Mittens > gloves.

I tried to tackle a pair of gloves several years ago, I’m still not done with them.  These mittens have knit up really quickly, though, and seem like a “real” project — not the dreaded Rectangle Project.

needles:  size 7 (DPNs for knitting, circs for holding)

yarn:  Lamb’s Pride

weight:  worsted, single

color:  MC – Periwinkle, trim – Kiwi

pattern:  Susan Strawn, Piecework magazine, January/February 2010

The mitten patterns is based of of a sixteenth-century child’s mitten in the Museum of London collection and uses knitting techniques that were used at the time, including the German fingertip cast-on (also called the Emily Ocker cast-on), random k2tog decreases, and three-needle bind off.

finger and thumb!

I’ve really enjoyed knitting these up — they’ve gone pretty quickly, considering that I only work on them during seminars and while watching West Wing with some friends.

The finger and thumb sections are knit separately and, in an effort to keep everything the same length, I’ve been knitting everything in pairs — so far, I’ve got two finger parts and one thumb.  Next, comes a nifty joining, knitting down to make the hand part, and finishing up with a decorative cuff.

German fingertip aka Emily Ocker aka circular cast on

The cast-on for the thumb is pretty neat.  Essentially, you make a wee circle, pull up a loop through the circle and repeat, kind of like making a thread button (just in case you’ve ever done that).  It’s pretty straightforward once you get the hang of it, the only part where I had trouble was figuring out tension and how much yarn I really needed to use to make it all pull together correctly.

Taking this together with my recent spinning escapades, I’m beginning to appreciate why plied yarn is usually preferred to single.  As you can see in the picture above, there are some pretty clear differences in weight (and I’ve noticed the same type of thing in part of a scarf I’ve made with the same yarn), it’s just a bit less forgiving, even when commercially manufactured.

My last challenge with these mittens is to experiment with Continental knitting (I’ve always knitted using English) — I’ve just been having a hard time keeping appropriate tension, I’m either dropping the yarn or am all tangled and waayy too tight.

I’m quite excited to get these finished in time for winter (and for those of you who know my knitting habits, it’d be pretty incredible to even get a project DONE!).

How is your knitting coming along?  Ready for winter?

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One Comment to “Mittens > gloves.”

  1. September 1 – I guess that means we can legitimately start talking knitting again, even if it is 90 degrees out?

    I’m working on a scarf. I know I usually hate them, but they’re just so convenient, and rather than shell out $48 for one from anthropologie, I’d much rather spend that much on scrumptious yarn to make one with.

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