Dad’s Fair Isle Mittens

Finished Mittens

During the holidays, I managed to knit and delivery a couple of Christmas presents. I had planned to make my dad some Fair Isle gloves for sometime now. I’ve had the yarn hanging around for a few years now but somehow never got around to it. But this was the year! I had kind of been waiting for Elliphantom to release a pattern for these Snorri gloves she knit back in 2010. Instead I grabbed some chart paper, zoomed in on the few pictures available and made a chart of the main motif for my own use.

I’ve been knitting my own mittens since I was a kid. I’ve been a process knitter from a very early age. Most of my projects were grabbing yarn my mom had lying around, some needles and a pattern that I found intriguing. Making it for someone to actually use was beside the point. Except when it came to mittens. Nearly every winter, I’d end up knitting myself a new pair of mittens. In high school, I even knit some for my classmates. Mittens are fun, fast & practical.

My mom had an old Patons toddler’s mitten pattern book I used to follow every time. Though I’d have to invent some numbers so they’d fit my hands. I would figure out the next set of numbers in the series of sizes to end up with something big enough for my hands. Maybe not the most precise method, but store bought mittens never fit very well either. The mittens in this book were pretty basic and all were seamed. I found out about knitting in the round when I discovered a pattern for socks in my mom’s collection in grade 6. Once I had a handle on that, all subsequent mittens were adapted to knit in the round.

1. Snowflake Pattern, 2. Top Decreases, 3. Mitten Side, 4. Mitten Texture

All this is to say that I’m pretty comfortable with how mitten knitting works. And pretty comfortable with gloves too. I ended up inventing my own pattern based on the measurements I had of my dad’s hands and the Snorri glove chart. Since I was knitting on the fly, I wrote a pseudo-pattern for myself so that I’d know what’d I’d done once it came time to start the second mitten. It’s a new habit I’ve developed for the past few sweater patterns that I’ve heavily adapted.

I started knitting these mittens a week or so before leaving on holiday. I ended up making the switch from gloves to mittens as a time saver. I like them better as mittens (always a better choice for a prairie winter). I had the almost one complete mitten done. (Probably should have taken a picture at this stage).

The mitten seemed too long to me and I wasn’t super thrilled with how the top decreases were working out. The usual Fair Isle triangular top wasn’t working for my so much. While on holiday, I took it out and redid the decreases, changing out paired decreases with single double decreases at each side of the mitten. I played with them a bit to get a nice rounded top. I’m pretty happy with the result. I’m pretty pleased with the resulting contrast between traditional colourwork in a non-traditional mitten.

1. Dad & Mittens, 2. Dad & Mittens, 3. Tut & Mittens, 4. I think he likes them

I think my dad likes them a lot too. He got pretty silly posing in them. I hear that he’s been wearing them every day since my parents returned home from the holidays.

Finished MittensPattern: Dad’s Fair Isle Mittens (with snowflake pattern from Eliphantom’s Snorri Gloves). Materials: Drops Alpaca in 0607 & 2020
Purchased At: River City Yarns
Start Date: December 12, 2011
End Date: January 5, 2012

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