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LovebirdMittens1This week, Jen’s hard at work finishing up her gorgeous Lovebird Mittens.  I designed this pattern with a little inspiration from vintage Valentine’s Day cards, and they’re a quick knit in worsted weight yarn.  Even better — if you use the recommended Cascade Casablanca & 220 yarns, there’s just enough for two pairs!  Perfect for holiday knitting!

Colorwork knitting is like any other special technique — with a little practice, patience, and a few helpful tips & tricks, it’s totally enjoyable!

Getting Started: Corrugated Ribbing
Corrugated ribbing is a colorwork technique in which the purls are worked in one color and the knits in the other.  It requires you to knit with two colors in the same round.  TIP: Work the first two-color round all in knit stitches to avoid bi-colored purls.  If you’re planning to work with two hands (I highly recommend it), position your yarns so that the purl color is in your dominant hand.  Purling can be slow and awkward when you’re working to master two-handed colorwork, so why make life harder than it needs to be?  We’ll worry about color dominance after the cuff is complete.

Reading Colorwork ChartsLovebird Mittens 2
When working in the round, we will read charts in the same direction that we knit: right to left.  The numbers for each round are a hint of where to begin reading!  Post-it notes are the perfect tool for reading charts on the go.  TIP: Position your post-it so that you can see the line you are working on and all the rounds beneath it — this way you can see how the current round of stitches is meant to align with the previous round, and you’ll get the hang of the “rhythm” quickly!

Maintaining Even Tension When Working with Two Colors:
Spread your stitches out along the right needle before switching colors, far enough apart so that they look the way they would when off the needles — nice and relaxed!  Choose your background color to always be stranded over the foreground, “pattern” color.  This will keep the back of your work looking clean and tidy, prevent the yarns from twisting up, and allow the “pattern” color to be dominant and pop out of your work.  To do this, you would generally place the MC to your right and the CC to your left.  TIP: Periodically check your setup and try to keep it consistently background color on the right hand throughout the mitten.  The inside of your work will be just as gorgeous as the outside, and your tension will appear to be more even overall.

Feel like you need a little more guidance?  Stop in to Sage for a jump-start on corrugated ribbing, then sign up for my workshop on Saturday, November 16!

Lovebird Mittens

No second-mitten syndrome, here!