Deciding to Go Hardcore

Deciding to Go Hardcore

I was hoping to show a lot more progress on the fancy lady’s mittens by now, but the problem is that a) I try to have a life (and other hobbies) outside of knitting and b) I’m still trying to finish up projects I started last year.  It’s not like I haven’t made progress, as you can see by my pictures below. I mean, I’m past the thumb gusset and finally at the point where it’s easy knitting the rest of the way until I start doing decreases to close off the mitten and finishing up the thumb.   Now that I’m past the gusset, I’ve got the pattern memorized and I’m not afraid of losing my concentration anymore.

Top of Glove

Palm Side of Glove

However, I have also been doing more research on knitting in the Victorian era, and what I have discovered scares me.  Earlier I found out that women tended to knit stuff like lace, doilies,  stockings or gloves–things that require tiny needles and thin yarn. I didn’t realize how thin and tiny until I decided to look into the whole “knitting silk” issue.  Turns out they weren’t kidding about knitting all that stuff with yarn made from 100% silk! I don’t know if any of you have ever knit with silk before, but depending on how it’s processed it can be super slippery.  Now imagine trying to knit slippery yarn using metal needles! The needles they used were so small they couldn’t make them out of wood, so metal is the only option available.  Then I found out how a lot of women found it fashionable to knit little beaded evening purses with yarn so thin it was the size of sewing thread! I just about fell off my chair, and if I were the type to wear pearls I would have clutched them!

At this point, it has become obvious that I have to make a decision. Do I really want to knit such complicated things? If so, that means I’d have to buy the right yarn and needles and devote a lot of time to finding projects that won’t take forever to make and that also won’t be so hard to understand that they’d make me want to kill someone. I don’t usually plan out what I want to knit in advance, but since I enjoy a knitting challenge I thought it’d be in the best interests of this blog to step up and make an effort. And so, I have decided to go all in.  That’s right, 2010 is going to be the year of Victorian knitting!  For my grand finale I think I will even attempt to try my hand at making one of those insanely complicated beaded evening purses, although I’m not going to go completely crazy and make one with a mosaic design that has 400 beads knitted into a square inch. No thanks, I’d like to keep what remains of my already thin grasp on my sanity! As a comparison note, if I were to add beads to the mittens I’m making now, they’d only have 100 beads per square inch.  However, the upside of committing to this whole adventure is that my mother will probably be very happy because she’ll be the recipient of everything I make, and it’ll make any knitting I do after 2010 seem like a total breeze!

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