Friday 22 October 2010

Big Mittens

I have some new mittens and they are BIG!  They stretch from the tips of my fingers to my elbow and I love them.

They were inspired by Bella's Mittens by Marielle Henault.  I saw these mittens some time ago and thought what a wonderful idea it was to have mittens that covered your forearm.  As you know I have a mobility scooter, which gives me the freedom to actually pop out to the shop and buy a pint of milk when I need to, rather than waiting for someone to come and bring me some.  I love my scooter very much, what I don't love is how cold my hands get in Winter.    In order to steer the scooter and keep it moving you have to hold the steering bars and keep the lever in place.  This means my hands are held out to the front of me while I'm moving which leaves my hands exposed to the cold wind.  It also means the wind rushes up my sleeves.  It is very cold, even when I am wearing gloves.  These mittens seemed the perfect solution.

I decided that I wouldn't follow the pattern, that inspired these mittens, as I didn't have any bulky weight yarn.  What I did have was super bulky weight yarn in the shape of Big Softie.

This cheap and cheerful acrylic yarn called to me.  It was desperate to come home with me and it then quietly sat in my stash for nearly a year.  I really really wanted to use it for some big and chunky mitts.  So I did.

I didn't use the free pattern for Bella's Mittens because of the weight difference, but also because  I also wanted to see if I could work out how to do the thumb myself.  So after looking at the original picture one last time I cast on using Judy Becker's Magic Cast On using 9mm needles (I love chunky needles) and increased until I had the width I wanted.  I chose my cable of C4F, C4B, repeated every 4th row and knit in the round until I reached the base of my thumb.  I then cast on 8 stitches, using new yarn and needles and knit an i-cord thumb, which I then attached to the mitten by knitting the live stitches at the base into the next round of the mitten.  I also switched the places of the two stitches nearest the main body of the mitten.  I did this using stitch markers.  This method of making the thumb and attaching it was taken from the I-Cord Gloves pattern by Nona Knits.

After the thumb was joined I added ribbing to the back of the mitten and then increased by two stitches every couple of inches until the mitten reached my elbow. I  then cast off in the rib.  I kept the cable pattern all the way up the front and I think this really worked well, as did deciding not to have a reverse stocking stitch background to the cable.  I like that the cable forms ridges in the mitt and blends into the body of it rather than looking like a separate entity.

The gloves could probably do with blocking to even out the stitches, but when they are worn, you don't notice it very much.

I love my mittens, they are dense and warm and they work exceedingly well on my scooter.  If they start to feel they aren't working properly later in the Winter, they will probably fit over a normal pair of gloves to give extra insulation.

These mittens were a quick and satisfying knit, that only required the hand being frogged once while I worked out the gauge!  They were finished in three days flat, with much interruption.  I had forgotten how quickly super bulky yarn can knit up.  I have most of the fourth ball of yarn that I used left, I wonder what I can make with that?

This post is linked up to the Blog Hub Group FO Friday linky party. I have to say Tami's giraffe is the such a cutie pie, you won't regret following the link.


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