These mittens were incidentally called the Redemption Mittens because it was an attempt for the yarn, Dream in Color Groovy to redeem itself after being wholly inappropriate to make the awesome Shelburne Mittens. The DIC yarn was too worsted (spinning type not yarn weight) and too highly twisted to work for those mittens, but they are perfect for a tight gauge, non cabled mitten. The pattern, the Fried Chicken Mitten, is a great execution of a great idea, basically that our thumbs aren't the shape of most thumb gussets, but rather pieces of fried chicken.
The pattern has some rather amusing drawings to this effect, I suggest checking it out!
In addition, the texture pattern, found in one of my stitch guides, provides an amazing texture both to the look and feel of the mittens. With the hand-dyed yarn, I find the mittens to seem almost woven.
Project Name: Winter Sunshine Mittens
Pattern: Fried Chicken Mittens by Ellen Mason (Ravelry Only Link)
Yarn: Groovy by Dream in Color in Gold Experience
- I did the cuff out of only 2x2 rib, which meant that I didn't do the beginning stockinette rounds or the purl ridge before the thumb gusset
- I shortened the mitten and used the top shaping from Ann Budd's Knitters Handy Book of Patterns.
- However I modified this top by pairing the decreases (making the top flatter) and grafting across the top when there were 16 stitches remaining.
- I followed the thumb gusset pattern for the right mitten and then modified the left so that it was a mirror image and in both cases the "seam" (or the invisible line formed by the start of the rounds) runs up the pinkies.
- I used a texture pattern, Twisted Stockinette, to the whole mitten. I got the pattern from The Harmony Guides: Knit & Purl page 132. This pattern called for Ktbl in every stitch every second round. To make this work with the pattern I knit an additional plain row before starting the thumb gusset so that I was increasing on a standard knit row, not a twisted row. This helped make the increases simpler.
- Grafting - I think ... I don't know another project that I have used grafting on, although I have practiced it before. I don't know why people are so afraid of it, watching the videos over at Knitting Help are invaluable for all things and particularly for reminding me that I start the first stitch as a purl and then from there I am good to go.
- Post Incident Life Lines - That is putting in a life line long after the row had been knitted. In this case, I didn't like the top shaping in the original pattern so I had to go back and pick up the right side of the stitches in the round and insert a life line so I could from back and reshape the top. That process is a hassle, and I while I am unlikely to use pre-emptive lifelines, it is good to know how to save oneself from a disastrous frogging session, that ends with the decision to re-knit the whole item.
- Major Reworking - I haven't changed a pattern so much before. In this case I switched out the mitten top, the texture and fully reversed the thumb gusset on the second mitten. The success of these mittens have given me confidence to play around with some other patterns a bit more.
- What an amazing thumb gusset. Not only is the name great, who can really resist comparing their thumb to fried chicken, but it fits wonderfully. I think that this my go-to thumb gusset until further notice. I love mittens and this makes me love them more.
- It is great to know that I can modify patterns to fit me perfectly, I need to do it more.
- Dream in Color Groovy is amazing. The whole time I was knitting, the amazing color made me smile. The fact that it is superwash means that these are going to be perfect for the hard abuse that mittens get during an Ontario winter. There is a bit of a halo, but that just makes them look as fuzzy as they feel.
Re-Knit?: Yes, yes a thousand times yes. I will probably make modifications each time, but my mother has already asked for a pair for next winter, and as I am living in her house I will probably make her a pair, because she is totally knitworthy (uses but doesn't abuse items, doesn't see me as a free knitwear dispensing machine, and is trying to get back into fibercrafts herself).