Friday, February 23, 2007

Why I Love Mittens

I've started another pair of mittens, in charcoal gray heathery wool, probably for my Dad. It is such a pleasure to work with the springy texture of wool. And I love mittens. Because when a mitten is done, you have no seams and only three ends to weave in: the one where you started, the one at the end of the thumb, and the one at the end of the hand. And that's it--you're done!

But a sweater! You have 5 pieces of stockinette fabric, rolling themselves up in every dimension. And you have to sew them up, which isn't all that difficult, except that the seams are not elegant-- they're lumpy and bumpy and odd. And then you have ends all over the place to weave in. Ends from where you stopped and started, ends from where you sewed, dozens of ends. And the more you weave in, the more lumpy and bumpy the whole thing seems. The Baby Yoda sweater involved 4 little string ties, so each of those had two ends (= 8) and then they had to be stitched on somehow, making 4 more stray ends of yarn, so the ties alone resulted in a dozen danglings ends to be hidden somehow or other.

So I am knitting a gray mitten! And I love it already. It seems like there's always a trade-off in knitting. Mittens and socks are so self-contained and don't require any sewing of weaving in of ends--but they do have to be knit in the round, and whether you use dpns or two circular needles as I am doing, it's not quite as relaxed as flat knitting. But then flat knitting results in all that finishing!

So I love mittens.

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