Saturday, January 26, 2013

Give you a Hand?

Thought I'd wake you up this Saturday morning with a bit of pattern-mixing! My newly-completed Camilla mittens (pattern free, from the wonderful Spillyjane Knits )

I'm reasonably pleased with how these turned out -- I'd wanted to play around with some colourwork at a fingering weight, and I hadn't knit a properly-thumbed mitten (plenty of fingerless, with gussets for the thumb, but not a proper thumb). Yes, the purple-green combo is a visual wallop, but these won't be easily lost in the snow, right?


Having worked through the pattern once, I'm now thinking I'd like to try it again as a sampler for practising two-handed Fair Isle knitting. And if any of you knitters have ever pawed over the candy-box of Jamieson & Smith Spindrift colours, you'll understand why I came home with a serious augmentation of my Stash yesterday. I'm off to play with those colours now, and will probably cast on later today for the next pair.

Already resolved: I'm not going to knit the cuff in a different colour than the thumb (as the pattern suggested). As well, the contrast will be dialled down considerably in the next combo.

But aren't they pretty, in all their eye-searing glory?

Mind you, I rarely wear mittens, and even more rarely wool on my hands -- instead, I'm rarely without a pair of leather gloves, from October through April. So get ready, family and friends, the Christmas list may include a few pairs of mitts. . . .
What about you? Mitts? Wool? Gloves? Leather? And if you do wear mitts, would you be brave enough to wear as jaunty a pair as these? Or would you prefer a much quieter way to stay warm?

30 comments:

  1. I love the pattern! Do you think it might be easier to practice your two handed fair isle with a flat piece?

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    1. Having played around a bit with Continental, I find it easy to Knit, but would have to play around quite a bit to get a wrap and a tension and an index-finger motion that works to Purl. In a circular piece, that's not a problem -- and, of course, that's why so much Fair Isle work is down on circs and then steeked.
      What WOULD be easier, though, is to find a pattern that never has more than 3, possibly 4, stitches in one colour, so that the floats never have to be anchored by twisting. Not sure how that's going to play out with the two-handed work . . .

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    2. "done" on circs. . . not "down on circs" . . .

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  2. Those are lovely! I'd wear 'em, but I also own two or three purple coats.

    I've recently made two pair of fingerless gloves for a friend whose house is randomly heated, and whose desk is right in front of a "mirador" which means cold fingers. She lurfs them, but she thinks the Superwash ones are a lot softer. I've promised to wash the scratchier ones in Eucalan when the bottle I've ordered from the UK gets here. (I may be forced to become a distributor for Soak here. I can't live without it!)

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    1. I bet your friend is glad to have a generous knitting friend! It's true, isn't it, that Superwash is softer, but I love the way the less treated wool blooms, especially for fair isle. I haven't tried Soak yet, but I really love my Eucalan!

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  3. I love them, bright colours and all! It rarely gets cool enough for gloves of any type here, but I do have a couple of pairs of black leather gloves that I do wear if it gets nippy.

    Yesterday - despite it being a horribly humid summer's day - I picked up a jumper (sweater) that has just one sleeve to go, and I cast on and knit half of the sleeve. I plan to finish it today, so thanks for the reminder via your knitting posts!

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    1. Yay! It's always tough to start back into a project that's been sitting for a long while, but once you get back at it, it's fun to be done so quickly.

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  4. I know zilch about knitting, so barely understood 30% of what you said, but, but, I like the pattern on the body of the mittens, and I like the purple mixed with green.

    And there you have it.

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    1. We knitters have our own funny jargon, and I admit I was indulging in it above. Glad you like the pattern (it's the kind of small geometric you might not mind in cotton flannel pyjamas, right? in a more subtle colour combo)

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  5. I'm a leather glove gal, but there's a pair of those 99 cent one-size-fits-all woolly gloves in the pocket of every winter vest and jacket I own. I like mittens on weekends - bright red, bright orange....and I really like the ones you've just made.

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    1. Ha! I know exactly what you mean, and I used to have those same mini-stretch gloves in all my pockets as well. Somehow, over the last few years, though, I've got into the habit of always, always, always having my leather gloves with me, so I don't need the emergency drugstore purchases anymore.

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  6. They look comfy and warm, and they're pretty. What's not to love?

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  7. What a fun color combo! Love the pattern too.

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    1. They're lively enough, aren't they?! Thanks. . .

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  8. Gorgeous!! I haven't knit Fair Isle in many years and I would only do them in the round! The thought of steeking scares the living daylights out of me.
    I haven't made a proper thumb lately either. Leather gloves are my favs in the cold.
    Maybe I should start my Christmas knitting now too, then I won't be up at 6 am finishing projects on Christmas day like last year :-))

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    1. I finally steeked a cardigan a few years ago (there's a photo of my daughter modeling it here: http://materfamiliasknits.blogspot.ca/2010/04/daughter-models-colourful-knit.html
      It's not as bad as I thought it might be, especially since the wool was really sticky.

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  9. Mater I ove the two colours you chose to use for those lovely mitts.
    I have leather gloves and a pair of orange gloves with fingers exposed at the tips and a fold over mitt when needed.
    This evening I just finished making a cowl neck warmer...it knit up so fast!
    My speed is rather slow usually and dish cloths in cotton yarn are on my radar for this week.
    You are a much more adventurous and dedicated knitter....

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    1. Those fold-overs are such a good idea -- I really need a pair.
      Was your cowl for yourself or will it be a gift?
      And I'm not sure about adventurous and dedicated, but you could certainly call me addicted or obsessive as a knitter! ;-)

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  10. A beautiful visual feast thank you :-)

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  11. Wow, I love those two colors together. What a lovely project. I wish I had learned to knit.

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  12. These are wonderful colours! Purple and green were the colours representing the Suffragettes in the U.K. as they campaigned for the voting franchise. Your knitting projects are much admired. Enjoy wearing them and keep cosy.

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    1. The wonderful things I learn from my readers -- thank you for this! I'll be sure to let any giftee know the combo's proud provenance.

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  13. They are fabulous! Here I am stuck in fat down-filled orange ski mitts- it's been in the mid -20s here. Is there anything you can't do?!

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    1. And by mid-20s, I'm guessing you must mean Farenheit, right? So quite a few degrees of frost, and then there's probably a significant windchill factor. Brrrrrr! That down must be very welcome -- I do hate cold fingers!

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  14. Your color combination is wonderful. We wore knitted mittens as children, sometimes several pair layered for warmth if we were going to be outside for any length of time. I loved watching my mother manipulate the 3 or 4 needles she used in making them. Now, I wear a variety of gloves for everything but shoveling snow - for that job only mittens will do.

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    1. And did you, when you were children, sometimes layer odds 'n ends of mittens? -- i.e. they didn't have to match, so we would save the ones that had lost their mate for times when warmth mattered more than appearance. . . .

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  15. I love those! I have been busy making fingerless gloves over here. I love the way mittens look but feel clumsy in them. But that pattern is very tempting. I like the colours too, not too strong for me at all!

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