To Gusset or Not to Gusset?

I’m in the throes of both startitis and finish-it-up-itis.  I’ve had a bit of a cold this weekend — nothing too terrible, but it has landed me in my knitting chair for longer periods than I usually allow myself.  My loss of productivity elsewhere has been my gain in knitting progress.

I made so much progress on the Rosebud Shawl that I finally got up the nerve to count the rest of the stitches on the needle and figure up how many more repeats I have to knit.  I didn’t want to count until I was pretty sure I was in the home stretch. With cobweb-weight yarn, a disheartening number of stitches can fit into a very small space on the needle.  Turns out, I have about 16 more repeats to do.  I try to do one repeat most evenings.  If I’m pretty diligent in knitting on the shawl, I may have it done and blocked by the end of the month (or at the latest, next month), which will be well before warmer springtime temperatures will allow me to wear it, anyway.

I’ve got about two inches left on the Shale Baby Blanket, so I expect to have that bound off this week.  I’ve told myself that there’s no way I’m allowing myself to start on a new pair of mittens until the blanket is done, ends woven in, washed, and folded up.  So far, that’s been a good motivator, particularly since the yarn for the mittens has arrived from Knit Picks, and I’m positively itching to get started on them.  The colorwork mittens will be black, and will include yellow, green, a sort of magenta color, and silver-grey.


I’ve debated whether to start the colorwork mittens right away, or to make another pair that has gusseted thumbs first.  It would not be a matter of debate, but for the fact that the colorwork mittens are an original design — one with afterthought thumbs.  I’m thinking that gusseted thumbs will be more comfortable, but I’ve never knit mittens with gusseted thumbs before, and I think I should knit an existing pattern with gussets before hauling off and designing my own.  I’ll make a decision on that by next weekend, for sure.  Opinions are welcome — what do you think?  Should I plunge in to what I’ve already designed, or tinker a bit with gussets first?

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