Mid-Ravellenic Update: Mittens Accomplished

Y’all, I did it—I finished my Columbia mittens! I started them last week during the opening ceremony; the ribbing was easy enough to work on while watching the amazing performances (those puppets!), then I began the cable knit section during the Parade of Nations. The Parade is just interesting enough to watch while doing something else, but not so riveting that you have to give it your full attention—exactly what I needed for these mittens. I finished the second mitten and wove in the ends the other night while watching skeleton. Fortunately, the top of these mittens is all stockinette stitch, so I could pay attention to the action without having to focus too much on my knitting. But I did it—I successfully knit cables!

I ended up working the cables using a cable needle. I’m a tight knitter, and the stitches just weren’t cooperating with the no-cable-needle method; they tended to slouch down and try to unravel instead of sitting up and waiting to be put back on the needle. Rather than trying to change my knitting style, I decided to use a cable needle instead. The cable is such a small part of this pattern that it wasn’t too fiddly to work them using a cable needle. (Pro tip: If you put your hair up in a bun, it makes an excellent place to store your cable needle when you’re not using it.) And I’m super pleased with the final result! They fit nicely, and the cable on the edge is a unique design element.

Confession: I fudged the gauge on these. My yarn was a bit thinner than the yarn the pattern called for; combine that with being a tight knitter, and my gauge was too small. I could have changed needle sizes, but I think mittens should be densely knit to help keep the cold and snow out. Instead of reswatching on larger needles, I cast on a few more stitches on either side of the cable to make up for the difference in gauge. It is cheating a little bit, but it’s also a simple, tidy solution that worked out nicely.

On to the hat! Since the mittens went so well, I cast on for the Saguaro Blossom Hat. So far, I’ve finished the twisted ribbing, and I even managed to work a few cabled rounds. The pattern calls for the same needle size for the entire hat, but I decided to work the ribbing on smaller needles; I like my ribbing to be a little snugger, both for fit and appearance. Working so many cables may break me, but I’m optimistic that I’ll be able to finish in time. A week should be enough time to finish a cable knit hat, even with repeatedly stopping to work a cable every other round and pausing to cheer on the skaters.

Only nine days to go! How are your Ravellenic projects going?

How Are Your Ravellenics Going?

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