Sunday, January 26, 2014

FO: Mystery Mitts, and sewing frustrations

Jazz hands
 OK, so here we have the finished Torirot Mystery Mitts, Roo-style.

Right up front, I will tell you that I don't particularly like them. 
I will wear them in the snow because they are warm and big enough to layer over other fingerless mitts... but I think they are pretty ugly.
Seasonally-appropriate reading matter
The mix of colours is not to my taste, even though I put them together.  Not knowing in advance how the colours would balance out across the mitt, I followed the designer's suggestions:  light grey, red, green, dark grey and light blue.  But when I see them knitted up I think they would have looked better with a darker light grey and a lighter light blue!
The main hand sections are a bit of a mess.  As I mentioned before, my stitches are tall and thin rather than short and fat, so the pictorial elements are elongated and distorted.  I have seen other people's mitts in the Ravelry group and believe me, their little girls look like little girls and not weird zombie skeletons.  They have garden gates with foliage where I have a tumbledown windmill!
I like the flowery sections and the chunkier bird, heart and key motifs at the top.
I find the cuff interesting but note that very few knitters have succeeded in making the rib undulate from side to side, using the red rosebuds.  Mine just looks kinda lumpy and uneven.
My thumbs are entirely off-pattern!  I ran out of light blue (I only had a 10g mini-ball) so decided that rather than follow the instructions I would try to echo the cuff pattern in the thumbs, using the yarn I had.  I like the look of it, but my thumbs won't be quite as warm as the rest of my hand because they don't have the benefit of the stranded under-layer.
I reckon this is the last time I will be sucked into a Mystery Knitalong.  It seemed like such a good idea at the time and I enjoyed comparing my mitts with others in real time as we knitted along together, clue by clue... but in the end I know what I like... and I don't like these mitts!
Lesson learned.
We have weather today
 P.S.  But I really really like the yarn I used:  JC Rennie Supersoft lambswool and Unique Shetland mini-balls from Wee County Yarns.

As for sewing...
In sewing news... I have no sewing.  I cannot fathom the Peggy skirt pattern.  Would you believe that I cannot even work out which set of lines to trace for my size?  I have successfully sewn Japanese patterns and Burda patterns, both of which have "a reputation"... but this particular pattern has me stumped.  There are about 8 sizes on the pattern sheet, and all are drawn with the same solid line.  The size is only indicated ONCE for each - and despite all my experience I cannot tell which of the 8 darts is the one intended for my size.  The front tucks are an even greater mystery, as there must be two lines for each tuck, but which two?

The final straw was the realisation that the pockets need to be made out of the main fabric and include a facing and something called a "pocket fuse", which appears to be a narrow stabilising piece that fits along the top of each pocket... but that would give me a sandwich of how many - four?  layers of denim which then has to be squashed between another two at the waistband?  6 layers of fabric plus another 3 of interfacing?  Nope.  Not happening.

If you have sewn this pattern and think I have misunderstood, please let me know.  I have reached the tears of frustration stage. 
Blue hair roolz!

I am going to knit a sock now.  I know how to do that! :)


ravelledsleeve said...

Mystery KALs are difficult because you never know whether the finished product will be something you would have chosen to knit in the first place. I usually do Woolly Wormhead's annual MKAL, because I love all her Hats, and I'm doing the Ysolda shawl MKAL at the moment though not yet entirely convinced I'll love the finished shawl...

Gail said...

I think those mittens look fantastic! I'm glad to know you'll wear them, even though you don't LOVE them. Hoping they'll grow on you!

beate grigutsch said...

can i have the mitts when i help you with the skirt????


(or i draw a easy to sew skirt pattern in your size.....)

oonaballoona said...

i wish i could help you with the skirt pattern mystery, but i love those mittens like WHOAH. they are amazing!!

Julesy said...

Not sure if you know but there's a sewalong for the Peggy skirt at the Bluegingerdoll blog? That might help? Or you could get in touch with Abby, I'm sure she'd be more than happy to help. :)

Louise Perry said...

I'm with everyone else... I LOVE those mitts.

Oranges and Apples said...

I have that same issue with long and tall stitches. Love these though, even with the skelletal zombie girl ;)

Textile Art Forum said...

with the pockets you could stabilise the tops with a much lighter but tight weave fabric and you could make the pocket inners in a cotton print which would resolve the problem of many thick layers meeting at one point and also add some girlie cheer to the denim. as for the pattern, contact the maker, they need your feedback to make their patterns more user friendly!

Rehanon Mackenzie said...

i like that the mitts don't have traditional girls but zombie style ones v down with the kids lol. Also you're a boss for doing a thumb off pattern. I don't even know how that is possible. Good luck with the skirt sounds like a real hum dinger. I'm sure you'll make a beaut though.


LinB said...

Oh, too bad that you don't care for your mitts! Perhaps you could fling them into the "Christmas presents" drawer in the spare bedroom. That's where my failed projects go ... I try to give them to people whom I rarely see, so that I am not disappointed when they don't wear the finished objects, either, lol.

I have no recommendations about the skirt pattern except to fold it back up and put it in its envelope and back slowly away. You might enjoy a pattern-drafting book such as the old classic Adele Margolis' Make Your Own Dress Patterns. I know that used copies are readily available; I know that Dover Publictions has reprinted the original, for a reasonable sum.

Rosesred said...

The peggy skirt is cute, but i don't think it looks veru different from other indie a-line skirts out there, like the ginger or the hollyburn. If you have them in stash, mayb try those? . You have nothing to prove and Skirt sewing should be fun, so if this isn' t, i would say; chuck it in the bin

Abby Horskins said...

Howdy there,

I saw your comment on the blog about needing some help with the Peggy skirt as well as your blog post here about your frustrations and thought i would drop you a line. It's sad for me to hear and it's such a bummer for you, about your sewing woes with the Peggy skirt pattern.

Feel free to always just give me a shout if you ever need any help with any patterns and i am sure it is the same with all pattern designers out there. I totally just want everyone to have a HAPPY sewing time with Bluegingerdoll patterns :)

So i'm super happy to help you out anytime, just email me at and lets get you sewing an awesome Peggy skirt!

Hope to hear from you soon!


Abby Horskins said...

Ooops! Almost forgot.. There is also an in depth, step by step guided sew-along for the Peggy skirt on the blog :)

Please feel free to take a look! :)


Roobeedoo said...

Thank you Abby!
I will be in touch :)

MaryinTN said...

Roo, really like the mittens. That yarn is awesome! Good luck with the skirt.

Donna Hensley said...

Sorry to hear about the disappointment and frustration! They seem to come together, don't they? Knitting a nice, easy sock ( easy for you, anyway ;) ) seems like a good way to bounce back.

Stacy Gandy said...

I LOVE your mitts!