Sunday, February 20, 2011

Warm Hands

Next weekend I'm going to learn to knit thrummed mitts. This is a cold climate and single-thickness mitts are never enough. Sometimes I wear gloves inside regular mitts, and sometimes I like to wear fairisle mitts in which the stranding on the inside acts as a second layer. Last year I designed and made these.

Diamanda Mitts--Holly colourway in Patons Classic Wool and Cascade 220

And this winter, I made them one size larger in a new colourway--"pink lemonade".

Diamanda Mitts--Pink Lemonade colourway in Ella Rae Classic

  When I spotted these colours sitting haphazardly together in my stash, I realized how perfect they would be for a lively pair of mitts. Of course, this pattern will work equally well in other colours; I just happen to love raspberry pink and heathery gold, especially when the dark days of winter are at their peak.
These mitts also offer  the following attractive features:

  1. They are surprisingly easy to knit, suitable for a first venture into small diameter fairisle knitting. There are no carries of more than 5 stitches and instead of the usual twisted braid, a simple band of purl stitches demarcates the borders of the cuffs. While at first glance the cuff looks as though it is done in corrugated ribbing, it is actually knitted in straightforward stocking stitch; the small diameter is enough to prevent curling, especially when blocked.
  2. They knit up very quickly in worsted weight wool (yarn that normally knits at 5 stitches per inch, although the gauge for this purpose is 6 stitches per inch).
  3. The size range (women’s S-M-L) is broad enough that the smallest size will fit a large child while the largest will fit a medium-size man (imagine the mitts in masculine charcoal, grey and burgundy).
I'm working on getting the pattern available online. The charts are taking a bit of effort.