Sunday, November 02, 2008

Mitten Fever

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.
NHM3 003
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.
Stranded Mitten - NHM #3
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.
Stranded Mitten - NHM #3
I cast on for the first mitten on Tuesday, and somehow managed to knit these on the bus and the train this week.
Stranded Mitten - NHM #3
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.
Stranded Mitten - NHM #3
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."
Stranded Mitten - NHM #3
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!
Stranded Mitten - NHM #3
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?


Dawn said...

It looks great! I might have to cast some on too, just today I had (some of) the sock stash out and I have a lot of single colourss - and there's a huge banana box underr the bed labelled '4ply odds and ends'!

Danielle said...

They look great. I haven't caught mitten fever yet, I suspect it will be here in full force by next winter. Or January if it's really cold this year.

Kate said...

Love your mittens, too! :-) The pink and black look gorgeous together and I think I'll add the pattern to my queue. I really like NHM #9 as well, but just knitting one pair is an accomplishment, two would be greedy. :-D But I can dream!

Thanks for adding the part from the book about the original knitters not being perfectionists. Spending forever obsessing about whether thumb stitches are picked up nicely enough is madness!

Oh, and I love looking at the inside of my stranded knitting as well. It makes the pattern look completely different, and there's something lovely about neat floats. ;-)

And one more thing - this is turning into an essay! - I have that book as well! The charts at the back I think are much like the ones in Alice Starmore's Fairisle Knitting Book. But at least you don't need to take out a mortgage to buy Sheila McGregor's book!

Roobeedoo said...

Look at that stranding! Well done Roo! I haven't cast on yet, but I left a couple of patterns "lying around" at the weekend to test out my daughter's view, and she decided they were "cool",so I have the green light!

Lin said...

They are great roo and look so neat!

Craftyfox said...

Love your mitten. The colours and design are great. I've made a fingerless mitt pattern into a glove one this week so yep winter is here isn't it..