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

2011 Catch-up: Twiggy Fingerless Gloves

Charity Twig Gloves
Every year at work we have a charity auction to raise money for Centraide/United Way and every year I offer to make a custom knit accessory for whomever wins the item. In the past I’ve made a scarf and a knitted bunny. This year, I was asked to knit some fingerless gloves for a co-worker as her office gets rather cold in the winter.
For the 3rd year in a row, I’ve offered my knitting services to my co-workers to raise money for the Montreal Centraide/United Way as part of our annual work Charity Auction.
I grabbed some yarn and decided to finally try the Pomatomus stitch pattern as translated into fingerless gloves. The yarn for this was not super exciting when it was in the skein, but was much more exciting once knit up. I enjoyed the stitch pattern so much, that I quickly started another pair for myself!
Mitten Back
Pattern: Nereid Fingerless Gloves (based on Pomatomus Sock Pattern)
Materials: Knit it Up! Vivacious in Chocolate Covered Gobstoppers from Sock Yarn Cinema Club: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Start Date: September 16, 2011
End Date: October 16, 2011
Palm Detail

A Tale of handspun gloves

Here I am about to report on a project I finished over like a hundred thousand years ago and am just mentioning it for the first time now. Sorry about that. Sometimes life gets in the way of reporting on the crafty things. Though I really don’t let it get in the way of the crafts if I can help it.

There’s been a lot going on in the past couple of months chez mumbles. I decided to move (and moved) for the first time in 5 years. I’m still in Montreal. Still in the Plateau too. But even a short distance move takes a lot of work when done in a short amount of time. Especially as work is busy as usual AND I went to NYC and New Jersey with a small group of friends for Easter. But everything’s moved. My roommate and I are still unpacking, organizing and somehow managing to relax, settle in and play video games on her Xbox (the only part of our entertainment area that has been set up is the Xbox and TV).

Clumsy close up

Alright so back to the gloves alreadies! A million years ago when I first started knit blogging, I made these Endpaper Mittens. But as I was not in the fashion of actually ever checking my gauge, they never fit very well. They were way too big and I would end up tucking the fingers of one hand into the giant gapping opening at the top of the other hand and vice versa. Finally after seeing some yummy handspun fingerless gloves on Ravelry earlier in the spring, I decided that it was finally time to do something about this fingerless glove business. So I grabbed one of my favourite handspun yarns that I’ve spun (and apparently never blogged) and got to work.

This handspun knits up REAL nice

I found a couple of patterns, printed them out, made a gauge swatch and was starting to adapt the numbers when I realised that mittens and gloves are the garment I have knit the most in my life. I used to make my own mitts when I was a kid and just learning, adapting little kids’ mitten patterns that my mom had to fit my hands and even adapted them to work in the round once I learned how the 4 needle thing worked. So what was I doing following and modifying a pattern when I could just make one up that would fit properly?

Fingerless gloves

So I worked out some numbers and got to knitting. I took lots of notes along the way to remember what I had done on glove n°1 when it came time to knit glove n°2. I also have rather narrow wrists compared to my forearm or hand measurements, and thus ended up doing some wrist decreases (same idea as waist decreases) so they wouldn’t be all baggy and gross when I wore them.

Glove 1 back

The other that bothered me about that first pair of mittens was that there was one big opening for all the fingers instead of having each finger in a separate compartment. This makes for chilly fingers/hands. Thus, these new awesome mitts were going to have individual fingers. I know it’s more work, but I tend to put in the extra effort. Especially if it will increase my enjoyment of the final product.

Glove 2 palm

I am super happy with how the fingerless mitts/gloves turned out. As you can see, they are more of a fraternal pair than matching. And I prefer the colours in glove n°2 compared to glove n°1. Each glove was worked from a different end of the yarn ball. I ended up deciding that I’d rather not knit a third glove. Already after living with them for over a month, I’m totally used to them not matching.

Finished "pair"

I have been toying with the idea of writing up the pattern for these mitt/gloves. But there are so many patterns out there and they are kind of simple (well in my mind anyways) that I’m not sure the world really needs one more pattern for such a garment. Is this something that people would be interested in? I’m still not really sure.

Enough leftover for a beret?

Oh and as you can see there was a substantial part of the skein leftover after making these gloves. I ended up making a cute beret out of it and STILL had yarn leftover. But I’ll leave that for another post.

I’ll do my best to make sure it won’t be a month from now. There IS this kind of ominous mountain of boxes in my apartment right were the epic crafting space should be…