Monday, June 20, 2011


Well not only am I knitting socks lately, I'm apparently back on mittens.

It all started about 6 months ago when the weather got cold enough that I needed mittens again. A few years back I had knit a pair of Icelandic mittens from Folk Mittens. Not only was the pattern Icelandic, the wool was too. I used Lopi yarn. At first I was really taken back by how rough it was. I knit on, figuring I could line the mittens if needed. Once I was done, however, I found I didn't really need the lining. They were a bit scratchy, particularly at the cuffs, but it wasn't that bad and wow, they were WARM and very waterproof. Plus they were white and red and black so they went with a lot of my red hats. I like red. Anyway...

They had been in my car since the previous winter. I knew they were there, but when I looked I could only find the one. I checked under seats and in pockets, I checked in the closet that housed most of my knitted outwear. Nothing.

I wasn't willing to go without the mittens, so I did the only thing reasonable. I knit another pair exactly like the first. Fortunately I had ordered two skeins of the white way back when )the first pair used just under 1 skein) and had enough black and red for another pair.

Or more accurately, I started the first pair, knit until a few rows above the thumb, set it down, and didn't return to it. For various reasons. mostly I was busy and I kind of forgot.

In the meantime, right as winter was letting up we did some carseat switching and low and behold, the missing mitten had been underneath the carseat the whole time.

So then I had a decision to make. Did I rip out what I had begun (keeping in mind that a) colorwork is always kind of a pain to rip out and b) ripping out Lopi is sort of like ripping out mohair) or did I continue and make the second pair anyway. I couldn't really decide what to do so I put off making a decision until the other week.

I got the finishing bug (I really love it when that happens!) and decided there was no reason not to finish them. I was never going to make a matching hat from the yarn like I originally planned. It hadn't happened in 5 years, it probably wasn't going to. If I lost the mittens again I would be in the same situation. Why not have a backup pair? Or a pair to give as a gift if I could find someone who could appreciate the scratchy wool?

I finished the first mitten on our way to visit family the other weekend. I cast on the second right away and got the thumb started by the time we got home. Last week I pulled it back out when I remembered it and finished up that thumb.

Then I cast on another pair. I debated awhile. I thought maybe I would use the yarn I bought at the fiber show and a pattern from one of my newer mitten pattern books.

Instead I opted for another pattern from the Folk Mittens book. I decided to knit Mittens from Turkey- Anatolian Mittens in red and white like they are shown in the book.

Normally I change yarn colors around a lot, but for some reason I really like to use a lot of the colors that are shown in the Folk Mittens book. Perhaps because I like to keep them a little more authentic? I'm not really sure. Anyway, I did change one thing.

The pattern calls for worsted weight wool. It ends up being 62 stitches. Normally I used between 54-60 stitches in fingering weight and small needles for socks, so I thought that at that stitch count I was going to end up with too-large mittens. I pulled some Dale of Norway Baby Ull out of my stash (conveniently red and white) and cast on. I finished the first mitten this weekend and have started the second. I've enjoyed knitting it, but I do have to admit this a pattern I really need to used the chart for. That makes it a bit more difficult, but not too difficult.

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