To increase the chances of finishing things I have been limiting my scope to two main projects, wavy mittens and big red jumper. This has actually helped to motivate me to knit on as both have large areas of knitting and by focussing on just them I have started to get some real traction on them.
So first up on the progress report is my waving mittens. Made with incredibly soft alpaca yarn (foolishly with 4 ply) they are shaping up rather well. One box-set marathon later and I have now finished mitten number 1.
Do not be fooled by their good looks, these suckers fought every inch. 60 stitches (increased to 90 on the thumb gusset) by a mind-boggling 90 rows and all in a six stitch pattern repeat. I have never been so grateful that I have the hand size of a child (seriously, I teach year 7 students with the same sized hands as me).
Thankfully I have got better at carrying the yarn (which helped stop my nesting ball of yarn from tangling), so I did get quicker as I went on. I now have a finished one to admire and pet, a good motivator for finishing up. Many people talk of second sock/mitten syndrome (when you lose all will to knit the second in a pair), but I have always found the reverse to be true. The first one is always an epic struggle of motivation, errors, re-dos and problems, but (provided I took good quality notes) the second one is always quicker and easier to knit. I even find this when I am knitting old favourite patterns (like my candy cane ribbed socks) when all problems have long been dealt with. Perhaps it is the simple magic of turning string into clothes that still gets me every time; perhaps, I get so caught up in knitting that I “forget” that the knitting leads to products.
Either way, these are going to be some mighty toasty mittens!