Saturday, February 14, 2009

Bird in Hand

Happy Valentine's Day! Let me present some red mittens in honor of this day of love.

I first spied these mittens on the hands of a fellow knitter here in town. Do you see the bird?(Photo credit: Kate Gilbert, 2007) I was instantly in love and quickly added them to my ravelry queue. Last weekend I decided to give them a try as I have now frogged my forest mittens, again. Third time is a charm, right?

These are knitting up like a dream. I even learned a two new techniques from this pattern: picot edging and braids. Let me just say that picot edging is so cute and easy! You'll be seeing more of it in the future from me.

I also had a light bulb moment and finally figured out how to wrap - or carry - the yarn while doing two color knitting. I had been trying to do it a bunch of different ways with no success. Then I realized that I really just needed to twist the yarns around each other - not actually knit the color I was carrying - to make it work. Viola.

The picture below is actually of the second mitten I made. I knit up the first one on size 3 needles and they came out way too big. They would have fit a giant. I ripped it apart and dropped down to a size 1 needle. Now it fits me perfectly. I also added the gold color as an accent. Adding that third yarn sparingly was a good choice on my part. Going from two yarns to three yarns is difficult. More difficult than, I dare say, going from two kids to three :)
The mittens are pictured with some cool mitten blockers handmade by maudawoodworks. I showed him this DIY tutorial (these sisters have lovely blog too) then traced my hand for him. A short time later he presented me with a pair of these. Besides being lovely, who can resist a detachable thumb?!

I still have the thumb of the right mitten to finish, but I have already cast on for the left mitten. I'm pretty excited to finish these off and use them. Even though the weather has been at record-breaking temps (50 degrees!) lately I know more cold weather is on it's way.

In reflecting on my other pair of mittens, I've decided to re-work them with the same yarn/needles I'm knitting these up with. The patterns don't match up exactly, but they sure are close. So, with some help from a lovely friend a solution has been proposed. Modify the pattern (slightly). Unfortunately this does mean monkeying a bit with the tree design, but really not too much. I like to think of it as sustainable forestry of sorts.


Julie said...

Just beautiful! I love the accent color.

K, M & little C said...

You are a knitting maniac! These are great!

jk said...

Beautiful mittens! I haven't done much with mittens yet... After seeing these beauties, boy, I need to have a go at it!