Sunday, November 6, 2005

Mod Squad Saga

Greetings, Warm Hands folk! Here's the happy saga of a UFO redeemed.

At Stitches East eons ago, I bought a Charlotte's Web kit. I cast on, worked through the first color change, then stalled out. Time passed; the UFO remained. In an attempt to get un-stalled, I joined the Charlotte's Web KAL. Other starters became happy finishers in due time; not I. UFO gloom descended.

Then came a fortunate synchronicity. Bob saw me bicycling roundabout Exit 151 and noted that he had nice ragg mittens whilst I (a known knitter) was sporting fleece gloves. Gah. While still smarting from that remark, I saw a singleton Fanning the Flame mitten at Elegant Ewe, which had just had a class on modular knitting. Smitten by the mitten, I called in the mod squad for the most drastic of mods.

First, Charlotte came off the needle...

Charlotte's Web shawl off the needle

and went to the frog pond.

Charlotte frogged

Here's the new pattern and the old yarn. After some experimentation, I've discovered that my ball winder works better without the swift, or at least it produces the nice, soft, compressible yarn cakes I prefer by winding directly from the hank or even from spaghetti.

Fanning the Flame mitten pattern and yarn

The mitten is constructed from fan modules worked top down, which cleverly form an organic curve at the top of the mitten and wrap around the hand. One gets a lot of practice slipping sts and picking up sts with this pattern! (The excellent coil-less safety pin st markers/holders are from my excellent SP6 pal.) I decided to use the apricot multi for the mitten and save the blue multi for something else.

Fanning the Flame mitten in progress

Following the suggestion of Elegant Ewe staff, I'm using different Koigu colorways for the center modules and the side modules. It's hard to tell from the photo, but one yarn (#314) is apricot and olive and the other (#319) is olive and apricot.

I'm amazed and delighted at the way the fans show off the variegated yarns. Something about the curves tames unseemly pooling and flashing. Could this be one of the great secrets of the knitting universe? It's hip to be square – not!


Ginger said...

oh, my! What an amazing pattern, I can't wait to see them finished. They look so cool now, I can only imagine what they will look like when finished.

Julie said...

I saw that same mitten on the Wool Arts Tour at one of the stops where Elegant Ewe had a booth. She was out of the pattern so I had to order from some unknown online vendor only to see it appear in the Patternworks catalog last week. I'm so glad you mentioned using two colorways because she didn't tell me that when we chatted. The picture on the pattern cover is rather unexciting but the glove in person- stunning! The directions were a little confusing but I'm hoping when I have needles and yarn in my hands they'll make more sense. Also hoping that having knit the market squares bag will help me figure these out. Gorgeous start, I love the colors you chose!

Rob said...


Gorgeous mitten! And sympathy/empathy -- I will probably have to frog a a Koigu mitered square vest.

Maureen said...

I have admired that pattern for quite awhile. I love the start of your mitten. Can't wait to see it as it progresses.