two FOs in one!

Hey, look what I have two of now:

Yes, it's true, my Chevalier Mittens are finally done, having been started in March. What can I say, I'm just a really devoted knitter. I start a project and I GET IT DONE. Eventually.

Pattern: Chevalier Mittens
Yarn: Mmmmmmalabrigo in . . . some shade of blue, I forget. Azul Profundo maybe?
Needles: Size 4 DPNs (ouchie)

Thoughts: Knitting with worsted weight on size 4 needles makes for thick, warm mittens, but it's ouchie to do, especially the cabling (which I now always do without a cable needle--best idea ever. Here's Grumperina's super-useful tutorial.) The chart for this pattern is a little overwhelming, too--I realize I'm not getting any younger, but even so, I think 29 is a little young for eyestrain, so that should give you an idea of the difficulty in reading it. I'm sure I could've tried breaking it down into separate sections and blowing them up, but, well, I didn't. Live and learn.
The finished result, though, is worth risking blindness. I just love these cuties, they're snug, they're interesting to knit and to look at, and with a long enough cuff to tuck under the sleeves and keep wrists toasty.
Were I to do them again, I think I would close up the tops differently. I think kitchener stitch would work, give them a top more like a sock toe, instead of the top of a hat (decrease to a small circle, pull the yarn through), which doesn't match the fingers well.

And guess what? Another FO! Hmm, you seem to have passed out. Now where did I leave those smelling salts . . . ?

Well, when you come-to, here it is:

Pattern: Spiral Cowl
Yarn: Malabrigo merino/silk
Needles: erm, size 6 maybe? 16" circs

Thoughts: I love the ease of creating a picot edge from the cast on (fold over, knit edge stitch together with live stitch) and detest creating one after the bind off (requires SEWING. yeugh.). So I kept dreading finishing this project up, knowing what was coming. But it turned out well enough. I had a couple false starts with this one, as the directions say:

"As you work the spiral lace pattern and the design starts to emerge the spiralling will cause your stitch marker to “move.” Make sure to pick up your stitch marker and move it backwards 1 stitch at the end of each 7 row repeat."

The author and I apparently have different interpretations about what the word "backward" means. But no matter, it's quite apparent early on with this pattern when something's not working right, so I spotted the mistake, tinked back and started again, easy peasy. And once I got that bit figured out, this pattern couldn't have been easier--as long as you remember to move that marker, the pattern creates itself.

Now, you're not going to believe this, but I actually have a third FO to show you! Yes, it's true. But I need to wait until the weekend to get pictures, because I'm really excited about this one, and I want the photos to be good, not overlit, washed out photos taken indoors.

I've really been zipping through projects, and I have to tell you the silly reason why. Last"term" I signed up for the Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup. You're assigned to a house (I am a proud Hufflepuff), and each month 6 homework assignments are posted. You complete projects to earn points for your house. And something about working toward a goal really helps me overcome startitis and focus on completing projects. So there you have it, Harry Potter = good for knitting. Who knew?