I sort of cheated by going to Knit Happens before the class to pick up some yarn and needles for the project. I had originally planned to just buy one skein of yarn to accompany something I already had... but then I saw their new shipment of Claudia's Handpainted Yarns. I grabbed a skein each of Teal and Last Night's Wine. The colors complimented each other SO WELL. Those and 2 pairs of DPN's later and I was headed into DC!
It was my first time working with DPN's- which was a bit daunting for the first few rows, but I think I caught on pretty quick. But srsly, size ZEROS? Toothpicks. Being a tight knitter, I'm lucky I didn't snap one. We didn't review the Italian Tubular Cast On, but that's because essentially the workshop was about learning how to do colorwork. But the BEST tutorial I've seen so far (and gone back to for review) is over on Fluffbuff. I highly recommend it. I got the hang of keeping the 2 colors separated but still controlled by my left hand (continental knitter) and never once got them tangled! Small victories, folks.
The first mitt took about 2 weeks of intermittent knitting to complete (plus a week of almost no knitting), but I flew through the second! I didn't want to get 'second sock syndrome' and cast on for the second mitt in the same evening that i finished the first. I was so excited with it that TWICE I made the mistake of knitting too many pattern repeats, or doing them wrong- and had to rip back 5-10 rows. And those were nights that I wasn't even drinking! D'OH!
In any case- this was a great beginner project, and one that produces a very complicated-looking result! Learning with the group was also enjoyable- and more than one of the girls in the class have become good friends. Of course the one lady who kept losing her cool every 10 minutes or so before finally storming out was easily the most entertaining ("...so, I guess this isn't mindless knitting you can do watching tv, huh?"), but she also reminded me not to get flustered because this is supposed to be fun!