I found this lovely cable pattern in "Vogue Stitchionary Volume 2", which is a book I'd love to get for Christmas. I've checked it out from the library numerous times, just to look through it and get ideas. Anyway, I thought this cable would look terrific on the back of a mitten. Okay, backing up...first thing I did was trace my daughter's hand in my knitting knotebook. Then I measured it, and wrote down all the important measurements: wrist, hand circumference, hand length, thumb circumference and length, etc. Then I started swatching. I decided I wanted a nice tight fabric for these mittens, so I picked size 6 needles to use with the worsted-weight yarn. I got 6 stitches per inch, over stockinette knitted in the round. Since her hand has a circumference of 6 inches, and cables tend to "pull in" the fabric, I decided that 38 stitches should be enough for nice, snug mittens. I cast on and started knitting. Several hours later, I set the mitten-in-progress down, thinking I probably should have her try it on before finishing. It's a good thing I did.
This morning, I had her try it on, and it's way too tight. The cable pulls in a lot more than I thought it would. My first clue should have been the fact that the stockinette-and-cable part was narrower than the ribbing. Oops. Back to the design notebook... I think I'm going to have to do some increasing after the ribbing in the area where the cable will be, and maybe go up a needle size after the ribbing. The good news is she loves the design!
In other news, we are keeping the cats. Nobody responded to my email about who owned them, except one neighbor who was of the opinion that the previous owners didn't take proper care of them and they'd be better off with us. So the girls and I sat down and came up with proper names for them. The fluffy orangey one is Cashmere, and the spotty one is Emily or Emmaline, depending on who you ask. I wanted to name her Intarsia, but the girls wouldn't hear of it. They live outside, for the time being; hubby put his foot down on that point. We'll just wait until he falls in love with them... poor kitties... it rained last night. I think I'm going to look through my pile of wood scraps in the garage and see if I can come up with some sort of shelter for them, for when the weather is bad.