the pattern...(Unless it's two colour. I can handle that.)

Anonymous said...

Brilliant site, I had not noticed janesprobablyknitting.blogspot.com previously in my searches!
Keep up the excellent work!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the link, but argg it seems to be offline... Does anybody have a mirror or another source? Please reply to my post if you do!

I would appreciate if a staff member here at janesprobablyknitting.blogspot.com could post it.

Thanks,
James