Sunday, September 10, 2006

Fun with mittens

So I've been knitting with needles for years now (seven, I think) and mittens were one of my first projects once I got past the usual scarves. I have in the past preferred to make socks or sweaters or wraps for the Xmas gifts every year. Last year I did make some stranded geometric design mittens from the site. These came out beautiful and my Dad and brother loved them!

Well... I wrote in my last post about my purchase of the new SWS yarn from Patons. I fell in love with the yarn in the store but had not a clue what I was going to do with it. I was thinking socks until I sat down to do a gauge swatch and discovered that the yarn was a tad bit too bulky for socks. *sigh*

So I started digging through some of the old knitting patterns I've collected. I found a whole pattern book that my Mom had given me that was full of mittens and gloves. All different ones - intarsia patterns, stranded designs, straight up mittens, and beautiful delicate gloves in fancy Angora yarns. All very nice! But the self striping SWS needed something simple to knit up. The pattern couldn't be too textured or the stripes would hide the design. And anything too plain would make my head spin from boredom!

So I finally found a pair of mittens that I'm referring to as "convertible mittens". I've seen this style of mitten before, but haven't given them a try. I love mittens - they keep my hands warm when gloves never come through for me. I hate taking them off whenever I have to do something with my hands - make change, get something out of my purse, even put a strand of hair back behind my ear! Anyway...

As you can see on the left, they look quite normal. The striped yarn looks nice on the hand and gives the seemingly boring mitten a little boost. But you turn it over to the palm side you spy something different.

There is a little flap across the palm. You can move the top of the mitten away and let your fingers come out! Yeah, perfect for the mitten lovers but glove-wearing-wanna-be's of the world. I don't know why I didn't make some of these sooner.

Sadly, these mittens are destined for an Xmas gift. I knew before I started them, so I'm sticking with it. They are for my brother's girlfriend. They both live in Philadelphia. It gets cold and wet there enough that I think these will be perfect.

I've already started the second mitten after finishing this one this morning. I'll share the final pic with you before they go into the Xmas knitting gift box. Since I'm getting a later start this year on all my hand made gifts, hopefully I can catch up.

PS: If you are interested in making a pair of these for your gift list, a quick search of Knitting Pattern Central (my fav!) produced the below links for your pleasure. Of course, I haven't made either of them, so I can't guarantee thier knitability.
Convertible Mittens (links to a PDF)
Magical Mittens

Monday, September 04, 2006

Nice find

After demoing the pumpkin patch pattern on the Knifty Knitters at Michael's yesterday, I went hunting through the yarn aisle. This is a dangerous adventure, since I already have yarn for projects I haven't started yet.

I know you knitters know what I'm talking about. But, I've tried really hard not to get too far ahead of myself. Right now I'm not too far ahead...I think...

Anyway, so while hunting through the yarn aisle I found several new beautiful wool and wool blend yarns by Patons. I only bought two skeins of one of the kinds that I wanted. See! - I had a little self restraint! The one I bought is called Patons SWS . It's a self striping yarn and made from 70% wool and 30% soy. The skeins I bought are the "Natural Navy" colors - stripes of navy and natural browns. Like all self striping yarns I buy, these skeins are destined for a pair of cozy wool striped socks. Maybe for a gift, maybe for myself.