Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Winter is coming.

Last week, the temperatures dipped to the low-60s with some rain and it felt like perfect weather to start a pair of mittens for myself. This week’s weather is a completely different story; temperatures are back in the mid-80s with sunshine. Regardless of the weather right now, winter is coming and I’m going to be happy to have these mittens when it does!

The yarn is Madelinetosh Tosh Merino DK in the colorway Electric Rainbow, which I bought at a local yarn shop a couple weeks ago. The pattern is North Iceland Mittens by Marcia Lewandowski in the book Folk Mittens.

Unfinished knit mittens in Madelinetosh yarn.

The pattern was written for stranded colorwork, but I’m knitting it in only the one yarn. I like the shape of the mittens and think the simple 2x1 rib and stockinette stitch highlight the variety of colors within the yarn. This simplified version of the pattern is easy to follow and has worked up quickly. It would be fun to make the intended colorwork version, even using this same colorful yarn again along with some solid colors.

Unfinished knit mittens in Madelinetosh yarn.

The only other change I made to the pattern was to move the base of the thumb up by nine rows. I was concerned that the top of the ribbing and the base of the thumb might be a little too close for the way I like to wear my mittens. I like them loose and a little big! As I look at them now, I could have cut that increase down to four or five rows and still ended up with a comfortable mitten, but I don’t dislike them the way they are.

Unfinished knit mittens in Madelinetosh yarn.

Before I started knitting the mittens, I was unsure whether the colors would pool. On the first mitten there is some pooling but it’s not too obvious. On the second mitten, using the same skein of yarn, the pooling is much more noticeable.

Unfinished knit mittens in Madelinetosh yarn.

Overall, both mittens remind me of impressionist paintings and I’m really happy with the results. The resulting fabric is so soft and cozy! They’re going to make me smile when I wear them.

Now, as I’m completing the second mitten, I’m thinking ahead to what I can do with the second skein. I could make a coordinating project such as a hat, or pick up some yarn in solid colors to make another pair of mittens using the original colorwork pattern. I may not need the second skein to finish this pair of mittens, and in that case I’ll need to decide whether to keep it, return it, or maybe exchange it for another colorway. So many choices!

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