To mend and to make, warm hands edition

Yesterday I woke up to the first snow fall of the season. It was nice to bundle up in several layers of warm wool, so I didn’t freeze while shoveling. Today is for tending to one of those layers, while shoveling I discovered that my mittens has a hole.

Grey hand knit mitten worn on right hand with pinkie finger poking out the side.

This isn’t surprising, I knit these mittens quickly in 2009 out of single-ply bulky wool (Ravelry link). Since then, I’ve improved my skills on mitten fit (I recommend Kate Atherley’s Knit Mitts, my review). I’ve also grown my understanding on fiber choices, yarn structure, and knit fabric due to all my swatching. Even though it’s not supposed to snow again for at least a week, I’ll mend the hole. I discovered this morning that I never wove in the ends, so I’ll use that yarn to make the fix.

Of course, my next thought was to knit a new pair of mittens. While this pair is something I can wear, I’ve never been pleased with them. They have many faults; the cuff is too short, and the knit fabric is very loose resulting in a mitten that isn’t very warm.

One mitten leads to three new projects

As I began to write this post, I realized I’ve tried to make one pair of mittens perform optimally in multiple roles; that’s asking too much of a humble pair of knit mitts. This is a work mitten; it needs to fit over a pair gloves and shovel snow. It needs to be tightly knit so wind and wet snow doesn’t penetrate. When I’m outside in winter I’m almost always wearing mittens over a pair of fingerless gloves, regardless of activity. This everyday pair does not need to be as hard wearing, they are primarily be worn while walking. The pair I’ve worn for the past few years is another quickly knit pair, it’s time to make them nicer. I also now have the results of my experiment in finger-less gloves. These also should be reknit!

Notebook of initial sketch and notes with mittens that need mending laying on the opposite page. Also visible is a pencil, empty coffee mug, and a computer keyboard.

It’s fascinating how one small hole can lead to sketches for multiple new projects: a new pair of finger-less gloves, everyday mittens, and work mittens. Will these become published designs? Time will tell. I will include updates here as I go through the process of choosing yarn, swatching, fine tuning my design, and knitting.

I hope you’ll join me on this journey.

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