the 12 days of x-mas KAL started

Today the first installment for the 12 Days of Christmas Mitten Garland KAL by Kat Lewinski was released. We have two weeks to knit one mitten. This is the first design:

 pic by Kat Lewinski

You can find everything and more about this design at her great site Just Craftsy Enough.

I love this design very much! I adore wood block printing (think linocut prints if you need further mental images) and art with high contrast and/or colour blocks.

Cast on is 48 stitches and gauge is 40 st per 10 cm (4 inches) which I never get. I can do 32 at best, sock gauge. That’s already on my smallest needles (2 mm or even 1,75 mm).
This has the consequence that the mitten knits up to a functional size. My size!

It already fits me and I love the colours I’m using:

That’s the light green from the Mosaic Mittens. With dark brown.

I’d love to wear this mitten! Its partner would be the next mitten design. Or any of the other days of x-mas mittens. If I have enough yarn to prolong this colour scheme…

Knitting a wearable mitten has a consequence of its own though: I’d like to have the picture right side up. So I can see the partridge while wearing the mitten. Here’s a quick sketch next to the original picture of how that might look:

12days-of-xmas-kal1

I just flipped the image in Photoshop and did some hotseflotsepocus.

But flipping the image has further consequences. As you can see I preserved the holly on the cuff of the mitten, I feel it should stay there. (This is a design choice. As is elongating the cuff a bit.) But how to go from there to the base of the “picture” that’s predominantly dark? And what colour thumb goes well with that?

I spend some time playing around on Photoshop to check out various options. And now I feel bad. Changing this design is not very respectful towards the designer, it feels.
She did host a KAL earlier this year teaching us to design our own mittens to our own measurements and own gauge so she might not feel offended but it doesn’t feel right. All her work and intentions and here I go scrambling things up… it doesn’t feel good.

Besides, I’ve now -finally- learned to be weary of knitting projects where I try and do a smart thing… I usually overthink things and then I get annoyed that I don’t get it perfect or I worry all the time while knitting that it won’t work out and I rob myself of the joy of knitting. I should be weary of such projects. This feels very much like such a project, where I to alter the design.

But I’m so confused! Because playing with contrast colours and their positions is a part of the (wood) block print designing that I love. LOVE. Not a chore at all. Always an interesting designing stage. Never malintended towards anyone. I cannot rhyme it with the hesitation I feel.

So I’m not knitting further on the mitten at the moment, nor designing on it. I’m going to let it rest for a few days, see if some preference surfaces.

Here are the sketches I made up, trying out dark and light details:

12days-of-xmas-kal212days-of-xmas-kal312days-of-xmas-kal4

The role of the details is to support the main feature: the partridge and its elegant pear. I’m inclined to think the last one best for that. That’s when I realized how much I had butchered the picture of the designer, Kat Lewinksi. A picture I have no rights to. And that’s when I realized how I much I was enjoying the ride on the design-train and was solely focusing on solving a (graphic) design puzzle and had forgotten about everything else.
And that is when I applied the break.

Now I don’t know what to do so I’m going to bed. Always a sensible thing to do. Sleep on it.

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