Monday, October 25, 2010

The Other Mitten

Last December I knit a mitten. I found a pattern I adored, selected a fetching colour combination of yarn, and cast on. Did I swatch? No. I admit it. The gauge was given "in chart pattern after blocking", and I couldn't be bothered. Don't get me wrong, I understand and respect the value of the swatch, but if it's not your standard, run of the mill stockinette swatch, I'm not going to do it.

I knit the mitten, all the while thinking "this is looking a little big, isn't it?", but ignored my inner voice as only a knitter in the throes of colourwork can, and just kept going. When I finished the mitten, it was the size of an oven-mitt, and my fragile knitter's heart broke. Perhaps even died a little bit.

I struggled with some deep, personal issues for a long while after that fateful day. Could I move on? Should I knit the other mitten? What was the point? These were NEVER going to fit me! Where should I go from here?

As you know, eventually I decided to knit the other mitten. My Dad proclaimed them "beautiful" and "not-too-girly" and a "perfect fit". I'll be honest: I still don't know if he can pull off mittens in a Green Tea Heather and Sweet Potato colour combo, but hey, he's a grown man and I'm not going to debate it with him. Besides, I needed to make peace with this project. I needed to get the mitten albatross off my back.

So I cast on for the other mitten. Problems kept popping up, but I didn't let myself get deterred for long. I kept at it. I knew that with a little patience, a little love, my hard work would pay off.

I finished it on Saturday afternoon. It was a bit hairy for a while, because there was a very real possibility that I would run out of the main colour, but it turned out alright (barely). I wove in the ends, folded the cuff back and sewed it in place, and admired my handy work.

"That's a damn fine mitten", I thought. At that moment, my heart swelled up with love for the mittens. I forgave them for being too big. I forgave them for being fussy. I remembered that I really loved this pattern, and at that moment, I wanted to be one with the mittens. I wanted to put them on and just draw out that moment of pride and serenity just a little bit longer.

Still wearing the recently completed mitten, I rooted through my knitting bag and found it's mate. I pulled it out and stared at it, poised on the brink of ultimate mitten-knitter satisfaction.

Time stopped. My breath stuck in my throat for a moment, and every tension in my body let go all at once as I focused on one all-important detail: the thumbs.


Realization of what I had done came crashing down on me in an instant: I had not won. I did not have a pair of mittens. What I had were 2 right hand oven-mitts.


Pray for me, for I am in knitting Hell.

10 comments:

Mrhide said...

R O T F L M A O !!!

Maryse said...

Sorry for that... the colorwork is SO nice ;-) Maybe they were not meant to be! I read today on Yarn Harlot's blog that experienced knitters like new knitters still make errors only it is faster!!!

Veronik said...

I can show you how to fix that, you know...

Knit and Purl Mama said...

I can't believe the pattern had 2 right mittens written, and no instructions for a left...!

I would take Veronik's offer to have her show you how to fix that.... :) She'll probably save those mittens life!

Breathe! They will be finished (properly) ... I have faith!

dawn said...

Awwww that really sucks! They're really pretty though ;)

Chantal Boucher said...

LOL!!! Désolée... difficulté à avoir de la compassion en même temps que je me roule par terre!! Tu es VRAIMENT trop drôle!

sapphireblue said...

Uh oh! I think after all that work, I would probably just wear them that way.

Big Girl Feet said...

Oh crap!! It's one of those projects that are deemed to be cursed! But they are gorgeous nonetheless....!!

(captcha word "nockers"!)

Laurie said...

OMG...prayers said and candles lit. If I had a chicken (don't read, Margene!), I'd sacrifice it for you. Ok, maybe not. Can't stand the sight of blood. LOL! Soooooo sorry...

BerryandTwig said...

I have to say that although this is quite funny I understand your pain!! There is nothing worse then spending so much time and energy on a project only to face defeat. But I'm sure there are a couple old ladies out there paking a nice big apple pie, realizing there are giant holes in their oven mits, and wishing they had yours!!