Almost finished with the first mitten! Loving this adventure!

As you can see, I am at the top decreases for this first mawata mitten.  When it is complete I will weigh it and the stack of stretched cocoons to see how much I have used.  I am hoping to have some leftover after the mittens to create a pretty lace edging for these very old-fashioned looking mittens.  I even have an idea or two for embroidering the top of the mittens.

I did watch several of the videos on YouTube about this technique.  They were clear and very helpful.  However, I do have some thoughts of my own about all this.  The videos encouraged the knitter to draft out the silk yarn first before beginning to knit.  I do disagree.  While it is important to pre-draft, just as any handspinner would; I found that drafting the yarn/roving as I went against the fulcrum of the knitting needles made the whole process so much easier.  I was also able to better control the yarn thickness and keep that more consistent than if I tried to do it all ahead of time.  I found this all had a very pleasant rhythm to it and I was able to knit that mitten in about the same time it usually takes me without the handspinning process tacked on.

My gauge, surprisingly, is about 7.5-8 sts to the inch on US2 (2.75mm) needles.  I tried magic loop but the cords pulled on the roving, so I reverted to dpns.  They had their own set of drawbacks…like the tips kept catching the roving/mawata…but overall everything went better on dpns than using magic loop…at least so far.  I cast on 64 stitches and knit 20 rounds of k1p1 ribbing.  Then I knit 20 rounds.  Then I made the thumb gusset by increasing around three central stitches until I had 17 stitches for the thumb to be made over…knit 10 rounds even…then increased the thumb stitches to a total of 18 and knit the thumb to fit my thumb just right (thumb bind off: rnd 1 – *k1, ssk*X6, rnd 2 – k, rnd 3 – k1, ssk around, rnd 4 – k, close remaining sts with tapestry needle).  Then it is a straight knit to the top of the mitten and decrease as you would a toe on a sock from 64 sts down to 32 sts total and graft closed.  Smaller sizes would use cast on’s of 56 or 60 stitches.  Got it?

fabric of my undyed mawata mitten

It also occurs to me, what a new range of fiber this opens up for us to all knit and play with!!! OMG!!!  I already have pulled some roving from the shop which is composed of 50% silk and 50% merino.  I should be able to predraft this so I wind up with mittens/neckwarmer/anything I want with stripes.  There is also Yak down over there on the shelf…mmm!  AND superwash merino for socks!  Really, more options in an already awesome world of fiber!

Kathy came by to knit and visit.  She is hard at work on her Ultimate cashmere scarf and it is beautiful.  As a testament to the durability of this particular yarn…I woke up this morning to find…to my absolute and unremitting horror…the Ultimate ball of yarn wrangled all over my bedroom floor (knitting still intact in my briefcase).  As I reclaimed the yarn, I noticed it had been “needle-felted” by kitty paws directly into the carpet by cats whose names I shall not mention.  :-/  However, the yarn is completely unscathed, unshredded and intact.  Lucky cats.  The plastic bag holding my silk mawata had also been catnapped and torn open…apparently though, he was more interested in the bag than the silk.  Moon must be in a bad phase or some planet must be retrograde or something.  Ugh!

Smidgen, one of the unsavory culprits of this morning's yarn debacle.

Time for me to go chase down the family.  I have  the next square of the afghan in my hands to take home with me for test-knitting and typing.  I wonder what it will be ? (not really…)… :-p  Take care and have a peaceful Sunday evening.

Loads of love, light and laughter always, Mary Ellen and summit Yarn Studio

P.S.-Miriam, I have not heard from you this week…how is the afghan going?  Hoping you and your toddler are well and happy!

PPS- why is nobody in Norway reading my blog?  Helloooooooo out there!