I debated whether to consider this post a crafting first or a finished object, as it's technically both, but since technology prevented me from actually publishing on Friday (and since I have work travel next week so I don't know if I'll get to writing my Monday post where I'd ordinarily cover the crafting firsts segment) I thought I'd just publish today and sort of consider it both? That's unimportant, really.
What is important is what crafting first I've completed.
Just now (like, 15 minutes ago) I published my first ever knitting pattern on Ravelry. Now, I never really thought I'd be the sort of person who would be a pattern designer of any sort. Too much to think about with fitting and moving parts. Plus I'm not one to think "I have this stitch pattern in my brain," it's just not how my brain works. But yet...
Here's how these mitts came about. I've spent the past four months listening to (and LOVING) Maggie Stiefvater's book series "The Raven Cycle." As part of that I dyed some colourways to honour some of the characters of the book, and one of them "Blue Lily" has rapidly turned into one of my absolute favourite colourways. Inspired by this, I wanted to dye the Knit Picks Capra that Jonas bought me for Christmas a few years back that I'd been saving until I found exactly the right colour for it to be. This was that colour. It needed to be this. So I dyed the yarn and found myself with 100g of DK weight merino/cashmere that needed to be knit into something Blue Sargent would approve of. As a short aside, I'm not one for fingerless mitts. Where I live, if it's cold enough to need something on your wrists/hands, it's cold enough to need your fingers covered. That said, I did think a few times last winter while I was working from home and my house was frigid that I could perhaps see the utility of the fingerless mitts. Plus, fingerless mitts are TOTALLY something Blue would wear regularly, probably even in the heat of the Virginia summer.
Add to all of this that the Knerd Girl Knits podcasts's ongoing bad-ass women KAL was focusing on women in books during July and August and one of the challenges was to knit something inspired by a women in a poem or a poem by a woman. Since I'm not usually one for poetry, I didn't have any ideas...until I remembered that book three had a song (about Blue) running through it, thus making that bit a poem both about a woman and written by a woman. So it qualified. The problem was, there wasn't anything at all inspired by Blue that I could find on Ravelry. Or, at least nothing that would work with my yarn or would match up well with the poem. It was then that I pulled out my big book of cables, started browsing Ravelry to see what some other people were doing with fingerless mitts, and started thinking.
The ideas actually all came together really quickly. I browsed the books, found two cable patterns that matched up with the images that I wanted, drew a sword/knife pattern onto some graph paper and made a chart. I still didn't know how to put it together, but I did a bunch of swatching and then a bit of math and then started trying to do it.
I made myself the goal of designing the whole thing during the course of the summer Olympics as part of the Ravellenic Games. I thought that was appropriately ambitious, as the mitts knit up really quickly, but also I would have to push myself to do the calculations and math needed to put it all together. There were, as with all pattern designs, a few stumbles as I changed my mind, ripped back, and once ripped out an entire mitten because I needed to change the position of the thumb, but they knit so quickly that I accomplished it easily within the timeframe. Honestly, I think actually writing the charts and doing the layout took me more time than actually designing the mitts!
So, at long last, after much ado and explanation. I present to you, my first (and quite possibly only) knitting pattern, Lily Blue Mitts.