Not just a song (YouTube link)….
It’s a mitten!
Yes, not typically for me, I am
a) making mittens
b) doing colorwork!
But in such a good cause. The RockStar has actually been asking for knitted mittens for quite a while. As in, a couple years. Yet, I didn’t really believe her. I haven’t seen her wear mittens otherwise. And she’s lost handknits before. (Usually under her bed, granted.)
She saw these mittens, however, and fell in love. You haven’t even seen the best parts yet. These are the Winter of Love (and Peace) Mittens by Johanne Ländin. (Link is to The Loopy Ewe‘s page for these, where I bought the pattern, which is what comes up when I Google it – you can click to a bigger picture of the completed mittens there. So cool!)
And even on the official picture, you don’t see the most squee-worthy part (in my mind). Look at the palm.
And there’s a little heart on the thumb (which is my next step). And on the PEACE mitten? You guessed it — tiny peace signs! Squeee!
The teenager is very excited about these mittens, and I’m happy with the way they are knitting up, despite the fact that I have not done colorwork for a while to any significant degree. I have made some modifications to the pattern:
One, the original pattern starts with corrugated ribbing (ribbing in colorwork). Mostly, I hate doing this, but also, it doesn’t draw in worth a darn, though it looks lovely. So, for a mitten, where you do not want cold winds to blow in the wrist, I think something that hugs the wrist is essential. I could have knit it as written and then knit a second, tighter, normally ribbed cuff on the inside….but instead, opted to knit a single thickness 2×2 ribbed cuff.
(This photo is fairly true to the yarn color.)
Second, speaking of yarns and color: the yarns are also part of the modification, and picking the right yarns led to some delay. After stash diving and looking at the pattern with a careful eye, and listening to the RockStar (she wanted the contrast color to be a color-changing yarn or a reddish-orange); I decided I didn’t have the right contrast color. (I don’t have a lot of orange-ish. I do have a lot of red, but it’s true red or wine color.) Additionally, the pattern is written for fingering (sock) weight yarn: but the measurement of the mitten was 7.5 inches around, and my hand is that measurement (my daughter’s hand is at least as wide as mine). My strong feeling is that mittens need a little wiggle room, both for insulation and for comfort; they are not supposed to fit (literally) like gloves. The pattern suggested knitting on bigger needles to get bigger mittens, but that would tend to make them more airy and less windproof (again). This is winter in the upper Midwest, so I’m all about the warm….
Anyway, I decided to make the mittens out of thicker yarn (sport weight) to make them bigger. The dark blue yarn I had in stash: nicer than I would make my own mittens out of, but the teen is not a toddler, and it was cheaper than buying new, so the background yarn is delicious Pashmina from MadelineTosh, in Ink. Then the teen picked out the contrast color: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport in Satsuma colorway.
(Both of these from The Loopy Ewe, as it happens, bought at different times.) So, a week ago last Friday, when the moon was setting,
the Satsuma yarn was wending its way to me, and shortly thereafter I was casting on!
So that by this Saturday’s gray and snowy sky,
I had made great strides on mitten number 1
(yesterday’s OVE mitten)
and then today am decreasing at the top; then just the thumb to go. Then on to the Peace mitten!
Though color work is a little slower, I’m getting in a groove (heh, these are indeed groove-y) and they’re going reasonably quickly. I need to get them done while they’re still useful, after all.
Sadly, around here, there is indeed plenty of winter left.