------------------------------- ------------------------------------ On and Off The Needles

Thursday, March 06, 2008

That Other Extremity

It's pretty common knowledge that I like stranded knitting. Like it a lot. Like it enough to knit hubby's large size feet stranded socks. Like it enough to knit pair after pair of brightly colored foot coverings. But, all the while I had forgotten about another extremity that adores to be covered in stranded knitting also. The hands! The number of patterns out there for stranded colorwork mittens is huge. Many amazing mitten books are in my library. Have I ever knit a pair? I have looked through the books many, many times and really loved the patterns inside. For some reason though, mittens have never jumped onto my needles. It isn't like I don't wear them - I do. Every day. For me, they keep my hands much warmer than gloves. Even walking the dogs I wear mittens and fumble with the leashes.

When my sister mentioned that she lost one of the mittens I had made for her eons ago (my first double pointed project, and my last) out of what I think I remember was Artful Yarns Shakespeare, it was just the inspiration I needed. We got out all the mitten books and she found the one she wanted. It was a great choice.

NHM 7 Top
NHM 7 Thumb
This is mitten #1 that will be a pair of NHM #7 (Ravelry link) from the absolutely wonderful book Selbuvotter by Terri Shea. It was much like knitting stranded socks - except it went much quicker! I loved the fact that you decrease every round to make the pointed top, not every other like a toe or gusset. I loved that the pattern was different on the top and the palm. More variety makes for quicker knitting.
NHM 7 Back
The yarns are just perfect together. A really high contrast in color, both superwash and knit really densely to make cozy, thick mittens. The pink is Louet Gems Opal and the eggplant color is Henry's Attic Kona - both DK weight yarns and I knit them on a 2.25mm needle. Nice and tight. No wind is getting through these babies! The thumb was the most fiddly part. I do know that stranded gloves will not be in my future! Knitting them was a bit of a challenge on the eyes - they are meant to be knit with a light background and dark contrast color, I decided to do them opposite. I had plenty of Kona and not as much Opal, so I wanted to make sure I didn't run out. Reading the charts, I always had to think opposite, the dark stitches were actually light and the light were dark! It made it a bit challenging at times, but I think the results were worth it.

I'm making great progress on mitten number two. I just may have found myself a new stranded obsession......