Now that my swap package has successfully reached my partner, I can discuss my handmade items here! The theme of this swap was fantasy, and my swap partner revealed that she was a fan of the Legend of Zelda video games, in particular Twilight Princess and the character Midna. She also wanted practical things. I have sadly never played Twilight Princess and had to look up who Midna was, but a little bit of searching for game images showed that she wears (in her true form) something that looks a little like gauntlets, or fingerless mittens. So I knit a pair of fingerless mittens.
I found this ironic when I opened my package and she had also knitted me mitts.
The Midna mitts are based on Eunny Jang's Endpaper Mitts pattern in form, though I had to redo the thumb gusset increases to accommodate my row gauge. The charts are my own, and are based on Midna's hair jewelry and the markings on her wrists and thigh. The yarn is Lana Grossa Cool Wool Superfein, in the blue and black colorways.
Planning this project went quite quickly. Knitting the first mitt did not. I have minimal experience with stranded knitting, so I knit about half of a mitt as a gauge swatch. This let me practice holding a yarn under tension in each hand as well as measure my gauge. I discovered that working with one yarn in each hand means that each can be fed into the knitting at its own rate, which I needed for a pattern as random as the one I had (see evidence of wonky gauge on side of gauge swatch in above picture). That was good, so when I got comfortable with that, I started the first mitt. I later discovered that I put much more tension on the yarn held in my left hand (I normally knit Continental) than on the one in my right, and this was making my floats of the main color far too tight. So I ripped out that mitt and started over again. That attempt is what I called the right-hand mitt.
It actually doesn't matter which mitt is on which hand, as the shaping is top-bottom symmetric. Switching them just changes which pattern is on the back of the hand.
Anyway, I finished the right-handed mitt about three days before I needed to ship my package, and had a bit of a knitting marathon weekend to finish the second one on time. However, when I had both mitts finished and right-side-out in front of me, I thought they looked extremely cool.
Happy Fourth of July! I was born and raised in the US, though I have now spent most of the last four years living in Europe for study and work reasons. It means that I don't get today off of work to celebrate, but it is a good day to be grateful for the legacy I have from my country. Also, two years ago today, CERN announced the discovery of the Higgs boson, ending a search of more than sixty years and an era in my field. It is a good day to celebrate.