Saturday, February 02, 2008

They're Not Oven Mitts

They took forever to dry and then had to wait a couple of days for a natural light photo shoot, but here they are!

Pattern: Bird in Hand by Kate Gilbert
Yarn: Cascade 220, color 4002 (MC), one skein, and Cascade 220 Heathers, color 9461 (CC), approximately half a skein
Needles: two 16" US 2 (2.75 mm) Addi Turbo circs and US 2 dpns for thumb
Started/Completed: December 14, 2007/January 29, 2008
Mods: none

I bought this pattern on a whim after a rough couple of days at work when I decided I deserved a little treat. I was so excited to knit it that I cast on right away (on a Friday evening) and finished the first mitten before the weekend was over. Then it took about a month before I cast on the second mitten; I have no good excuse for why that is.

There are a number of issues with these mittens, none of which has to do with the pattern (which is expertly written and well worth the price!). To begin with, they're a little too big. I've got probably an inch of extra space at the top of the hand and maybe a half inch of space at the top of the thumb. That doesn't bother me so much; I've had yet to find a pair of store-bought mittens or gloves that aren't long on me. They are rather loose around the wrists, which is unfortunate, because I love the patterned band and the picot edging (the braid is pretty too, but it was a major PITA to do). This is an instance when ribbing would have been really helpful. The mittens stay on fine if I put them on before putting on my coat, but, as we discovered when I did just that before taking these pictures, that also prevents me from being able to zip myself up.

The other issue is that my stranded work was not so great with these. It's passable on the underside of the mitten (as you see on the right in the photo above), but the tops are definitely lumpy and the thumbs pucker. I did try to keep my tension as even as I could and the floats as loose as possible, but I think it was a combination of the needles and yarn that did me in. I really felt like I was struggling with the circs on these, so perhaps I was pulling tighter than I should have been as a result. Clearly part of the issue as well was working with worsted weight yarn on what are essentially sock needles.

All those problems aside, I'm in love with these mittens and want to show them off to everyone I see. I may very well knit this pattern again, although next time I'll probably use dpns for the whole thing and knit a smaller size and/or use a lighter yarn. I'll also omit the braid next time. It's a nice touch, but it was murder on my hands.

By the way, do the colors look familiar to you? If they do, it's probably because these were knit entirely with stash yarn -- the brown was the last skein from the yarn for the Seamless Hybrid and the green is the same yarn I used for my CPH. It's nice to have handknits that coordinate, isn't it?

We're off for a quick trip to Cleveland in about half an hour. I'm taking my Chevron Scarf for my car knitting, as it hasn't seen much attention lately. Have a great weekend!


  1. Those look GREAT!!

    I will be at Pgh knit and crochet- I'll wear my raverly Sophanne button.

  2. I've always hated wearing mittens, but these are so cute that I might have to reconsider! :)

    I wonder if you tried to *gently* felt them to bring them down to size?

  3. The ones I made for my mom turned out too big as well. I ended up gently hand-felting them, just ever so slightly, to bring them down to size. That worked, and as a side bonus the inside is nice and flat now so they crazy floats don't get in the way :)

  4. SOOOO cute! This pattern is tempting me to try color knitting!

  5. Really lovely, love those two colors together--you deserve a 'knit entirely from stash' medal!

  6. They turned out great! Your floats looks pretty darn good from here!

  7. They look great! Too bad they're a bit too big but better than too small. Great use of stash yarn.

  8. Beautiful. Just beautiful.

  9. Can we add an extra 6 hrs to each day so I have time to work, quilt, knit what I'm already working on AND learn colorwork? Great job on the mittens, as always!

  10. Man. I have GOT to learn colorwork. Those are so pretty!

  11. Anonymous4:29 AM

    WOW, WOW, WOWOWOW! So this is your first stranded colorwork with worsted weight yarn on sock needles? BRAVO! I'd like to see even an experienced knitter not get a bit of puckering. Then again, I blew up those photos and saw none.

    That definitely sucks that they are a bit too big, but even so, they are beautiful.

    Repeat to myself: "Cannot buy pattern until Tangled is blocked, Cannot buy pattern until Tangled is blocked."

  12. Veddy cute mittens! I'm so envious of your work. And look at how many blog fans you have! I hope your trip to Cleveland went well. See you Wed.!

  13. Oh, this makes me want to cast-on my fair-isle socks I desperately want to do!

    Your mittens came out so beautiful!

  14. Anonymous9:03 PM

    Those are lovely! I need to make those - they're probably the perfect mitten. :)