Well, hooray. I did finally finish the ethnic mittens. I don't know why it seems like it took so long--I only took three weeks, in the end. I think the fact that the two-handed knitting goes more slowly than regular knitting in the round just got to me. I always had to drop the yarn to wrap whenever there was a 5-stitch gap, and then make sure I didn't get the yarn twisted, so it seemed to go slowly. But, here they are. They are wet, because the instructions said to block them, which should explain the intense color.
They really don't look too bad on the inside. I find the ribbing is especially nice to look at inside out. I will give you a picture of the actual dried mittens on a hand once they are ready, but I had wanted to share their completed glory.
To summarize, these are sock pattern 21 from this book:
The yarn is Ella Rae laceweight, which I got at Yarnorama. They have (or had last time I was there) a really nice assortment of this yarn. I made the large size, since the yarn is so fine. I am glad, because you get more pattern in the large size!
I do think that I would have had a more successful finished product if I had chosen more contrast. I really need to pay attention to that--perhaps I need to go buy one of those red lenses to look at yarn through, to make sure I have enough contrast. I had the same problem when I used to make quilts, too. I guess we all have our areas for growth, don't we?
I think when I finish the current socks, I may make a pair of socks using one of these patterns--since they are 64 and 72 stitches around, the mittens should easily translate into socks, don't you think? That's another reason to buy the book, even if you don't like mittens--the patterns are really striking and fun. Of course, I can always try more mittens. I guess, even in Texas, I could use a couple of pairs of mittens!
I am looking forward to working on my shawl and other socks for a bit, but still have the Anna Zilboorg book, with all the top-down mittens (and socks). But, hey, isn't it true that there are so, so many more patterns out there that we'd like to make than there is time to knit. Even during 5 weeks of no work, I didn't get very much knitting done--life does get in the way.
Happy knitting, every one.