The Panda Owl

The Panda Owl

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Smitten with Mittens

One of the few clothing items that my parents have kept from my childhood are a pair of salmon pink mittens that were knitted by my paternal grandmother. My grandmother wasn't exactly the cookie baking type, but she scored a domestic home run when she presented the mittens to me (and an identical, smaller pair for my younger sister). I had these special mittens in mind when I embarked on my own mitten making adventure.

One bigger for the older sis, one smaller for the lil' miss 

Nowadays pretty mittens can be purchased at most clothing stores; I'm sure Gap and JCrew make nice ones with embroidered animals or snowflakes. However, I don't think anything quite matches homemade mittens in terms of coziness and satisfaction. See my results below.

Silver and sparkly!

I'm impressed they turned out looking quite professional (meaning they look like they could be sold in a store), but they are super special because I made them myself (which means they would make great gifts!). I definitely experienced one of those OMG! knitting moment where everything works out well and I was in awe that I crafted something so amazing (I know, I know, I'm tooting my own horn, but I was super excited!).

The only problem was that there were small holes at the point where the thumb joins the body of the mitten. The pattern had asked that I slip 7 stitches onto waste yarn for the thumb and continue knitting the body of the mitten. Then, when the body was completed, go back and pick up 9 stitches around the thumb opening opposite the slipped stitches. I followed these instructions to a T, but it was pretty obvious before I had even finished the thumb that I would have some holes.

One of the holes where thumb and body join is circled 

(1) These were the stitches that were picked up
(2) Hole is formed where the thumb and body join
(3) The stitches underneath the thumb were the stitches saved  on the waste yarn

I have heard of 2 ways to correct this problem. (1) Leave a long tail when picking up stitches. Use the tail to weave around the stitches near the hole and pull to tighten and reduce the size of the hole. (2) Pick up more stitches than necessary around the thumbhole and reduce by the same number of added stitches in the next round. If you forget to reduce, the thumb will be too wide.

I tried Method 1, but unfortunately, since the holes are on opposite sides of the thumbhole, it only worked to close up one of the holes (and not very well at that). Next time I will give Method 2 a try; I will let you know what happens!

Mittens for all!

1 comment:

  1. your parents did a good job saving the gloves as a keepsake from your childhood. i am sure they knew the essence of nostalgia. keep posting