I kept these under wraps on the blog because I didn’t want my mom to see them before she got them, but now I can show what is one of my most favorite projects to date.
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Yarn: my hand-dyed 70/30 mohair/wool sport weight (14 wpi) 2 ply yarn for the outside and fingering weight cashmere for lining
Pattern: my own
Needles: size 3 40″ Addi Turbo for magic loop
Gauge: 6.5 sts. and 7 rows per inch
Size: women’s medium
Started: not including the dyeing, November, 29, 2007
Finished: December 16, 2007
My interest in using yarn that had a halo for stranded colorwork was rekindled after knitting the Fantom Bohus, which has such lovely, feathered color transitions. The patterning in these is much more graphic, but the halo softens everything just enough to keep things from being stark. Also, mohair= strong, which is a great thing for mittens.
I dyed the yarn for these ages ago, with some kind of mitten in mind. The yarn was hot pour dyed* in nearly solid colors with acid dyes. Despite dyeing what I thought was far too much lining yarn, I ran out and had to have a mismatched thumb. The horror!
The chart is my own, but no doubt influenced by various sources, including Turkish socks. Spirals are good. We can never have enough spirals, is my motto.
These are knit from the bottom up with the circumference about an inch bigger than the recipient’s palm measurement. I usually like mittens to be about 1/2″ larger in circumference than the palm, so the extra 1/2″ of space is needed for a lining.
Stitches for lining were picked up in the cashmere at the inside edge, decreased a bit, and a second mitten was knit. This second mitten can be popped right inside the first. They are unbelievably cozy.
The thumb has a side seam gusset (sore thumb), which is great for not disrupting the patterning, and also allows the back and palm of the mitten to be identical. There’s no right or left mitten, which helps to ensure even wear.
I used an i-cord cast on for the mitten edge. It’s a lovely edge, but be warned- it wasn’t enough to prevent curling (as seen in the progress photos above) without the lining added.
I love these so much that I’m planning to sell them as a kit, with pattern and dyed yarn. These will be test knit in various simple and complex color combinations and sizes. I’ll keep you updated. The lining won’t be cashmere for the kits, due to the problems associated with producing it. The cashmere I used for these was bought ages ago, before I knew of these problems, and I’ll work my way through it and that’ll be it for cashmere for me, unless I come across American cashmere yarn. My yarn is from ColourMart, which sells mill ends, so it’s a less destructive way to get cashmere, but I’m cool with not using the fiber at all, myself, and don’t want to sell it. I’m testing alpaca for the lining right now. I think it will be plenty scrumptious.
Mom liked them!
I hope everyone got awesome presents. (Of course, we all gave awesome presents, right?) I know I was treated like royalty this year, receiving all three seasons of Deadwood and the first two of Buffy- excellent knitting entertainment- as well as all kinds of other treats. There are two containers of hot chocolate mix left over. Who’s thirsty and cold?
*There are excellent instructions in The Twisted Sister Sock Workbook, by Lynne Vogel.