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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Fingerless Mitts

Fingerless Mitts

Fingerless mitts.  What is their purpose?  If the office is too cold, they’ll help warm your hands and leave fingers free for the keyboard or paperwork.  If the bedroom is chilly, they’ll warm your palms and wrists while you read in bed.  Perhaps, they’re just for comfort or just for fun.

Whatever their purpose, I’m knitting fingerless mitts.  As with all my knitting projects, I follow a simple pattern and fingerless mitts are relatively easy.  I knit for pleasure not for production of works of art.  Plus I am unable to focus on challenging patterns without becoming enmeshed in mistakes, unravelling yarn and trying again, only to throw the over-knitted yarn away in the end.  Simple is better for me.  Then the knitting feels happy and comforting.

I bought some interesting yarn called “Twelve” because it combines twelve different kinds of yarn into each ball.  When knit, the variations create intriguing patterns in an otherwise plain mitt. The picture on the free pattern made the finished products look like fun.  And indeed the first pair of mitts was fun to knit.  They’re not supposed to be the exact copies of each other; I liked that.

The second pair was less fun because the balls of yarn were not consistently made.  The spots where the twelve different kinds of yarn joined each other were thin, too thin and broke easily, which created lots of cutting and repair work on the yarn.  Even worse, when one mitt was completed, close inspection showed that the knitted yarn had given way in some spots and was unravelling creating holes and gaps.

I wondered if I would have enough yarn left to complete the second pair.  I unravelled the holey mitt and saved what I could of the yarn; the yarn that was sturdy enough to hold together.  After a bit of swearing and re-knitting and pulling on the yarn to ensure it would hold, I managed to get two pairs of fingerless mitts made from the balls of yarn.

I should have shopped at my regular yarn shop which always stands behind the products it sells.  I should have made a larger fuss about returning the faulty yarn to the other yarn store where I purchased it.  I should have warned people about the pitfalls of buying yarn from a chain store just because it’s cheaper…oh wait, I am doing that.

What about the mitts?  I like the pattern.  I like knitting.  I’ll get better yarn from my favourite wool shop and make more.  I’m sure that the mitts I’ve knit will hold together.  Well, I’m quite sure. Kind of sure…

OK, if you receive mitts from me for Christmas, give them a good going over and return them to me if they are coming to pieces. Unlike the chain store, I’ll stand behind my work, allow you to return the faulty gift and I’ll knit you another sturdier pair of fingerless mitts.

Merry mitts to you!

Photo and words are copyright Carol Steel.


Crafty Green Poet said...

I've just bought a pair of fingerless mittens. They're very useful I think, they leave your fingers free to do things like write notes about the birds you're watching or fine tune the focus on the binoculars!

Good luck with your knitting. A skill I've never been able to develop!

Lisa said...

I love to knit, but the older I get the more simple the pattern. I knit dish clothes, then I give them away. I knit them because they have a beginning, a middle and an end. Unlike much of the rest of my duites - seems like work never ends.