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  Project Re-Visit: Komi Mittens
I always love to read about finished knits - when something is fresh off the needles and takes its final shape, it's a great moment. You can get a full summary of the process, complete with frustrating details and lessons learned, with the knowledge that in the end everything turned out great (or at least good enough, I believe we always take something away from our process, even if its not a 'wearable' garment). Its unfortunate that after the big 'show-and-tell' is done, the piece falls out of our (readers) collective consciousness. That's just the nature of knitblogging I guess. For the lucky knitter who finished something wonderful, though, they get to enjoy their garment for months (and if the wool is a quality one, years) to come.

I love seeing hints of past projects popping up in current blog photos - a piece of your knitted past cropping up in the background or someone wearing an old FO nonchalantly now that the excitement of the finish has past. I like to place old knits in the background of my photos from time to time (sometimes some of you notice). In this vein, I really love the idea of project re-visits, months or years after the item was knitted. This year I'd like to work a little bit to revisit some of my old favorites and update you on how they've been wearing. I think its a great way of reviewing pattern, yarn, and design - all being important factors in our future project decisions. So today we start the re-visit program with one of my favorite knits from 2006:

Komi Mittens

These are Komi Mittens by Charlene Schurch from her wonderful book Mostly Mittens: Traditional Knitting Patterns from Russia's Komi People*, knit last winter. It was my first real stranded knitting project and the one that got me hooked. The detailed post is here.

These have seen a lot of wear, especially in the last couple of months - not by me (I'm not a huge mitten fan), but by another on-the-go-New-Yorker type, and I figured it was time to put them back under the magnifying glass. The yarn is 'Palette' from KnitPicks. A fingering weight Peruvian wool that comes in a pretty basic palette (haha) and lends itself well to colorwork mittens, socks, hats, and if you have a crazy amount of time on your hands, sweaters. For the price, you can't beat this one, especially if you're searching for a basic color representation and relatively solid wool (the project cost was under $4.00 after all). I was mostly curious about how this yarn would hold up over time, and as I report at this point, its done pretty well. There is a bit of pilling, but its a rather "clean" pill that is easily shaved. You can see some of the pilly halo on the edges of the mittens in the above picture. These were shot last weekend and have had no shaving done to them whatsoever since their origin.

Komi In Your Face
This is what happens when the photographer's patience outlasts the model's

Pattern and designer I regard very highly, in fact, Ms. Schurch is the reason I would like to bring these mittens to your attention once again. Charlene has produced many wonderful books, Mostly Mittens and Hats On! being two of my favorites. Sock Knitters, I'm sure you're familiar with Sensational Knitted Socks, another one of hers. If you like colorwork and have a veritable weakness for traditional knits (that you can surely spin for a more contemporary look) as I do, I think you would definitely benefit from having a look at these books. At least check your library, they seem to be well stocked, at least in the libraries I've checked.

I've had the itch to get some fingering-weight stranded gloves on my needles. I greatly enjoy colorwork in general, but there's something ultra satisfying about working it in fingering weight on US1's. Therefore, I loved knitting the mittens, but as I mentioned above, I can't deal with actually wearing them. I'm too annoyed by the loss of finger mobility. It feels too much like a puppet show, and I don't know about you, but puppets kinda freak me out.

Komi Surprise

*This book also masquerades by another name: Knitting Marvelous Mittens: Ethnic Knitting Designs from Russia. I believe this is the newer edition. From what I can tell, the contents (patterns) are exactly the same.

I love the idea of checking back in on old projects. What a resourceful way to examine how a particular wool or yarn holds up.

Those are lovely. Thanks for the yarn update - it is very helpful to see how yarn has behaved before investing (although I suppose $4 is hardly an investment...).

Those mittens are gorgeous! I love the colors and they look so warm and cozy.

I really like the idea of revisiting old projects. As a new knitter, I can really appreciate these types of details!

It's nice to revisit those old FO's -- these mittens certainly deserve their return to the limelight, they're beautiful.

I also like the idea of revisiting. I tend to wear everything I make a lot, so I appreciate hearing how yarns and patterns wear for others. Those are great mittens, and as I love puppets, I also love mittens.

hey great idea on the review of past FO's. sometimes i wonder about the longevity of the yarn that i choose, so it's nice to see you share your story. AND as always your work is amazing. i can't even begin to imagine trying to attempt those mittens.

Wow, those are just incredibly lovely. And $4 for the yarn? Yowza. Am impressed that it has held up so well.

I do a "FO Revisited" series on my blog. I agree that it's really great to check back in on your knits from time-to-time. There is so much I don't know about how something will wear, how I'll like it, etc. when something is fresh off the needles. And I think it's especially fun to revisit FOs that were given to others.

Beautiful job, as usual. Thanks for revisiting it for us!

Magnificent Mittens, looks like they are holding up very, very well.

What a great idea! I'd been thinking of using Palette for the Eunny Jang Endpaper Mitts. It's nice to know whether it will be worth it in the long run...Thanks!

Revisiting old knits is a great idea.

And, just in general, I completely love your blog. I want to wrap it around me. You do a fantastic job with every aspect.

If you're thinking gloves (or more mittens) and are hooked on color work, take a look at http://www.liis.lv/majtur/darbmac/raksti.htm

Okay, many of these ask that you carry three yarns across the rows. But if you've got the patience, you surely have the skills.

Just don't turn your back on them in a public place.

Thanks for the re-visit. I haven't used the knitpicks yarn yet, but have thought about it. I'm glad to see that it has held up well. I've just recently become addicted to color work.

First, you're right - the two books are identical. I know because I have them both :). Second, hand puppets are indeed freaky. Third, I'm happy to hear that the mittens are holding up exceptionally well1

If any of you all are interested in finding Charlene Schurch's books in your local library, our host is right, there are lots available: http://www.worldcat.org/search?qt=worldcat_org&q=au%3Aschurch+charlene

What a great idea--revisiting your former FOs. And much appreciated is your talent and devotion to your craft, your photography, and your blog. Thanks for sharing.

these mittens have held up nicely! i'm very impressed by both the pattern and the yarn. i'll have to consider that yarn in the future (maybe even get a color card for it!)

Those really are beautiful!

I'm a relatively new reader so missed these mittens the first time around. They're stunning. I'll definitely check out that book.

Thanks for the revisit. I really appreciate it, as I just picked up Mostly Mittens from the library. (I originally thought they didn't have it. But when you mentioned in another post that it was previously called Mostly Mittens, I re-checked and was in luck.)

Gorgeous mittens. I missed your return from the land of green. Your colorwork is just amazing and speaking of background, is that one of your sweaters? I must move firther north!

Thanks for the revisit, I love those mittens - I secretly visit them on flickr from time to time. I'm always impressed with your knitpicks choices, I never see the potential myself.

I hear you 100% on the mitten-wearing front. I've never worn a single pair of mittens I've made.

Beautiful! They're the male equivalent to the Anemoi Mittens that are making the rounds in blogland. Great job, and always, great pics!

$4 is the price of a swatch, in my opinion - definitely worth it for a whole pair of mittens! they look great too.

Coincidentally, I have a shot of a sweater I recently finished in which I am wearing an older FO. It's pair of Fair Isle gloves knit in palette. Other's picked up on my gloves and commented on them, so I guess they share your interest. :-)

I love the idea of revisiting projects; actually, I'm really bad at presenting my FOs; I think I tend to bitch and rant about the difficulties on the blog, but when it's all over... nada. I've done a couple of 'old project' posts, from pre-blog days; they were fun, too. Those mitts seem to have worn really well, I have to say. Far better than the sweater I'm wearing...

I rarely wear my FOs, except for scarves, because I don't have to wash them after wearing them ;)
The mittens look as smashing as always, and for such a good value. I have 2 skeins of palette in my stash which are gifts, pity they're not my colours of choice and I'd probably be annoyed to death working with those colours.

Your mittens are beautiful!

So this is kind of the 'Where's Waldo' of the knitting blogs then? Ha ha, just kidding. It's always wonderful to see old friends (completed knitting projects) showing up in the forefront or background now and again. Those mittens are gorgeous and it's nice to see them again.

These mittens are just gorgeous! -and I like the idea of revisiting an FO. We spend so much time and care on our knits, they deserve more than just a post or two. How the yarn is holding up and its end use is always of interest to us knitters also.

There is that old saying about history that until you know where you have been in the past, you can't know where you should go in the future. With the lure of new projects it can be tough to take time to consider the lessons FO's provide. Thanks for the reminder on how satisfying it can be to undertake the task and do it right!

those are so pretty! I keep getting that book out of the library and drooling over it.... :)

I really love those mittens and colors. I simply salivate anytime I view the outstanding photography on this site.

I have been looking for some new knitting books, and now you have directed me to Schurch. Thanks!

mittens are lurvely and the photo shoot is great. *sigh* to have access to great light! oh, and your model is verrrry handsome!

Niiiceeee.... good colors, very modern. Like the bee :)

Stunning mittens, and they've really held up well!

It's great for all of us to take the time and see what we've made and learned, and how we grow creatively.

Great idea to re-photo the items after some substantial use, it gives the idea of how practical the knit is.
I love these mittens!!! Never seen he book myself but I have been to Komi (well one part of it as it is a county), the colours you have chosen are traditionally used but in the different order. It is just remarkable that people in the other part of the world appreciate the design more then natives.

I adore the 'review' of past knits approach. In fact, I may take the idea as well, as some of my favorite knits are things from prior to my blogging.

And what wonderful mittens. Someday, color work is in my future.

Great idea to revisit your FOs! I just love your photos, your knitting, and your blog, too.

You're right. We love the choosing of the wool, the pattern, working the stitches, but it is the joy of living with the object, or giving joy to another that keeps us coming back.

beautiful! glad to hear the wool holds up well......i just finished a project out of the palette. Thanks for posting........

my old neighbors were puppeteers - they'd set up their stages in the front yard - light it all up at night...oh it was definitely scary.
i'm not a mitten person either.
loved the photo in dublin...going there in may for my birthday! can't wait - anything you'd recommend?

my old neighbors were puppeteers - they'd set up their stages in the front yard - light it all up at night...oh it was definitely scary.
i'm not a mitten person either.
loved the photo in dublin...going there in may for my birthday! can't wait - anything you'd recommend?

Your blog is beautiful - it's one of my favorites. The mittens are lovely.

They look as brilliant as the first time I saw them! I just finished the cuff on another pair...I got the itch...

That was a lovely tribute to even lovelier mittens. I agree, once the climax of the finish has subsided, too often the item is absorbed into the daily drudge. I enjoyed sharing the rediscovery of a satisfactory and enjoyable project completed and in use.

Just beautifully done! (And my project list became even longer again...)

The mittens are gorgeous. And I agree with you about Charlene Schurch. She is great! Without her I wouldn't have learned to knit my first pair of socks, though I haven't really knit the "pair" quite yet! :)

These are wonderful. Thanks for revisiting them, as I did not see them the first time. I really like the yellow and brown. I am planning on creating my first stranded color work with KnitPicks Palette as well.

The mittens are absolutely gorgeous, especially done in yellow and brown. I agree that Knitters should be proud of their work whether they finished it yesterday or a year ago. I love looking at all the things I've accomplished regardless of how recently they were done. Sometimes I think we focus too much on the now, at what we are knitting and we don't appreciate the moments of knitting in projects in our past.

Good idea, I like hearing how projects and yarn have worn after becoming FO's. Glad these have worn well and often!

that "this is what happens" picture AND caption... killed me!
they are some VERY cool mittens... and i've never been a mitten fan
but i'd sing along w/those!

and i love knowing how the yarn holds up... VERY smart post


I've just finished some stranded gloves in fingering weight on size 0s myself, and they were SO. MUCH. FUN. I've been looking for more, but as you've noticed, most patterns are for mittens. However you need to get yourself the Sanquhar glove patterns from the Scottish Women's Rural Institutes. You can google for pictures. And buy them here: http://www.swri.org.uk/sales_goods/miscellaneous.html NAYY.

I LOVE that book!!! (Mostly Mittens). Sadly, my copy went 'poof' and has not been found in a couple of years. Recently saw it on Amazon, used, for $240 (What?!!!)

I knit several of her mittens - used Morehouse Merino in the fine singles which looks lovely, but is not necessarily hard-wearing. I have a lot of it in the stash, so if I find another copy, maybe I'll try and use some of it up. Ciao!

ps - I'm also in Brooklyn

Thanks for the follow up on Palette. I've just been considering making some Endpaper Mitts with it and was concerned about the yarn quality. I'm happy to hear that it wears well and that the pilling is minimal. Thanks!
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