Knitting Mittens For The Holidays
One of the perks of working for Interweave is seeing our magazines and books before they are available to the general public. The new issue of is bursting with easy knitting patterns—I can make for friends, family, and myself without busting my budget or time limitations. I decided to start with the Arc Mittens by Peggy O'Grady—the ones with the angled increase for the thumb (pictured left). I like that little design element. Turns out the photo in the magazine shows the mittens reversed; the pattern places the increase on the palm. So it's knitter's choice if they increases go on the palm or top of the hand; I like it on top of the hand though.
|Above: Knitting mitten (left)
|Above: Knitting mitten (right)
The day after Thanksgiving I visited my local yarn shop and got Brown Sheep Yarns Lamb's Pride Bulky yarn, the same brand of yarn used in the sample mittens, in a soothing cream, and a set of size 8 double pointed needles. The next day, when the weather wasn't so great, I spent an enjoyable 5 or 6 hours watching Christmas specials on TV and knitting the first mitten. I am a slow knitter, but with fewer than 40 stitches in the body, once the thumb was done, things went quickly. I had to rip out the first few rows because I wasn't paying enough attention to the placement of the increase stitches, but after three or four rounds, I was able to easily see where the stitches went. I had the first knitted mitten done by bedtime.
The second mitten gave me a little more trouble, all of my own making rather than the knitted mitten pattern's directions. I brought the second mitten in to work on Monday and got the help of a co-worker. That evening I tried again, but still was not able to get a nice, clean demarcation for the increase. On Tuesday I brought it to one of the magazine editors, and she straightened me out. It turned out that I was doing two different things wrong.
The increase stitch moved one stitch to the left on the first mitten. So that is what I did on the second mitten where the increase stitch gets made at the same place of each round. Next time I'll read the pattern more closely. I was also not picking up for the increase stitch correctly. Once I understood, the increases started looking like they should. I should have the second mitten done by the end of this week, in plenty of time for Christmas.
P.S. If you'd like to knit mittens for this gift giving season, you can download Interweave Knits Accessories 2011 and get started right away.