I successfully charted out my mittens! I think the toughest part was designing a pattern for my warm, snuggly mitts. Once that was done it was time to brush off my old Excel skills and make a chart to match. I went with a bird motif for the front with a repeating geometric pattern for the inside palm. I still have to map out the thumb and finish the non-charted knitting pattern for the wrist band. I had never made a chart for a knitting pattern before and was surprised when I read that many people just use Excel. Makes sense now that I think about it, because really all you need is some grid paper on the computer that you can adjust to meet your needs. I guess my brain always went to calculating budgets and tabulating numbers when I thought of Excel. It was a pleasant creative surprise as I used the paint bucket and charted out my own pattern. The copy and paste feature is very useful, too. I am working on making a tutorial on how I made my chart so that others can see the ease of using a program many of us already have on our computers. (I am thinking Numbers would work, too, but I went ahead and used Excel because I am actually more familiar with it.) So, I think I've made a large step forward in completing my quest for mittens. I guess the next thing to do will be to take the plunge, wind up my yarn and get started. It will be interesting to see what works out and what will need adjusting in the picture I've designed. I'm actually pretty excited to see how this turns out.
My sister recently went to Ireland with her husband for a belated honeymoon. I'm not going to lie, I'm a little jealous of her trip. However, she thought of me on her many adventures and brought back some yarn for me. This was a very special gift for a number of reasons, but mostly because my sister took the time to track down a little yarn store while on her vacation, dragged her husband with her to talk with the shop proprietor and picked out some lovely skeins just for me. My sister is not a crafter, yarn is not something she swoons over, it means so much to me that she brought back these treasures just for me.
With that in mind, I feel like I need to do something special with the yarn. There are about four skeins of each yarn, varying in weights. That rules out any kind of sweater or larger project, but I think a few of them might be perfect for some lovely wool mittens. And because the yarn hails from Ireland, maybe something a little fair isles is in order. But I can't stop there, this yarn is more special to me than a mere pair of mittens. I'm going to make this project an adventure of my own. I am going to design said mittens. Yikes! I've designed a few simple baby garments before, but mittens will be something new and I think challenging for me. Charts, changing colors, a wearable finished project...this could be a perilous path. So, this is the first installment of a multipart adventure to take a project from the very start to a hopeful finish in what I hope is a timely fashion.