Earlier in the week, when the snow hit, I realised that my Cranford Mitts really weren't up to the job of winter gloves.
I acquired Sheila McGregor's "The Complete Book of Traditional Fair Isle Knitting" from a charity shop in St Andrews for £1.99 and spent a lot of the holiday gazing at the wonderful charts in the back.
I knew then I should dig out my copy of Selbuvotter by Terry Shea and make myself some Selbuvotter mittens. I spent two train journeys to work trying to decide which mittens I wanted to make... so much choice.... I narrowed my selection down to Annemor #16, NHM #3, NHM #4 and NHM #7. Somehow I managed to decide on NHM #3 - the leaves did it for me.
Traditional mittens are knit in White/cream with either black or red as the contrast colour. However I wanted something a little different. My new winter coat is brown with a light pink fleece lining. I knew that I had the perfect match in Yarn Yarn Bonny - conker yarn, a slightly varigated brown and a light pink which was the solid yarn which came with the August club yarn.
I cast on for the first mitten on Tuesday, and somehow managed to knit these on the bus and the train this week.
I've now finished mitten number one - it is a little shorter than I would have liked. However that is because I have completely missed out one part of the pattern, just after the cuff... it is only 7 rows, but it would have made all the difference.
However, it will be fine when tucked in my coat... and as Terry Shea states "The greatest discovery I made in studying the old mitens is how the old knitter were not necessarily any more talented than we are. They followed patterns, made mistakes, corrected them - or didn't. There stitches were occasionally too loose or too tight. There thumb bases have holes in them. The lines between fingers don't match up.
What they did seem to do better than we do is accept mistakes that they made."
Well I'm accepting my mistake - along with another one in the hand pattern and a bit of a messy pick up for the thumb.... and I'm off to cast on for number two.
Even the inside looks pretty!
After that, out will come my fair isle charts and I'm going to design my own..... I can hardly wait!
P.s Jane and Kate have also been knitting mittens this week. It's catching. Have you cast on for some yet?