Mitten and Glove
Meanwhile, I'm continuing to work on mitten #2. I finished the thumb gore today, and tried a slight variant on the cast-on for the stitches that fill the gap when the thumb stitches are taken off the needle. On the first mitten I cast on all of the stitches in the MC (main color, in this case, blue), starting the pattern when I knit across them on the next row. This time, I tried alternating the two colors in the cast on, in pattern. So far, so good. I'll see how it works when picking up stitches for the thumb later.
I'm also considering alternative decrease patterns for closing the hand. The pattern has you decrease at both ends of all three needles, every other row, or decrease six stitches every other row. This comes out a bit more pointy than I really liked. [I'll get some pictures of the finished mitten up eventually.] So, I'm thinking I probably need to decreas more often (more stitches per round) or more quickly (every round instead of every other round). Not sure yet which I'll try. If I get something I like on this mitten, I'll undo the end of the first mitten and knit it to match the second one.
Swatching for the gloves
I started the second attempt at a gauge swatch with the Tiur today. Doubled the number of stitches to 60, and dropped down one needle size to size 1. Definitely easier to work with and I feel like I'll be able to get a more accurate stitch count this way. Preliminary counts look like I've hit the recommended gauge (9 stitches per inch). I'll knit a few more pattern repeats and count again to be sure.
I'm also taking this opportunity to see for myself the effects of carrying each of the two different colors ahead (for me - in my left hand). The gloves use two different patterns, with different colors carried ahead: flying geese on the back of the hand (CC carried ahead) and salt and pepper on the palm (MC color carried ahead). The first couple of pattern reps in my test swatch I'm keeping the MC in my left hand (carried ahead), with the CC in my right. I'll swap them for a couple of repeats, and then do the patterns as recommended for a couple of repeats. After only one pattern repeat, I can already see that the salt and pepper pattern is showing up more clearly than the flying geese. Very interesting. I'm looking forward to finishing the experiment.