Saturday, 23 April 2011

Mitten Knittin' (and a rant about thumbs)

I haven't been knitting much recently. I've got a serious case of spring-clean-fever and have been going nuts washing windows, cleaning skirtings - if you knew me in real life, you'd be so shocked! So, it's good that the house is getting somewhere near clean, but it means less time for crafting :(

What I've been knitting are mostly mittens. I'm about to start some Galileo mittens with my handspun - black and orange, should turn out pretty funky! :D What I have been knitting is the #03 Green Autumn (Druid Mittens)by Jared Flood, from Vogue Knitting, Fall 2008. I'm using yarn that I bought from the Yarn Yard at knit camp last year - I don't know what particular yarn it is other than it's fingering/sock weight merino/nylon and is brown :)

First off, I have a rant about mittens and gloves with thumbs on the palm. My thumb is not coming out of my palm. My thumb sticks out at the side, just like most other humans'. Why designers feel the need to put thumbs on the palm I have no idea. It just pulls the mitten all out of shape when you put them on. Sure, they look just beautiful in the photoshoot where they're lying on a table, but as soon as you put the them on, your mitten is twisted halfway round your hand and just looks kinda fugly in my experience. I don't want to give myself some RSI by holding my thumb round in front of my palm all day just to make my mittens look pretty.

So, I decided to change the thumb placement. Also, I like gussets. It's just shaped more like an actual thumb. So, I thought, I've done thumb gussets before. I know the general theory, I'll just stick one on the side of these mittens and be good to go.


This pattern is one of those that inserts a thumb gusset onto the palm. You cast on half as many palm stitches as you actually need, and knit the thumb in the remaining stitches. So the thumb is on the palm, AND it'll be too tight because it doesn't have enough stitches. *facepalm*

I didn't realise this about the stitches until I'd knit the cuff, and frankly I couldn't be bothered ripping it all out and casting on the right amount of stitches, besides the cuff would be too big then. So I increased the palm stitches till I had the correct amount needed for the entire palm. Then I put in some stitches for the gusset and increased from there. These are the notes I wrote on my ravelry page for them about my mods. I think they're vague enough to satisfy any copywrong worries, but if you have the pattern, you'll be able to follow along, I hope.

On the increase round, I increased till after the 2nd sl1,p3,sl1, then increased the remaining stitches to the full amount needed for the palm. After that, I added two more stitches for the thumb. I worked the palm as on the chart (minus all those thumb stitches - again, palm thumbs grrr!), and increased a stitch on each side of the thumb on rounds 1,4,7,10,13,16,19,22,25 (as numbered on the chart) so I ended up with 20sts between the palm and back of hand. I knit these for one more round, then put them on hold to pick up later.

For the other hand. I placed the thumb stitches just after the second sl1,p3,sl1 on the inc round, then increased the palm stitches.

I just knit the thumb stitches, no patterning. Will see how it turns out when I pick them up as to whether I keep them plain or not.

So that's my mods and my rant. It's just that it was my first time substituting a thumb shaping, and I got more than a little miffed at it. Here's a pic of how the mittens are looking so far:

Druid Mittens

Despite all my whinging, they're actually looking rather nice :)

The colour is actually a little darker and browner that this. I love the cabling, and it was fun and interesting to knit once I'd worked out all my issues with the thumbs. I just need to pick up those thumb stitches and knit them now, but the call of the Galileo mittens is becoming too much... :D


tori guldahl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
torirot said...

I do agree with you about the thumbs, I prefer gusseted thumbs, too. And your modified mittens are going to be just wonderful!

faeriecollege said...

I remember that annoyed me SO MUCH when I finally put the pair I made on. All that work, and they look... wrong. Boo. In this case function trumps form, designers.

Kate said...

I don't mind the thumbs on the palm that do have a gusset so much (says she who has only knitted one such pair!), but the ones with just a little tab thumb sticking out are really odd. Easy to design, though. ;-)

I really like your mods. If I ever get around to knitting that pattern, I'll pinch them. :-D