Wednesday, March 16, 2011

intarsia mania (fair isle mania?)

Figured I should finally post about my latest white whale (sorry the English major in me finds it difficult to stop referencing books that I never really liked...)

But what I do like--

thumbs up!

pattern: Owlie Owl mittens by Betsy Farquhar
yarn: Fortissima Socka
needles: US #0
mods: I omitted a couple rows in the chart (see my ravelry project page for more specifics)

owlie mitts

Soooo, I've never been a sock knitter, but for some reason I find the task of knitting mittens to be somehow less onerus. I did however still suffer from second-sock-syndome when it came time to knit mitt number two, and it wasn't until I was about halfway through the second one in fact when I realized I'd forgotten to change needle sizes after the cuff. Ugh, size zeros the whole way up.

The good news? A mitten knit entirely on tiny needles meant a perfect fit for me and my child-sized hands! Could I live with one that was smaller than the other?

Ummmm, maybe not:
before pics

The difference in size was pretty dramatic. If you look closely in the photo too you'll notice a giant boo boo in the bigger mitt, so that kind of closed that deal, it HAD to be torn out.

The difference is probably more obvious here, where I appear to have given my owl wings in the first mitt:
before pics

Regardless, it got torn out and knit properly on my smallest needles, and now they are a perfect fit. Dare I say probably one of the more impressive things I've knit to date.

finally complete!

Fair Isle does seem to elevate a project to "difficult looking" doesn't it? I mean the reality is that it's not and it's simply straight knitting, so I would definitely encourage anyone afraid of trying it to give it a go. There are lots of smaller colour-work patterns out there that you can start off with.

I liked these mitts so much that I've already cast-on for a second of Betsy's patterns, and shocker, it's a cowl:

stem and leaf cowl

She has some very cute patterns that you can get on her etsy page: Good egg.

10 comments: said...

Awesome mitts!! My little one is an owl fan and she nearly died when she saw them. I may have to deal with some begging now.....

hibou said...

WOW. They're SO great! Definitely impressive. And my hat off to you for having the stomach to rip back the bigger one. That cowl looks excellent, too!

(I kind of didn't love Moby Dick either; I feel less weird now.)

Julie said...

those owl mitts are spectacular!! And the green hat is look good, too.

Anonymous said...

Ooo, this isn't intarsia, it's fair isle !!! Regardless, soooo lovely :)

Reckless Glue said...

oops fair isle my mistake!!

CassieMarie said...

Those are ADORABLE!! yay!
I've done the second mitten bigger than the first as well. oops!
Also, the mittens I'm working on now have been torn back to the cuff four times due to a faulty cable pattern!

Love the colors of the cowl as well. :)

littlebirdbigcity said...

These mittens are absolutely amazing! I'm in love. I am, unfortunately, probably never going to make them. I'm not afraid of the fair isle as much as I am terrified of size "0" needles. Yikes! Kudos to you, though. And thanks for the "good egg" link. Her stuff is delicious.

Anonymous said...

Those are fantastic!

Julia said...

Awesome! I can't believe you had the patience to essentially knit THREE mittens - way to go! Them's some beautiful mittens!

Chelsea Nicole said...

Love those mitts!! So adorable! :-)