I've been having a hard time with the Pirate mittens. My motivation's in the ditch and it feels like I'm chewing through a haystack in a pair of false teeth. So I took a colour knitting lesson at Knitty Couture. I was planning to take their basic colourwork class, but it was on home group night. I've never had a private lesson before and it was nice to be the only student. Also reasonably priced for an hour of one-on-one time.
Picked out some Jamieson DK Shetland yarn and made a little speckled swatch, 25 stitches across. Didn't bother with purling, we just ran the yarn around the back and kept knitting. Started out at a hideous 12 stitches an inch with my size 3 needles! I could knit astronaut suits at that gauge, totally airtight, and bulletproof too. Going up to a size 5 needle relaxed it to about 8 stitches an inch which looks much nicer.
Learned the long tail cast on, tried three ways of holding the yarn, and produced that teeny little swatch. Ended up with a colour in each hand, so one is knit continental. I was knitting at a decent rate by the end of the hour. It was a fun lesson, and Sam is a good teacher. Good enough that I'm almost considering making a fair isle sweater one day...
I'm going to finish the second pirate mitten with what I've learned (put the colour you use least in your dominant hand so it pops, stretch the floats out periodically, and up the needle size), hopefully it will go better. I only have one skull and a thumb to go. The Jamieson's DK is surprisingly nice yarn when knitted up, I'd dismissed it as scratchy before I used it for my swatch. It would make a nice Inga hat for my next colourwork project. I'm going to get this colour thing figured out!