Thursday, November 13, 2008
My first try started with Pagewood Farms Denali hand-dyed yarn in the "Grape Juice" colorway. This yarn called to me in the store with its many shades of purple. Strangely enough, it is one of the few yarns I like much better in the skein than knit up. It doesn't have a particularly nice feel to it, despite the fact that it is merino wool. The yarn doesn't have much bounce, as I've gotten accustomed to using with Socks That Rock. And I get very seriously tired of looking at purple, purple, purple while I'm knitting.
I also ran into a small, but amusing problem. I didn't take good notes when I wrote down the pattern for these mittens the first time. My gusset instructions left me thinking to increase two stitches every round for 14 rounds. This gives you a gusset that is half the size of the entire mitten! I frogged back and tried again, increasing every other round. That seemed almost right and I finished the entire mitten, going back for the thumb and scratched my head. There were still too many thumb stitches. I decreased early on and went with it. Finally, it dawned on me that this particular gusset requires you to increase two stitches every THIRD round. Blast.
Looking at that slightly kludged single mitten, I decided it just wouldn't do. Between the futzing with the pattern, and the color, I really didn't like it. Rather than subject myself to working more with the too-purple yarn, I dug into my bag of Bearfoot mill ends and pulled out two mini-skeins that I thought were the same colorway. Each was 27 grams... surely that would be enough for two mittens. With luck I might even get two mittens out of one of them!
I came very close! These two mittens took 30 grams of Mountain Colors Bearfoot yarn (merino/mohair blend) in the "Pheasant" colorway. Or I hope it's Pheasant. I have no idea with most of my mill ends!
In creating the mitten pattern, I used Interweave Knits' "Progressive Gloves" article. I was lucky enough to download this article back when it was available on the Knitting Daily website. It might still be there, somewhere, but I have the worst time finding things. I have the PDF for both it, and for the in-depth gussets article and they have been extremely useful. I designed my first pair of gloves using these articles, and two pair of mittens. "Progressive Gloves" was originally published in Interweave Knits, Winter 2003, and is very worth finding in your library to read. It gives you the underlying math to calculate your own gloves or mittens out of any gauge of yarn. Add any lace you like to the cuff and back of the hand, and you instantly have a gorgeous glove of your own design!