Friday, 14 March 2014

Lerryn Mittens in The English Gentleman DK

Do you remember a while ago I got a lovely review copy of The Scrumptious Collection Volume 3?  I mentioned that there were several patterns I was interested in knitting.  The first pattern I chose to knit was the Lerryn Mittens by Rachel Coopey.  I didn't use Fyberspates Scrumptious DK, in fact I didn't even use a merino/silk blend.  I used something wooly and fluffy instead of smooth and silky.  I used something from my stash, The English Gentleman DK in the Shiver colourway from Countess Ablaze.  I bought this skein because my curiosity was piqued after the description informed me of the following:
Do you have a desert island yarn? I have finally found mine and this is it. Soft, buttery, rustic without being scratchy, this is my perfect yarn. 
I could not resist being told by one of my favourite dyers that this was her perfect yarn, I had to try it.  I also fell in love with soft pale ice blue of this colourway.  When I decided on this pattern I wanted to try knitting it in something completely different to the designer intentions.  This yarn qualified.

It is exactly as described, buttery soft and yet rustic.  The BFL/masham blend is wonderful and I enjoyed every minute of knitting these mittens.

The yarn is DK weight and the pattern described Fyberspates Scrumptious DK as being more of a worsted weight yarn.  It was a one size pattern and I have rather broad hands, so taking all this into account I decided to stick with the recommended 4mm needles, despite usually having to drop a needle size due to my loose knitting tendencies. I think was the right decision as the width of the mittens was perfect.

However, the position of the thumb was not exactly spot on.  My fingers are a bit low in the mitten, as you can see above.  The length of the cuff is great, as it comes several inches past my wrist, so in an ideal world I probably would have started the thumb maybe a few rounds further into the mitten to allow my hand to fill the top of the mitten.

But even with this area of air at the top of the mitten, from the outside it looks fine.  It may even work in my favour as there is more air to trap around my fingers, which will warm my hands better.

My favourite part of this project was the cuff.  I really enjoy twisted rib and being able to cable the whole mitten without a cable needle was definitely a bonus. I also really like the way the increases for the thumbs are worked.  It's a very well thought out pattern.  By the way, if you've never cabled without a needle, I have a tutorial on how to do it if you are interested.

I know my yarn choice means that a lot of the texture stitches are obscured, but they are certainly still visible and the cable patterns still pop.

The mittens definitely needed blocking, especially as my fingers don't fill the ends completely.  I used my homemade mitten blockers that I created for use on the Fiddlehead Mittens I made eons ago.  I originally made the blockers because the original blocking didn't stretch the mittens enough to make them comfortable for me to wear (with my enormously square hands).  I made the mitten blockers using a tutorial from Eskimimi Makes. It was well worth the time it took to make them, as the blockers will be used time and time again.

I would quite happily knit this pattern again as it was great fun and not that tricky to do, especially as I used two circular needles to knit in the round.  It is my preferred technique for knitting in the round as I am incredibly clumsy and inclined to poke myself in the eye with a dpn!

I also loved knitting with the yarn so much, I bought another skein (surprise, surprise).  This time in the You Keep Me On The Edge of My Seat colourway.  I would love to knit an entire sweater with this yarn, but sadly I have stash to use first.  I shall have to make do with my solitary skein, though I will probably make it stretch with the leftover yarn from the mittens.

I'm thinking it could may become a hat, possibly a Rikke, what do you think?

In summary, lovely pattern, amazing yarn and nice warm and light mittens to replace the Fiddlehead Mittens as the weather becomes milder. I'm pretty happy.


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