Some time ago, even before I went on holiday in September, I took a notion to knit a pair of mittens for a friend's birthday. Since I had a bagful of leftover sock yarns I decided to do something cute and colourful, and I chose these lovely Swedish Fish mittens from Spilly Jane. I decided to cut the top off and make them fingerless, which I thought would be more useful for my dog-walking friend.
My first attempt, using a slightly larger needle size than recommended (cos that's what I had handy), turned out far too big. I got a few rows in and then I frogged.
I decided to go right down to 2mm, as recommended. I didn't have any with me on holiday so I went out and bought some - luckily there was a yarn shop near to hand, Knit & Natter in Carmarthen, as seen by Brenda Dayne.
So I tried again. I got all the way to the top of the first one before I decided it was still a bit too loose.
I know it doesn't really look that big on the photo, but believe me, my hand was swimming inside all those little fishies, and I think my friend has even smaller mitts than me, so I was a bit anxious about sizing.
I decided to try and make the second one a bit narrower by leaving out some of the fish. If it worked, I would frog the first one and knit it again to the narrower design. Ideally I should have just dropped one of the fish, but that would have made the whole thing a bit lopsided, one of the fish would wrap around the side of the hand and it would all be a bit crap. I decided I should leave out one fish on each side of the mitt. That would do the trick.
By the time I started getting close to the thumb position I had already lost hope - I could get the mitt on but it was a tight squeeze. What would it be like over the wider bit of my hand?
Ideally I should have frogged and cast on using the same adapted pattern but the larger needles. By now, however, my friend's birthday was just days away and I was sick of fish. And everyone likes champagne, don't they? (I know that's not true, I learned it from bitter experience at a 50th birthday party. That's what you get for trying to help out a loved one who's too lazy to go to the shops. But that's another story).
Maybe I will come back to the fishy mittens in due course, but right now I never want to see them again.
Stoke Newington, London
20 hours ago