Knitting with scissors

Not actually with them, you know, but using them to complete a project. Like EZ's Mitered Mittens. I loved the look of these and it wasn't until I had actually started that I realized they have an afterthought thumb. And not just any afterthought thumb, but the kind where you purposefully snip your yarn and unravel a hole in your knitting.

Some patterns will have you knit across the thumb stitches with waste yarn, then come back and take it out later to reveal live stitches. But EZ is the gutsy type, and she wants you to knit the whole mitten, then go back later and rip a bit out, which frankly leaves a lot of opportunities for disaster. You could snip the yarn in the wrong place, drop a stitch, accidently cut two threads, etc.

But I did as I was told, and it turned out ok:

(I do realize this isn't the best photo, but I'm still figuring out all the bells and whistles on my NEW camera, which will ultimately--hopefully--lead to even better pictures)

The yarn is some Knit Picks WOTA Bulky Handyed, so I can take no credit for the pretty awesome striping pattern that resulted. Since it's a bulky yarn I did make some adjustments in the numbers of stitches for the pattern--I think I cast on 36 stitches. Other than that, it was easy-peasy, quick to memorize and quick to knit up. But as usual, I gave these away, so I'll need to find another mitten pattern for myself.

Speaking of patterns, I am  . . . wait for it . . .

Working on my first pattern design.

And it's nothing fancy, just a scarf.

But it's a lot harder than I anticipated. It's easy to look at a finished pattern and say, 'oh, the designer just plugged stitch patterns in here, here and here, and that's all."  But that's not all. There are a lot of stops and starts as you figure out what works and what doesn't, shrink or expand your stitch patterns, reconfigure what goes where. And that's just for a scarf. I can't imagine what it's like for something as involved as a sweater (though I suppose it may be one of those things that gets easier the more you do it).

But I'm really enjoying it. And hopefully the end result will be a one-of-a-kind scarf for a special someone at Christmas. And then a pattern for you guys. You know, assuming it doesn't wind up looking like a tangle of wool bits that's been runover by Santa's reindeer.