09 November 2011

A Mitten and the Moon

Stranded colorwork.  It's been the thing I've struggled the most with since I picked up knitting needles 5 years ago.  I've done very little ~ mostly because of the frustration of knowing that I am not perfect at it.  I do realize this is a good thing.  The things we work the hardest to achieve are sometimes the most rewarding successes.  My troubles are the floats.  To leave yarn 'drooping' is displeasing to my eye, even on the back side of a piece, so my floats. don't. float.  Mine are 'stiff as a board' when they should be 'light as a feather' (I always stunk at that game).

So, this past weekend on a whim I signed up at the last minute for a class at The Nordic Heritage Museum in Ballard.
The class was 'Sassy Selbu', taught by a Pacific Northwest local gal, Mary Scott Huff.  I learned a little history of Norway's Selbuvotter knitting tradition and started Mary's 'Queen of Hearts' Selbu mittens.  I have one nearly done ~ it's missing a thumb and the ends all need to be tied in, but I'm going to get the second done first and finish them at the same time.  And I am thrilled to be able to say that my mitten is stretchy!  My floats are floating, or 'smiling' as Mary would say.  Colorwork is something that I'm going to have to keep working at to get better so I was excited to hear during the class that after the first of the year, Mary will be back at the museum teaching a 4-part stranded sweater class.  I will be in it.  She is encouraging, entertaining, inspiring and a great teacher.  I was sold when it came time to help with something I was stuck on, rather than doing the mirror image method of teaching (which, being a lefty, used to leave me in tears of frustration as a kid), Mary stood behind me and threw her arms over my shoulders and her hands became my hands and voila, I got it!  Take a class from her if you haven't ~ you'll laugh alot and learn a little something, too.

And before I forget ~ here's a photo of my almost-finished mitten. Aren't you proud of me?  It's not perfect ~ I do see a few things wrong and I'm sure others see more but I'm smitten.

 I only got the back side before the light faded since I spent so much time taking pictures of the gorgeous moonrise we had this evening!  What a beautiful night.  ~ Melissa

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