Remember this post? Well, here is my progress. I decided to forgo the thumb for the moment and just cast on for the second mitten. They are so lovely and I'm excited to see them develop. I can finally see the forest for the trees. You, however, can find the pattern for these mittens here.
What worked? I found my magic combination: size 1 needles, with worsted weight yarn (Cascade 220 for these). For whatever reason, I needed something more substantial to do stranded color work properly. Fingering weight just wasn't cutting it for me. Luckily they are not coming out too big - a worry with thicker yarn and hence more sts/inch - and with a wee bit of felting in the sink they should fit well enough. I didn't wind up modifying the pattern at all, with the exception of the cuff. I added a picot edge, which I fell in love with here. Although the mittens are not lined, the underside of the cuff is a lovely heather purple.
I hope to finish them before fall comes. Funny to be saying that when it's only May (hence spring in my neck of the woods), but the pattern does require a lot of attention to detail and that is hard to come by in our household. Especially during the summer months when we want to be outside and digging in the dirt, not inside reading a knitting chart. On that note, I've been busy outside. In addition to our usual vegetable and herb gardens, we added blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and cranberries to our yard this spring! Combined with the established apple tree, sour cherry tree and rhubarb we've got quite an operation going.