Monday, February 11, 2019

Bellevue Mittens

Am I the only person to consider February the low point of the year? Or is it only those in snowy, northern climes who feel this way? It's not the darkest point in the year, but it is the time when lots of us feel trapped in some sort of Narnian endless winter nightmare.


During the extra-cold weather a couple of weeks ago, when I pretty much hibernated indoors, I came across a little bag of Ashford Corriedale top in a soft mauve-purple at the bottom of my stash. Using a home-made spindle and a shoebox kate, I spun it into a 2-ply worsted weight, a yarn that normally knits up to 5 stitches per inch. It was probably closer to double knitting weight than aran weight.


Next, I browsed through Wendy Bernard’s “Japanese Stitches Unraveled” and, it being close to Valentine’s Day, the cabled hearts caught my attention. I liked 1) the way in which the hearts are stacked, 2) the combination of cables and seed stitch, and 3) the unique way that the cables are constructed. Although the ropes look like ordinary k2 cables, they are in fact made by k1, p1, k1; the centre purl stitch is sucked invisibly into the rope, giving it a deeply sculpted profile. So clever.




I adapted the cable to the mitt silhouette and deliberately placed the thumbs very slightly toward the palms to prevent the torqueing of the main pattern on the back of the hand, incorporating a gap-less thumb pickup.
Because the stitch pattern is designed to fit precisely into the given number of stitches, the size adjustments for these mitts are made by varying the yarn and gauge (see below). The good news is that my pair ended up taking only 56g of hand spun, making them a perfect small yardage project.



 You can download the Bellevue Mittens pattern here.