Cold hands means knitting mitts

Before I ever started selling designs and doing stitch patterns for Patreon, I blogged about my personal craft projects. Gradually my blog became more professionally-oriented and I started talking about the personal stuff only on Ravelry and Twitter. Now that I’m not using either of those, I realized I was missing talking about the more personal projects, so I’ve decided to come back to it, at least occasionally.

I have a habit of losing my mitts sometime between spring and fall, and I need my fingerless mitts to keep my hands warm when it’s cold.

This year, I actually found a pair in my knitting basket in the early fall, and I was so pleased with myself! (Not that I’d planned it that way.) But then I lost one. I had to knit a new pair so I could keep warm while work knitting.

My preferred mitts are knit either bottom-up or top-down, with a thumb gusset for fit and to keep the base of my thumb warm. But I was in a hurry, so I decided to use a quicker method. I got out some scrap sock yarn I got from someone’s destash, and cast on for sideways garter stitch mitts.

The summary is this: I knit a garter stitch rectangle that’s the same width as the desired mitts are long. I knit it until it’s the same length as my wrist circumference. Then I sew the ends together with a gap for the thumb.

Important note: this is personal knitting, and not a pattern. If this were a proper pattern, I’d be telling you yardage and giving you tips about the methods I used for seaming and things like that. Not to mention paying my tech editor to look things over! If you look up sideways garter stitch mitt pattern, I know there are actual instructions out there.

A partially knit garter stitch rectangle in blues and greys; half the fabric has thick stripes parallel to the needle; the other half has thin stripes.

Anyway, as I was knitting the first rectangle, something unexpected happened! The self-striping yarn I was using made a very interesting pooling pattern: it makes it look as if half the fabric has some kind of fancy ridged pattern, but it’s all an optical illusion.

The fabric is flipped over, showing how there are thick stripes where the other side has thin stripes, and thin stripes where the other side has thick ones.

The pattern is reversed on the other side of the fabric, but is otherwise the same.

I hadn’t been planning on matching mitts, but this special pooling made me want to. I knit one longer rectangle. (I wasn’t sure the yarn would pool the same way otherwise.) Then I cut the rectangle in half and sewed the ends together as usual, binding off the thumb hole as the last thing I did on each one.

Two blue and grey striped tubes made of garter stitch. The  stripes and ridges run vertically.

One tube has a vertical slit showing in the middle of the seam where the ends of the knitting are attached.
The mitts are crumpled because I’ve been sticking them in my pockets between wearing.

Finished mitts! Another happy accident: I was able to make the stripe repeat work out perfectly so the seam mostly disappears.

One hand wearing one of the mitts. The stripes are vertical. There’s a vertical slit  for the thumb hole. The base of the thumb is entirely uncovered.

Now my hands are warmer and I can go on to work knitting and my next personal project: a necessary sweater. Once that’s done, I’ll knit the kind of mitts I prefer, with a gusset and a thumb. Once those warmer mitts are knit, I might add thumbs onto these, because that’s the one thing I regret about these mitts as they are.

Oh, and as soon as these were done? I found the mitt I lost earlier this fall. (That pair is the same style as these, so I’m still going to knit some I like better.) It never fails!

bonus cat photo:

A kitten is sitting on a wooden table. There is a glass bottle of milk next to her. She is licking the bottle and her little pink tongue is visible.

This is from when Shadow was a kitten, several years ago. There was condensation on the glass milk bottle, but I’ve always been amused by how this makes it look as if she’s trying to get to the milk.