18 December 2013

WIP: Snowflake mittens

So, last week, I had to stop halfway through a knitting project because I was lacking in the yarn department. Don't you just hate it when that happens? You're working away, got a bit of a groove going, you can see the project take form before your eyes as your needles are flying... And then, BAM, grinding halt, because you're out of yarn!

Now imagine that, only with mystery stash yarn.

Terrifying, isn't it? I mean, you can always buy more if you run out of freshly bought yarn, but mystery stash yarn? Who knows what it is, where it came from, how old it is, or whether it's even still available! Now, I partially blame myself in this, because I just grabbed a ball and went with it, but I also definitely blame my kitchen scales for lying to me. Damned thing told me I had more grams in my hands than I actually had... About halfway through the mitten I started to get suspicious. So I weighed, and weighed, and weighed... And when the first mitten was done, I was 12 grams of yarn short for the second one.

I know, right?!

But it was a learning process and I'm glad I was at least able to finish the first mitten as it taught me how to knit a thumb gusset, and how to properly knit with the magic loop technique (it. is. GENIUS. GENIUS I TELL YOU.), techniques I was going to need for my next ambitious project! See, I was given the pattern for the Pixie Farts mittens by a lovely lovely lady on Ravelry in the spirit of the holidays! Aren't they adorable?! With those little puffs of pixie fart colourwork all around the mitten? But they're pretty damned ambitious for someone who has only done a tiny bit of colourwork in the round when I was making Christmas ornaments for my mother last year, and nothing since. So I decided I needed some more practice first. And since I promised the finished product of my test mittens to my mother, I asked her to pick what colour or colours and any details she wanted.

Luckily, she asked for mittens with colourwork! Two birds, one stone. She wanted dark purple mittens with a light blue snowflake on the back of her hands. So, yarn-shopping I went, and this is what I got: it's Phildar Phil'harmony in the colourways Myrtille and Jean Bleached. From what I can gather from the French Phildar website, this yarn is replacing Sport'laine. It's a wool-acrylic blend, super-soft on the hands, nice and warm, with amazing stitch definition and little to no fly-away fuzzies!

I couldn't wait to cast on, and to my delight the yarn is absolutely lovely to work with. This was about 75% into the k1p1-ribbing pattern, but look at the stitch definition! It's what you want when you want to add colourwork, right? And speaking of, the stranded colourwork section is very easy! I was afraid it would throw me for a bit of a loop as the pattern is worked flat and then seamed, so I had to do colourwork on the purl rows too, but that's ridiculously easy. Just follow the recipe!

And speaking of the pattern: After some deliberation I chose to use the Snowflake Mitts pattern by Elizabeth Lovick, but I changed the snowflake pattern slightly, to this:

It's a tiny alteration but I like it more. I also opted to alter the thumb slightly from a worked-in thumb where you work up to the thumb, work the thumb flat, cut the yarn, sew up the thumb seam, and then continue on the hand, to transferring the thumb stitches to scrap yarn and finishing the hand first before making the thumb. It made more sense to me to do it that way, as the pattern tells you to make the thumb while you're only halfway through the colourwork section. Plus, I got to use the magic loop again. I'm getting good at that.

One mitten took me roughly one evening, as it's a fairly quick pattern worked in thick yarn on 5 mm needles. I'll show you the finished project as soon as I can, which, hopefully, will be this week!


  1. Wantjes! Ze blijven leuk! :)
    IK wilde je even laten weten dat ik een linkje heb geplaatst op mn blog, vroeger blogde ik op www.craftyvalley.nl en kwamen we elkaar wel eens tegen. :)
    Groetjes en nog een gelukkig nieuwjaar!

  2. Oh I cannot wait to see the finished product. I cannot get the hang of knitting at all. I'm lucky to get the garter stitch correct!!