More Mittens

Pretty sweet. It’s another pair of Becky Greene’s Granny Glitten’s Mittens. I enjoyed the knit, my 3rd pair, and the look. So I decided to knit a 4th pair almost immediately. For my purple pair I shortened the body of the mitten by a few rounds and lengthen the top a tad. A few more rounds of the last pattern improved the look of the tops of the mitts a bit. The pattern leaves room for knitter’s choice at a few points.

I knit both sets in Novita 7 Veljesta Solid. The yarn is 75% wool, 25% nylon. It’s described as an Aran but my sense is it’s a worsted weight.

Granny’s pattern is a Ravelry freebie. I very much enjoyed the knit. And I love the result. In fact, I’ve knit it twice before. It started life as a Mystery Knit-a-long (MKAL). And that’s how it’s ended its life too since it’s never been updated from the original multiple “clues” format. This very folksy home-style pattern has a few quirks (rather than mistakes). Plus a couple of minor errors that you’d figure out easily on your own. Here’s a link to my detailed Ravelry project notes in case you’re knitting the pattern and get stuck on something.

Greene was inspired to create this pattern because of a story in her mother’s childhood Christmas book. She recalls that the Granny Glitten story was about a grandmother who knit mittens to sell at Christmas to earn extra money. One year Granny’s yarn shop only had white yarn on offer so Granny needed to punt if her mittens would be as colorful as her customers expected. Her solution was to dye the white yarn with a series of ingredients from her pantry. Greene’s solution was to create a highly textured one-color mitten. It’s a pattern definitely worth a knitter’s time.

Next up was a special request knit. “Can you knit me a pair of those mittens where the tops pop off if you need to use your fingers?” A sincere kind ask from the knitworthy and I’ll give it a try.

These are Mary O’Keefe-Dockman’s Pop-Up Paws. The last time I knit a pair “Kelsey was a pup,” as Indiana-born Vivian used to say. I’ve decided not to link to this pattern on Ravelry because, although it’s attributed to Dockman, the pattern page links to a kit for sale that only includes a similar pattern by Nancy Lindberg. O-Keefe Dockman’s “Old Trail Yarns” shop appears to have closed circa 2010, so this pattern may be lost to the knitting universe except for those fortunate enough to own a copy of the booklet. Not to gloat, but being an old knitter does have its benefits!

I knit my Pop-Ups..well, Steve’s Pop-Ups, in Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted.

Steve very much likes his new mitts. The fit is good and he’s been wearing them almost daily since receiving them on Christmas morning.

Next up is a new mitten for me: Laura Aylor’s Cole Mountain Mittens. I knit mine in…all together now…Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted. Hard to imagine that my 66-skein Gartergantuan Blanket left me with any unknitted Lamb’s Pride skeins, but it did.

Cole Mountain Mittens have some excellent features that make it well worth forking over a few dollars to buy the pattern. In fact, I’m already planning a second knit since my neighbor selected this pair from my holiday pick-your-gift stash.

These mittens have what Aylor describes as “a tree bark textured back.” The bark stitch makes for a very warm dense mitten. The palms and thumbs are smooth. The pattern provides a small optional hole in the mitt so the index finger can wiggle out for texting and handling a phone. I decided not to include this feature in my pair.

Cole Mountain uses an unusual thumb technique. You use a smaller needle for the thumb (beyond the gusset) than for the rest of the mitt. I was skeptical but followed the pattern. The thumb fits well. The top is rather squared up. But with a bit of tugging it rounds out nicely. Plus, once on the hand, the shape of the top works out well.

Ok, stop laughing. These oddly shaped mittens are “Grandmother Vinson’s Little Red Mittens.” Except I made the adult size. And they’re clearly not red. Well, except for that one bit on the one top. The dabs of color weren’t my original plan, but I ran out of brown yarn.

The pattern is Theresa Vinson’s and her grandmother’s. Vinson recounts that, not long after she learned to knit, she came across a pair of little red mittens her grandmother knitted for her when she was a child. She studied the mittens and figured out how grandma worked the mitts. The “Accessories” edition of Cast-On’s 2002 magazine published the pattern. Cast-On is the quarterly publication of The Knitting Guild Association (TKGA). If you need this pattern, maybe TKGA can help you find a copy of the magazine.

The alternating garter stitch and “welt” stitch continue around the entire mitten. They’re as warm as can be. Especially knit in my huge fav Lamb’s Pride Worsted.

I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t get anyone to pick these mittens from my gift stash. It was those stickin’ pointy tops, even though the points (pretty much) disappear once fingers are nested inside. So these mittens are still looking for a home. I like them and may keep them for myself. With the thermostat turned down to keep our bedrooms cool for sleeping, I have been known to slide my hands into mittens (and my feet into hand knit socks or slippers) for some extra warmth. My bed covers do not laugh at my hand knits.

Warm hands

I know. It’s June. My first excuse for knitting mittens is that it’s June in Michigan. This year that’s meant we’re still amid a good deal of chilly weather. My next excuse is that I don’t really have seasons for knitting. I knit year round. I knit a lot of accessories. That means you can often find me knitting mittens here in Michigan’s (sort of) “top of the mitt.”

This first pair is Susan Mills great two needle, knit-flat Mitered Mittens. It’s an excellent fun pattern. It was designed for the delightful, now discontinued, Classic Elite Liberty Wool. I totally enjoy knitting these in color-changing yarns. Here’s how the Liberty Wool worked out. This time I used Adriafil Knitcol. It’s a lightweight worsted, even close to a DK weight.

Sometimes it’s fun to see how these multi-colored yarns knit up, this time in relatively short rows of garter stitch.

Here’s a second pair. I used this skein of…brace yourself it’s a mouthful…West Yorkshire Spinners Blue-Faced Leicester DK Print.

And here’s the results.

I knit the second pair, the WYSBFLDKP version, in the small size and the Adriafil in the larger size. Both pair fit my large hands, more evidence of the highly forgiving nature of garter stitch.

The only tricky part of the mitt is likely a function of my well-documented removable stitch-marker disability. I’ve never gotten the hang of using one to mark the position of a decrease. So, instead of using the stitch marker to situate the mitered decrease, this is what I did. I put a “regular” ring stitch marker in place. Then, for the decreases, I slipped the stitch before the marker, removed the marker, slipped the next stitch, knit the next stitch, passed the two slipped stitches over—and replaced the marker before the stitch just knit. It’s a decidedly clunky maneuver, but at least I got all my decreases in the right place.

Next up is a totally fun freebie: Becky Greene’s Granny Glitten’s Mittens.

I knit this first pair in Plymouth Yarn Worsted Merino Superwash. I’ve always been happy with the stitch definition of this yarn. That’s important in a pattern of this sort, with smallish cables on the cuff and knits and purls forming the various patterns. Granny Glitten’s pattern resulted in a great fitting mitten.

This is a very folksy home-style pattern. It has a few of what I’d call quirks rather than mistakes in it. And a couple of minor errors that you’d figure out easily on your own. But this link is to my detailed Ravelry project notes in case you want to check them out.

Granny Glitten’s Mittens are great fun to knit. For me it’s the fact that the stitch patterns keep changing. No boring repetitions. I finished one pair and decided to knit a second straight away.

This time I used a decidedly unwintry shade of Sugar Bush Yarns Bold.

Again, a great fit.

I really have been on a mitten kick. This next pair is tincanknits Antler Mittens. The pattern calls for an Aran weight. I had a skein of Queensland Collection Brisbane. I was good on the stitch gauge (18 to 4 inches, in stockinette) using the recommended US size 8 needle. But my row gauge was off. As a result, these knit up super fast because I worked only 2 repeats (not 3) of the cable pattern after the thumb gusset even for this large size.

Sweet mitt. Good fit.

Lots of knitters turn to sock knitting for summer when they need a lightweight portable knit. Maybe give a thought to mittens as an alternative. Especially if you work your mittens in worsted weight these are quick rewarding knits.

Working even at a leisurely pace you’d have enough mittens for everyone come the holidays. That’s what I did when I was nine years old, sixty years ago. My mom gave me a pattern for 2-needle mittens and a supply of Red Heart yarn. And one pair of needles. I knit mittens for her, my dad, my two brothers, Gram, Pa, Aunt Joan, Uncle Hank, Uncle Lee, Aunt Dot, Walt, and my cousins. People acted as if they liked them. OK, probably not that boatload of rowdy boy cousins. Later, my mom took me to a real yarn shop and bought me one skein of yellow bulky weight yarn. She found a pattern and taught me to knit cables. I loved the feel of that yarn and those mittens. Something was different about that yarn, for sure. When we washed the mittens and threw them in the dryer I found out what it was. They shrank to ugly felted fists. I had discovered wool and my life-long obsession was set.