Monday, June 16, 2008

mitered mittens

my mittens finally dried! i finished these mittens ages ago, but then i had a friend in town and i didn't have time to block them (which they definitely needed). then, they took a week to dry. finally, they are done. just in time for seattle to finally get warm weather. but as elizabeth zimmermann points out in the write-up of this pattern, they'll be all ready to go when it does get cold, right?

pattern: mitered mittens, knitter's almanac, by elizabeth zimmermann
yarn: folktale fibers, in sweet & sour, 1 skein

needles: size 6 circulars for magic loop

this project was all about the yarn. a few months ago i spotted folktale fibers on etsy, and instantly fell in love with her beautiful patchwork series of handspun yarns. i decided on a colorway called sweet & sour, and knew right away that i wanted some bright, cheerful, and stripy mittens.

i had a few issues getting yarn and pattern to work well together: the yarn was a very heavy worsted, and i had a difficult time getting the yarn to knit up to the right size. the fact that miters pull everything in tightly made it even harder to figure out exactly how many stitches to cast on. i started these three or four times before i felt happy with the stitch count, and even now, they are a tiny bit tight, though blocking loosened them up a bit. this yarn's gauge was so radically different to the original pattern that it made everything a little harder than it should have been, and my thumb turned out too big, because i increased too many stitches for the gusset (which is a mod i did, since i didn't want the thumb on the palm, as the pattern is written).

also...there were some colors in this skein that came as a bit of a surprise! in the skein, the yarn seemed to be predominantly orange/red/purple/brown, with a little yellow. knitted up, it looked way more like a 70s crocheted granny square afghan than i was expecting. some might even call it a bit gaudy. but i think in the end, the colors grew on me.

anyway, after all that, i think i like these mittens! the cuff is really long, and the fabric is really dense and warm. they will be perfect this winter, or who knows, maybe even next week. i don't think our current warm weather will last long.