It started last year at Rhinebeck. Mom and I have a tradition of going together, having lunch with knitting friends, then Dad comes over later in the afternoon to look around at the yarns, the finished knits and his (mine too) favorite the people watching. Last year he saw a pair of mittens that where lined, I think he said that they where alpaca (just thinking of alpaca makes me all itchy), and not as densely knit as he would have liked. He told me that he once had a pair of lined mittens, and they where the best ever. And he hasn’t been able to find a pair like it since.
We walked around some more, looked at some other booths. Talked about how alpaca seemed to be all over the place that year (it was 2008 and it was freaking everywhere). We talked more about the mittens, cause I love knitting for my Dad. He understands handwashing. Man even gave me a lecture about it when I was a teenager and I was doing laundry. He had already received many pairs of socks from me and kept talking about those mittens. (Holy Crap! I just realized that I’ve knit my father 4.freaking.pairs.of socks!!)
We talked some more about those mittens, about whether or not he wanted them to be plain or have a fair isle pattern. What colors would be nice, and most importantly what to line them with. And I stupidly said, I would knit him a pair for his birthday. However I didn’t specify which birthday. (Thinking back I think it was the one a few weeks before that Rhinebeck…. but its 4 freaking mittens. So it’s really like 2 presents right? He did get a book this year too, and a really cool pirate knife with a retractable blade which I bet my mom is LOVING right now. haha)
When my parents visited that April my Dad did see my fiddlehead mittens and I asked him if he would like a pair like those. He liked the pattern, but wanted something different. Luckily I had just borrowed magnificent mittens by Anna Zilboorg from the library (it was out of print, but its coming back in print soon!! I just can’t remember when) after flipping through the book, and commenting on how silly the sleeve bell things seem. (I get how they would keep your arms warm but if you where doing something in the snow wouldn’t snow get in them? And yes, they look a wee bit silly and I don’t need much help in that department.) Daddy mentioned that he really liked the pattern from Chapter 5 pattern 1. And I being the glutton for punishment that I am, decided to change them up a bit.
pattern: Magnificent Mittens – Chapter 5, Pattern 1 by Anna Zilboorg (rav link)
size: to fit 8.5″ hand
yarn: Patons Classic Wool Merino less than one skein of 00227 (dark brown contrast color) and 00229 (light heather gray) and .25 Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere 2-ply in mahogany for the lining (I know right? they are niiiice!)
needles: US 4 / 3.5 mm
Started July 31 2009
Completed October 7 2009
notes: mashed Adrian’s fiddlehead mittens with the magnificent mittens pattern that my father picked out. I wanted a thumb gore (think that’s what they are called) but didn’t want to have to figure it out. To make the numbers work I added four extra stitches to the sides. (The column of stitches that run up both sides of the mitten is usually 1mc, 1cc, 1mc. Mine are 2mc, 1cc, 2mc) The fair isle patterning for the thumb is from the fiddlehead chart. I started the first mitten July 31 finished the second Aug 8, it took the pressure of his birthday coming up to get me to start and finish the second mitten, then line both of them.
Daddy really likes his mittens, and I was happy to give them to him in person when the kids and I traveled up for our long Rhinebeck weekend visit. I don’t think Dad knows that I took that picture of him wearing his mittens at Rhinebeck with my phone. He did however keep mentioning how nice they where to have since it was chilly. Which I was happy to hear, however it’s going to be a loooong time before I knit another pair like this. Don’t worry Mom, not that long. Don’t worry about Dad either, there will always be handknits in his future. He would really like a vest next. Cute huh?
Recently I finished a pair of owl mittens for Allysa to match her thorpe hat I just finished for her. Once I saw thea’s I had to knit a pair. While I was taking Allysa’s picture this afternoon she kept saying “Happy Mittens! Happy Mittens!” I think she’s happy with them.
Pattern: Give a Hoot by Jocelyn Tunney
size: smaller, to fit a 5 year old hands.
Needles: US 6 / 4.0 mm for the ribbing and US 7 / 4.5 mm for the rest.
yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Merino Worsted 12 yards in little lovely and 46 yards in Roanoke.
Started October 22 2009
Completed October 26 2009
notes: I prefer a looong cuff on my mittens, so it will stay under a sleeve. I didn’t add any length to this cuff, it was already long enough. Also cast on and knit one row with the pink to help tie it together with her hat. Knitting these mittens at a denser gauge gave me just the right size for Allysa’s little hands with a bit of room to grow. I know lots of other knitters have said this but I love the thumbs on these! I didn’t add buttons because I didn’t have any that where small enough, instead I used some of the pink to make little french knots for eyes.
I keep thinking of other mittens or fingerless mitts to knit, but my exhusbands wife is expecting a baby any day now and every baby needs a handknit sweater. I started yesterday even though I’ve known for months, I do hope that baby hasn’t been waiting for its sweater….
PS. phew 7m left of Monday!
PPS. I still have a bit of a cough but much better. yeah Carrie your right it takes forever to go away!
PPPS. I made pumpkin muffins with dark chocolate chips in them today. So.freaking.good. Since they are pumpkin and its dark chocolate they are good for me right??
PPPPS I just realized that I forgot to order that book for Dad…. crap.