Friday, December 3, 2010


So! I am pretty pumped up about this little project:

Back of hand

I wanted to knit a stranded colourwork something that was more relaxing than the monstrously fiddly things I had been knitting, and starry Norwegian-inspired mittens fit the bill nicely. This project was like a palate-cleanser; now I can return to other knitting without trying to make it more difficult than it is.

Mittens with diamonds and squares and stars and fleurs-de-lis! And patterned thumb gussets that give way to thumbs in the same pattern as the palms, and invisible wide folded hems for embroidering secret messages onto. (I am actually pretty terrible at embroidering on knitting—cross stitch is more my speed—so I declined to add a message to my mittens, but you need not decline.)


These were interesting to knit because they didn't feel repetitive; there's a lot of mirror-imaging going on, but the motif is long and wide enough that I usually forgot what was supposed to happen next. The palm, though, has a tiny repeating pattern (a field of fleurs-de-lis or stars?), which offers a small break from chart-reading every round.

Having recently discovered this awesome old space news item, I had to name the triple-star mittens after a triple-star system. Polaris it is!

To knit them, you'll need two 50g skeins of Knit Picks Palette or some other sticky fingering-weight wool yarn, in two contrasting colours (shown in Jay and Cream). I used a set of 5 US #1/2.25mm double-pointed needles to achieve a gauge of 38 sts and 44 rounds = 4" in the stranded pattern; choose whatever needle size gets you gauge. The finished mittens measure 7.5" around above the thumb, and 11" from the edge of the cuff to the pointed tip.

As the pattern is written, the hand measures 4.5" from where the thumb splits off from the hand to the tip of the hand. The thumb can be moved up or down by beginning it a few rounds earlier or later than is marked on the charts; this lengthens the hand and shortens the cuff, or vice versa. More dramatic resizing is best accomplished by going up or down a needle size (for bigger or smaller mittens, respectively).


My favourite part is the sort of abstracted snowflake motif on the cuff. (And the hem! I like wide folded hems instead of ribbing; you get all the cozy fit of a ribbed cuff with none of the pulling in, and then there's this excellent extra space where you can put more patterns.) There hasn't been an actual proper snowfall where I live yet, and even though it's December it doesn't feel like winter. Snow already!

Get the pattern for $5.50 CAD by clicking this link, or from the pattern page on Ravelry here.

(The mittens I've actually been wearing out and about, though? Maplewood mittens. They are so cutely rustic, and their yarn is so assertively wooly, that I just can't not take them with me everywhere. I am a huge sucker for wooliness.)


Daniel said...

Wow - these are gorgeous! What beautiful work you do.

Alwen said...

Pretty! I want to hug them and pet them and call them George!