I'm knitting Adrian Bizilia's Flocked Mittens as my gateway project into colorwork, or stranded, knitting. I'm not entirely certain this was the best choice for a beginner, but it's a beautiful pattern and after swatching, I think I can pull this off, although it may take me some time.
I originally swatched in navy blue and white, using Quince & Co. Lark (the skein of Tern is for the lining), but decided to knit the project in a pale pink colorway called Petal and an off white contrast skein.
These mittens have a picot edge, and just above it, a braided trim.
I hadn't encountered braided trim before, but the pattern instructions are clear and I included a blue version in my swatch to make sure I could do it. No problem. I also found a Craftsy Class, featuring the wonderful Sunne Meyer, on knitting stranded mittens. It is an awesome class — my first on Craftsy — and I highly recommend it because of her focus on many of the details of mitten knitting. She has a segment on braided trim and her comments helped me find a way to keep the yarn from tangling, which was worth the price of the entire class.
Although the pattern calls for a one color braided trim, I decided to do it using both of the mitten colors, and I'm really glad I did. I like it so much, that I'm afraid braided trim is going to start finding its way into everything I knit. The history of the trim comes from Nordic knitting, so it seems entirely appropriate to have learned this technique during the winter Olympics.
One of my goals this year is to be a more fearless knitter — to assume that the fact that I've never done something before means that I absolutely can do it now. So far, that has paid off with my 198 Yards of Heaven Shawlette and the start of color work. What are you doing to create adventures in knitting for yourself this year?