Thursday, May 12, 2016

A Gift of Cozy Fingerless Mitts

Back in November, I decided to participate in a gift swap with other alumnae from my college.  It was a fun way to try to track down a little about another Alumna and try to come up with a gift that would fit her interests.  My match loves tea, biking and adult coloring books.  I thought that a fun pair of fingerless gloves would work both for biking and curling up with a nice mug of tea coloring.

I've had two balls of Andean Treasure 100% baby alpaca sport weight yarn in the color Tidepool Heather in my stash FOREVER.  I get a pat on the back for creating a fun gift and using up my stash, right?  I wanted a pattern that would be simple to make (I still had a lot of things to finish by Chanukkah/Christmas plus the baby would arrive in 2 months) but still had some visual interest, so I was excited when I came across the Emerald Fingerless Mitts pattern.  A little bit of cables and bobbles will make these mitts sing.  I used size 4 (3.5 mm) dpn's for this project.

I knit enough of a swatch to double check my stitches/inch.  Row count I can adjust as needed.

Notes from construction (so I make both mitts identical!) 
  • 8 rounds of ribbing
  • 28 rounds stockinette
  • First increase round: place marker before the first and after the second M1.  On increase rounds, the M1's will take place between these markers.
  • After the 18 thumb stitches are ready, K 1 non-increase round before removing thumb stitches.  
  • L mitten - K5, co 4, K 3 (12 sts total) , follow chart then K to the end
  • R mitten, starting at the beginning of the round, knit to the last 26 sts and begin the chart.  Note - I did this following someone else's directions but I think I should have knit until 23 sts remained and then done the chart for this to be even with the L mitten.  It doesn't look bad so there is nothing I can do about it now.  
  • Bobbles (k1,yo,k1,yo,k1,yo,k1,) into 1 st, turn, p all together, turn, k the stitch. 
  • End of hand - p2tog at the end of the round for the one decrease stitch.  
  • 4 rounds of ribbing followed by binding off in ribbing pattern for the mitt body.
  • I knit the fingers in the round using the number of stitches indicated in the pattern. 
I wished that I had some size 4 circulars so I could make these mitts two at a time.  AWE MAN!  Half way through the first mitt I realized that I DO own some size 4 fixed circulars.  I could have avoided the second sock syndrome.  Thankfully I am enjoying this project and making something for a fellow Alumna.  

The design is lovely, but this is not the best written pattern I"ve ever seen.  The following Ravelry project helped me figure out the placement of the bobble stitches without having to do the calculations myself (see notes section above).  Unfortunately I didn't double check the calculations myself and I should have moved the R chart over a bit more.  Thankfully the mitts still look cozy and cute so I'm not too concerned.  

I decided to save both thumbs for the end of the project.  This way I know that all that is left will quickly finish up.  The end is in sight!

This was a fast and fun project.  I spread it out a bit more because I had a very busy week after Thanksgiving, but even with Lucky around I could have finished these up in two days.

I probably could have gone down a needle size on this project.  The thumbs are REALLY big and a little baggy, but the mitts are still comfy and cozy.  Next time I'll either drop a needle size or reduce the number of thumb stitches.  

Nevertheless, these are cozy fingerless mitts and I love working with Andean Treasure.  In the end I used 65 g (143 yards) to complete this project.  It was a pleasure to use up some cozy soft yarn for a fellow alumnae.  

My gift exchange buddy loved her care package!  I hope that I can participate again next year!