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Tres Chic Veronique


Last FO of the year!

I finished my Anemoi mittens just in time to be the last FO of 2006! And wouldn't you know, it's finally cold here. Well, it's 40 degrees F, but that's cold enough to wear mittens, right?
Can you figure out what my trick was to keep from getting second mitten syndrome?

That's right, I switched the main and contrasting colors on the second mitten!

It seems everyone's tackling fair isle these days. After reading this post by Carrieoke, I checked out Nona's advice on dominant yarn. One of Nona's commenters left a link that made the whole issue crystal clear for me. Now, normally I hold both of the yarns in my right hand: the main (or background or most-used or dominant-?-) color over my index, and the contrast color (or less-used color) over my middle finger. I do this for convenience's sake only: since it is easier to knit with the yarn over my index, I'll put the yarn that is most used over my index. But Nona's post clearly explains that the yarn that is being held under is the dominant yarn. For me, that's the middle finger yarn! Oops, I was doing it backwards! So I switched over, mid-mitten.

Perhaps you can tell: this is subtle for the pink mitten, but obvious for the brown mitten. For this pattern, which creates diagonal lines, if the "diagonal" yarn is dominant, those stitches are a little bit larger, and the stitches touch, which creates a nice solid diagonal line. If the diagonal yarn is not dominant, the stitches do not touch, so it looks more like a dotted line, and the diamond pattern disappears... In the brown mitten, the brown diamonds completely disappear when brown is the dominant color (lower part of mitten, below thumb), and they really pop when pink is the dominant color (upper part of the mitten)!
So now I'm totting mittens that I can use as a lesson for anyone who wants to learn about yarn dominance. (By the way, yarn dominance was not an issue for the assymetrical design on the front of the mitten, phew).

Moral of the story? I learned the hard way that the yarn that is used most often is *not* the dominant yarn. Let's say that again: the color which dominates the pattern because it is used most often is NOT THE DOMINANT YARN. It's the contrast, lesser-used color that is dominant. Now why is that never spelled out anywhere? Mmm?

PS: the Habu cashmere, once washed, feels divine.

By Veronique
On Sunday, December 31, 2006
At 12/31/2006 11:04:00 AM