The Ugliest Mitten

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In celebration of this delightful expiration of hot weather, I brought out my colourwork projects that have been hibernating all summer. I did this joyously, recalling that I’d been working on some mittens and socks in Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift. I skipped to my wool room with fervour and glee in my soul and unearthed my hibernation basket. I pulled out my sock project out first, Laurie’s Chrysanthemum Knee-Highs from the book Nordic Knitting Traditions.

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I let go a little “Eeep” of delight and snuggled it, officially welcoming it back into the circulation of my current projects. I cast my hand down into the basket’s depths for my mittens and found the designated mitten bag. I knew I finished a couple of single mittens from the fantastic book Solveig Larsson’s Knitted Mittens. However, I had no recollection of which one I left off on. I opened the bag and pulled out this.

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“Awww!” said I to this mitten, giving it a snuggle in turn. And then I saw it.

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I gasped in revulsion and closed the bag. My mind had conveniently (and mercifully) erased this horrid mitten from my recent memory in order to allow me to function in everyday life.

What does one do after creating such an abomination of a knitted item? Light a candle? Burn some smudge? Weep? Call a priest? A shrink? Some sort of spiritual healing is obviously required.

I vaguely recalled knitting the thumb, nearing the decreases and very deliberately stopping. My logic at the time returned to me in a rush of sick familiarity. I felt like if I didn’t finish it all the way, then it would never be officially created. If it never became an actual mitten, then it couldn’t taint the world with its existence and besmirch my honour as a knitter. I trapped it in limbo forever.

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The maddening part is that it almost looks like it could be charmingly folksy, but something about it falls woefully short. If you saw it out of the corner of your eye, you might go, “Oooo!” until it made its way from your peripherals into your direct line of sight. Then, your exclamation would sour into an “Ooouuhhh…” The mitten pattern itself is lovely. What I did to it to make it look like that is a frightening mystery. If I had to diagnose it, I would say I murdered it with my colour choices and where I oriented them. Regardless, it is truly most inconveniently and nauseatingly ugly.

I’m not sure what to do with it at this point. Frog it, and be forced to endlessly ponder over what to do with the sad little shreds of yarn? Burn it, and have the grim satisfaction of watching it shrink and perish in the flames? Bleach it, committing to the hard fact that I can never resurrect the mitten or the yarn? Bury it, say a few words in memoriam, and lie and pretend it was a nice mitten? I don’t know. One thing’s for sure though. Nobody can help it now. It’s just like Voldemort’s soul in the last Harry Potter book in the spirit train station. Nobody can help it.

Of course I know that not all knitting can go smoothly. Sometimes it is fraught with peril and bad yarn choices or poor pattern selections or obscene combinations of both. I just wish that I had destroyed this particular wraith pre-summer instead of putting it away to plague me in fall. Have any of you knit anything ugly lately? What did you do?

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On September 15, 2015
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