Tuesday, February 3, 2009


This post will look a lot like the Berets one from earlier this month. But mittens. I have made more mittens than berets, but probably the same as hats. I'm going to pop over to Ravelry and investigate these numbers now.

Hats, inclusive............................21
6 = the same baby beret over and over
Adult Berets..................................6
4 = the same kids mittens for charity
Fingerless gloves..........................3
2 Fetching, 1 Dashing

This makes me think that overall, I knit pretty wide. Most things, I've tried a few times, with the glaring exception of adult sweaters. And, I suppose, lace. But I'm still working towards that, and openwork is no problem. The thing with me and mittens (or any genre of pattern, for that matter) is that I have a very steep learning curve. Read: act like an idiot until something clicks, then make significantly fewer stupid mistakes from there on out. Like the idea of a nice firm fabric being key to mitten warmth. Or the importance of using wool instead of acrylic on things that are supposed to be warm. Or how I've been weaving in ends wrong for five years (I always wondered why my ends popped out all over the place).

That said, the actual construction of mittens has given me little to complain about. From my first pair, I just read the instructions on how to make a gusseted thumb, and then when I saw what I had done, it made more sense. Now, my skill at picking up stitches has improved greatly, and I think there are fewer holes around thumb creases, but mostly I understood.

1. Four pairs of two-needle mittens.
Pattern: Family of Mittens (Lion Brand free pattern)
Yarn: Lion Brand Homespun (sea teal and coral)
Started/completed: for Christmas 2005
Comments: I gave these to the Hinsdale Food Bank in my grandma's name, because she endlessly knit children's mittens for charity. I can't even think how many tiny balls of yarn she kept to use as stripes. She filled a large floor basket with the mittens every year. I was pretty happy with mine, but shocked that a bulky yarn was being knit on 4s. Using two needles was great because I didn't feel like I was doing too many complicated things at once.

2. Cabled mittens
Pattern: from Mom's Accessories book
Yarn: Red Heart Tweed
Started/completed: Fall 2007
Comments: I don't remember much about making these, but I do remember not wearing them. To the point that when I accidentally threw out a bag of clothes for charity, they went with.

3. Fetching 1 - rainbow
Pattern: Knitty's Fetching
Yarn: Rowan Tapestry
Started/completed: Winter 07/08
Comments: Even though I made these in a DK instead of the recommended worsted, they were pretty warm and I loved them a lot. They went so well with my black coat and allowed me access to my fingers. I lost one only a couple months ago. Only one year of happy use, but actually they were getting a little loose, and even when I washed and reblocked, it was hard to keep them from scrunching up and sliding down my knuckles.

4. Sparkle Druid Mittens
Pattern: Jared Flood's Druid Mittens (Vogue Knitting, Fall 08)
Yarn: Sterling Silk and Silver - 63% Superwash Merino, 20% Silk, 15% Nylon and 2% real silver fibers
Started/completed: August-October 08
Comments: These were pretty much amazing to make and wear (except for one repeated mistake reading the pattern, ended up with a few sl2 wyif that looked silly). They're not very thick or windproof but they are so pretty. They are the most commented on of all my FOs on Ravelry. I started them just before I went to Mexico on business for the first time, and ended up begging a paperclip from a newsstand in the airport to use as a cable needle. I kept on with it even after I got home!

5. Fetching 2 Olive
Pattern: Knitty's Fetching
Yarn: Bernat Satin Solids
Started/completed: November 10, 2008
Comments: I made these on a business trip, then gave them to Cassie. I'm not sure how they wear, but they were noticeably thicker and more solid than Fetching 1.

6. Bulky Flip-top Mittens
Pattern: Bulky Flip-Top Mittens
Yarn: Handspun wool from a farm in Wisconsin
Started/completed: November 8-11, 2008
Comments: Oh, woe is me! I lost one of these last week and have been lamenting since! They were the super warmest most amazing mittens I have ever had. They kept me warm on the -13*F day - the coldest day in Chicago in 15 years! Oh, they were so tight and solid and had fantastic flip tops that I can now add in to any standard mitten pattern, but oh, the sadness of losing my best mitten. So sad.

And now, where do I go from here? Probably to the other featured mitten from Vogue Knitting Fall 2008 (like the Druid mitts). And hopefully quickly, too!

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