Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Improv Mitten

I'm taking a mittens class right now to improv my skill. That's right, I want to IMPROV. Specifically, I'd like to learn to work without a pattern. Wouldn't it be great when you fall in love with a yarn, to know exactly what to do with it? No more spending countless hours searching for a pattern.

This handspun, pure wool yarn from Uruguay is a heavy worsted weight with thick and thin stranding. The company, Manos del Uruguay, is a non-proft organization dedicated to bringing opportunity to rural women. I love the fact that one skein makes a pair of mittens, so the cost is quite reasonable.

Our class assignment last week was to create the cuff. The teacher had several suggestions. To me, this autumn-colored gold called out CABLE!!! I chose to make a sort of fake-cabled cuff that is actually quite easy as it does not use a cable needle.

For the hand, I knew I wanted glorious, honest-to-goodness real cables. I looked through a stitch book and found a cable stitch I liked and just knew it would be perfect.


A Novel Woman said...

Holy Moly, I'm so impressed!!!

And I lurve that colour. Saffron...just what is needed this time of year.

Lottery Girl said...

Thank you!

Saffron! Yes, that's just the name of this color. I kept seeing Buddhist monks in my head and was asking myself what color one would call their robes... Saffron! Of course.

mmm... I just realized how hungry I am and how yummy something with saffron would be...

Rhonda said...

How long does it take you to knit a mitten? I'm in awe of your skills.

Lottery Girl said...

Dear Rhonddalyn,

Thank you so much!

How long does a mitten take? Hmm... I really should time how many hours. I made this over a period of a few days. Mittens work up MUCH faster than socks, because for most socks, you use a small needle, such as a size 1 or 2 (US).

These mittens were worked on a size 8. Plus, there is no heel to turn, etc. I am IN LOVE with making mittens, because I can play with an intricate pattern for the hand if I like. I didn't think this cabling was bad at all, because I only had to do ONE, and only for maybe forty rows or so. Now if I had to do this for an entire sweater, I might shoot myself!

I like small things like hats and mittens and even socks because you can get them finished quickly and most of the time you don't have to invest hundreds of dollars. The outlay for yarn alone for a sweater can be daunting, and it can take forever to make, and what if you don't like it when it's done? AHHHH!!!!

Deniz Bevan said...

I enjoy making mittens but never though of putting in cables - yours came out lovely!
And I do like your photo backdrop too :-)

Lottery Girl said...

Dear Deniz,


Yes, I do love cables. I learned some more stuff yesterday about cables: While I already knew they take up more yarn, I didn't know it can be as much as 30-50%!!!

I then became concerned about having enough yarn to finish the other mitten. The clever gals at the yarn shop WEIGHED the first mitten, which came in at 0.8 (ounces??) while I still have 1.2 left, which is WAY more than enough yarn. I could have even made a longer cuff.

Also, the cables help keep the shape, and they make the mitten warmer.

Can't wait to see your socks!

Deniz Bevan said...

Oh! Weighing! Now there's a good way to figure it out - that's what I should have done when I was worried about running out of wool for the two needle socks...