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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Thoughts on Increases

Thoughts on Increases ... or Smariek Knits' Blooper Archives ...




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Remember this mitt?

Through trials and errors (more errors than trials) I had actually knitted several of these mitts (both Persephone & Regina), more than you have seen in previous posts, and in the process had played around with different methods for doing the increases in the thumb gusset section. I just wanted to share my thoughts and findings here. Oh another discovery I've made and did not mention before is that I can get 3 Persephone mitts (1.5 pairs) out of 2 balls of Baby Cashmere, and thus 6 mitts (3 pairs) out of 4 balls. So if you're not sick of the pattern (I know I am, lol) and you have 450 yds of fingerling weight yarn, you can knock off 3 small pairs of mitts for gifting. :-) I can't make the same claim about the Regina Mitt because that one uses a little bit more yarn (due to all those bobbles).
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In the first two increase rounds of the thumb gusset section, I made two consecutive increases back to back. The photo above shows the results from doing M1F, M1F. As you can see, it can leave a small hole where the increase is done. Or perhaps I'm just not very good at doing M1F twice in a row.

Video for M1F can be seen here.
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This mitt shows a much more tidy increase at the base of that gusset. This one was done by doing M1F, KRL. This seems to be a perfectly acceptable pairing of increases at the base of the thumb gusset.

Videos for M1F and KRL can be seen here.
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I decided to go down the KLL, KRL path because the KnittingHelp site said, "This pair of increases is ideal if you ever need to do two increases side by side without any stitches between them." Sounded like a good thing to try. This mitt shows what you get if you do KLL followed by KRL. I did KLL, KRL on Thumb Gusset rounds 1 and 3. And for all subsequent increase rounds, I did KLL on the right side and KRL on the left side. I like the look of the KRL, but not so much the KLL running up the right side.

Videos for KLL ond KRL can be seen here.
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These mitts use KLL, KRL for the double increases on two of the thumb gusset rounds (viz. the back-to-back increases in Thumb Gusset rounds 1 & 3). Then I used KRL for both increases on subsequent increase rounds. I think this looks the best out of the bunch. What do you think?

The bottom photo is the one I knit in Elann Baby Cashmere, Peacock color, where I revised the thumb gusset area to work a wrap-around thumb for more coverage.

Videos for KLL and KRL can be seen here.




Then I wondered why I didn't use the most obvious choice increases for the right and left sides (after doing KLL, KRL for the back-to-back double increases on Thumb Gusset rounds 1 & 3). It goes to show that what is obvious to the rest of the world is not necessarily obvious to me. For increases starting from round 5, I used M1F along the right side and M1B along the left side. I think this was an acceptable pair of increases and probably much easier for most people to do, due to familiarity with those two. However I have to say that I still prefer the KLL, KRL pair for rounds 1 & 3, followed by KRL for all subsequent increase rounds.

Videos for M1F and M1B can be seen here.

My Conclusion:

My first choice is to do KLL KRL at the base of the thumb gusset. Then work KRL for increases up both sides of the thumb gusset.

My second choice is to do KLL KRL at the base of the thumb gusset. Then work M1F for increases up the right side of the thumb gusset, and work M1B for increases up the left side of the thumb gusset.

Well there you have it. Please don't interpret this as the "right" way to do things because I have little experience with thumb gusset increases. I don't know what is considered the best or more proper method for working the thumb gusset increases, you would have to consult the mitten experts for that. I'm just sharing what I discovered in the process of knitting all these mitts.



And here's one that is not increase related. This was an early version where I knit the thumb gusset section in stockinette stitch all the way up to bind off, forgetting that stockinette had a curl factor. I didn't like how that looked, so I changed it to K1P1 ribbing in the last row, and then bound off in K1P1 pattern. That solved the curling and gave the top edge a nice finished look that sort of matched the top and bottom K2P2 ribbing of the main part of the mitt. I could have gone with K2P2 ribbing for the thumb also, but I thought that would look too "big" for the thumb section. I think the K1P1 ribbing looks more proportional.

Well there you have it. Proof that my knitting certainly does not come out perfectly on first try.



Pattern: Persephone Fingerless Mitts
Yarn: Elann Baby Cashmere, 2 balls, Morning Mist
Needles: 2.75 mm (US2)

This pair is going to my Mom. It's knit from the same Baby Cashmere I used for the Osiris Scarf I made her last year. These mitts only "go" with the scarf because they both use the same yarn and same colorway.

There is a flaw in these mitts. The cuff on the right mitt is 6 rounds while the cuff on the left mitt is 10 rounds. Nope, ya can't trust me to be able to follow my own pattern. You'd think that would not be a problem after having knit so many of these mitts, lol.

I know what Mom will say when I give these to her. She'll nag, er I mean, ask about the vest I should be knitting for her.




Pattern: Persephone Fingerless Mitts
Yarn: Elann Baby Cashmere, 2 balls, Peacock
Needles: 3.25 mm (US3)

Modifications:
1. Used 3.25 mm needles instead of 2.75 mm to create slightly larger mitt that would fit a small/medium ladies hand (cuz this will be gifted to someone with larger hands than mine).
2. Redesigned the thumb gusset and made a wrap around thumb.

When I have more time, I will update the pattern with the thumb gusset changes I made in this version of the mitt. After trying out a wrap around thumb for my Regina Mitt, I decided that having this was well worth the trade-off of having to re-attach yarn and weave in more ends.






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Yarn info:
Fibre Content: 60% Baby Alpaca/ 30% Merino Wool/ 10% Cashmere
Made In: Peru
Care: Hand Wash/ Dry Flat
Gauge: 28 st/4 inches 3.25 mm (US 3)
Yardage: 100 m (109 yards)
Size: 25g (0.88 oz) ball
Price: $3.30 USD
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3 stitch(es):

hakucho said...

Wow you really researched all those techniques....nice work :)

Rachel said...

Hmmm, that's really helpful! Thanks for sharing!

Anastasia Silver Clow said...

Thank you for posting what you found. I'm in the midst of designing my own pattern, combining what I have learned from many patterns, and bringing it all together in a way that suits me. Don't be impressed, I have so much to learn! lol I do appreciate you sharing your findings..I plan to implement them in my own design.

Happy knitting!
Anastasia