I thought I may have met my stranded knitting waterloo the other night, sitting in the midst of a nest of tangled yarn, all strands leading to the project in my hands. Continuing into the body of the mitten, the long floats required by the new patterning were slowing me down and the more I knitted, the more I was losing my rhythm. Arghh. Why did I choose one of the most complicated designs to knit first? I put it down and worked on squares for Kay.
I seriously contemplated stopping there at the cuff and knitting a plain stocking below for holiday use. But it nagged at me. I've been lusting over Latvian mittens for years and if I stopped on this project, I might lose my steam. The next morning, another lightbulb moment in the shower...rechart the mitten body with a different, easier pattern. (I'm going to electrocute myself in there one of these days!) After poring over mitten pics, I found a small motif that actually was a repeat of the center of the snowflake in the cuff. A few little mockup color studies later and I had decided on a simple, 8 square repeat.
Can you believe these great little graph cards M left on the kitchen counter this week? Talk about timely!! Much better than a floppy piece of paper to work from. Something similar could be made by mounting graph paper onto a small piece of cardstock. Or you could make friends with an engineer.
I couldn't wait to try the new plan. I tore back several rows to the cuff pattern and started working from the new chart. And promptly realized that despite its simplicity, it has the same long floats and three-color rows. Sheesh.
I, however, had benefited from some time away from the mitten while I puzzled out a solution, and picking it up with a new attitude made all the difference. No problemo now! And I like the new little pattern better than the original.