Monday, 30 December 2013

Christmas Mittens

 Mum really liked these mittens which were in a recent Knitter Magazine.  The trouble is she has really tiny hands, so I took the view that I needed to knit them on smaller needles.  My test knitting suggested that 2 sizes down would be about right but when I actually started, that seemed a bit too much.  The cuffs are supposed to be more flared than they are now, but Mum did not want them that wide so I knitted the cuffs 2 sizes down and the body 1 size down, 1.75 and 2.25mm respectively.  The finished diameter of the hand was 18cm.
 I had never done the two colour cast on before, so I found a video on U Tube and it worked really well.  The twined knitting was also new to me, more on that later.  This edge is very firm and pretty.
 You can see the cuff shaping here, it does come in at the wrist.
 Increasing for the thumb gusset was no problem, but does require concentration so you getthe colours in the right place.  Generally I did a maximum of  10 rounds of knitting per evening, it took over one hour but that was enough, with the tiny needles and the patterning.
 This is the back of the glove, you just need to place the stitches on the needles carefully to avoid having problems in the section change from black/white, if you have a needle change on the border you can end up with lumpy or stretched stitches.  Make sure you catch the stitches in regularly too.
 The instructions say to leave the thumb stitches on the waste yarn - this is a bad idea as the stitches reabsorb and it's hard to pick them up.  On the second mitten I put them on a safety pin which was much easier.
 Here's one glove finished, before blocking.  You can see the shaping nicely here.
Instead fairisle, I did the twined technique for yarn carrying as recommended.  In this case they suggest taking the yarn over on one round and then under on the next to unwind it.  Generally this worked really well.  This is a pic of the lining with the twined yarn - it creates a really firm, dense fabric which is just what you need for mittens.  Fiddly, but worth the effort.

I used Jamieson & Smith shetland wool which makes them extra cosy too as the yarn meshes together more than normal yarn.