Finally finished some knitting that I have been working on for a while.  I was suffering from a little "second mitten syndrome" where I was really motivated to knit the first one, but the second one was delayed by another project due to the DREAD of knowing how much work was required to complete it.  BEHOLD, the completed Swedish fish mittens:

I made them for my friend's birthday.  I started earlier, but because of the previously mentioned bout of 2nd mitten syndrome, I didn't finish the second one until yesterday morning.  But still in time to give them to her!

I love the fish.  They are super cute.  I like the detailing of the eyes and that each row of fish swim in a different direction.  If you're a knitter with A LOT of patience and you're pretty good with stranded/colorwork/intarsia knitting, then you can find the pattern here (but it costs $$).  That's a Ravelry link so if you're not part of Ravelry you won't be able to pull it up.

Knitterly details:
I changed a few things in the pattern.  Right up front, I didn't use the same yarn as she did.  I used some different colorways of Claudia Hand Painted Sock yarn.  At first I didn't like the variegated look, but now I really like it because it looks like little scales or that the fish are reflecting different kinds of light as they swim (go, go gadget imagination!).  For the main color (off white) I used this new line of yarns from Blue Sky Alpaca called "Spud and Chloe."  Not gonna lie, people.  This yarn kind of blows.  I'm not sure if it's because I was using size 1 needles and that's the lower limit of the yarn (it's recommended for size 1-3) or what, but it pulled apart like CRAZY and was really irritating if I ever had to rip back any mistakes.  Anyway, just a note for the future.  The Claudia Hand Painted, on the other hand was DREAMY to work with.  Such a nice yarn.  But I guess you get what you pay for seeing as the Spud and Chloe was much cheaper than the Claudia Hand Painted.  The CHP was super expensive, but I bought enough for at least 2 pairs of mittens.

The pattern recommended DPNs, but I kind of despise DPNs so I used the magic loop technique and just bought a long size 1.  SIZE 1.  OMG.  It was crazy.  The pattern knits quickly because it's fun, but oh man, 80 stitches per round gets to be a pain in the wrist.  Also, the color changes?  Just imagine when you finish and you have to WEAVE IN all the ends.  It literally took me an hour to weave in all the ends of the first mitten.  Much faster with the second because I knew what I was doing, but that was crazypants.  Thank you Hulu queue and awesome time-difference friends on the phone for getting me through that.

I also changed the ribbing at the bottom because 1×1 ribbing wasn't going to do it for me, so I did 2×2 ribbing with no increases, just flat out 80 stitches.  I think it came out fine, it's not a huge noticable difference.  The 2×2 is still stretchy enough that it will hug your wrist and help keep the cold out.  However, the fact that it is sock yarn means that these are pretty light mittens and are probably better for fall and the warmer of winter days.

The thumbs came out weird.  I'm not sure why.  I think they just need to be wider at the bottom to make the thumbs more comfortable.  But I like when the fish line up EXACTLY on the thumb and the mitten.

I also added some extra rows in the main color at the top of the mitten and on the thumb before I kitchener stitched the tops together.  The decreases were done on either end of each side of the mitten.  I think I ended up with 20 stitches at the top of each mitten and about 10 stitches at the top of the thumbs.  The pattern has a different decrease written, but I didn't like how the sides of the mitten curved in and I wanted to try to make these more rounded.

Some details are on my ravelry.

So that's done.  There will be more knitting posts coming up, once I can finish up more present knitting.  Fish!

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