mittens for minty

magnificent mittens - chapter 5 pattern 1

pattern: Chapter 5, Pattern 1 from Magnificent Mittens
designer: Anna Zilboorg
yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca in colorways I can’t recall and whose bands I threw away because clearly I am smart like that (less than one skein of each color)
needles: Addi Turbos US size#1
modifications: I did a slightly different cast on, and I knit a 1×1 ribbed colorwork cuff

For the swap I mentioned yesterday, I had to knit a pair of mittens for Minty. To be perfectly honest with you, I was more than a little intimidated knitting for someone who has the designing skills and knit-blog clout that Minty has. I probably took too long to choose a pattern because I didn’t trust myself to design anything (and didn’t have time to do so with my current work load – with Halloween right around the corner I am trying to churn out bats for my shop on top of everything else). I had been ogling these on ravelry for some time and finally decided to just go for it. The only problem was that I didn’t have the pattern. No problem, right? Just buy the book! Yeah, that wasn’t really an option with the book out of print and selling for upwards of $149 used on amazon. I ended up blowing up some photos of the mittens and charting the pattern myself. I also did some research on the rav and thanks to someone from my old stitch-n-bitch who explained Anna Zilboorg’s cast on pretty clearly, I was able to cast on in that manner and knit the mittens from the fingertips down. Thanks to someone from a local knitnight who was kind enough to let me peek at her book, I realized that I had not done this exactly as Anna had explained (I knit the band in the wrong direction), but it looked good regardless so I kept going instead of ripping the whole thing out.

My favorite part of this specific pattern is the thumb. I love the way it goes with the rest of the pattern so that it is an “invisible thumb.” And the construction method was pretty neat, too. I have never knit a thumb seperately and attached it as I was knitting the mitten. Thumbs are always an afterthought, in a sense. My only problem with this is that perhaps I should have knit the thumbs a little looser because they are very snug, even on Minty’s wee hands. I also have a problem with the way that peasant thumbs distort the pattern on the palm because they fit so snugly across the palm:

I think if I knit these again, I might knit a gussetted thumb instead of this type despite how enamored I was the thumb construction. What am I talking about “if?” “When?” is more appropriate here because I definitely want to knit myself a pair of these, maybe with a self-striping yarn so that it imitates the Fiddlehead pattern, which is yet another mitten pattern that I want to knit for myself. (Actually, I have three of Adrian’s patterns in my queue, and I’ll be amazed with myself if I can resist the temptation to cast on for the Entomology Mittens before the end of the week.) Gah! I think mittens have become the new sock for me. I can’t knit enough of ’em!

11 thoughts on “mittens for minty

  1. I was impressed just that you knit these, but you charted it out yourself too? That’s fantastic! What special mittens they are — and so beautiful too!

  2. intimidated by me? you? m, honey, you are a stellar, stellar knitter–and my mittens are completely amazing. i love them, and you were always going to make something phenomenal. THANK YOU!!! now for the weather to get cold enough to wear them . . .

  3. These are just gorgeous! I love the color combination. I’m with you on the peasant-thumbs, though…I’m definitely a fan of the gusset thumb instead.

  4. I love these so much. What am I going to do with my two new hanks of Ultra Alpaca fine? You have to help me repurpose this yarn so I can justify buying Ultra Alpaca Light for some mittens EXACTLY LIKE THOSE.

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