Thursday, November 1, 2007


I am making all new mittens for my Dad. The wompy mitten will remain a one-of-a-kind mistake. I decided to follow the pattern in Knit Mittens! for a mitten called Lillemor's Mittens. The pattern is rather odd--you knit a square of garter stitch flat, leaving a place for the thumb to be picked up, and then you stitch it up and knit in the round for the fingertip decrease section. I think the original point of it was that it is knit without a single purl stitch. (I added 2 inches of k2p2 ribbing at the cuff however.) Another point of it is that garter stitch makes a denser fabric than stockinette, and dense is good for mittens. I also think the texture of garter stitch makes it easier to hold on to the steering wheel or whatever.

However. Large swaths of garter stitch at a tight gauge (worsted weight on size 5 needles instead of the more typical size 8) is a bit of a bitch to do. In garter stitch, you are entering a purl stitch every time, so you have to go in at a slightly sharper angle than for stockinette. And the size large mittens are more or less enormous--12" long when finished. The flat piece of knitting looks like it could be the back of a baby's sweater! But I pressed on, including stripes of red against a background of charcoal grey (which makes garter stitch not match on both sides, btw).

And I finally got the the decrease section, had the hand all stitched up, had the color change in place--and then somehow I dropped a stitch in the garter section. Did you know that it is very confusing to pick up a dropped stitch in garter stitch? Well it is. Especially when you have two different colors at exactly that point. I picked and pulled at it for about an hour, and the yarn was getting all fuzzy from being poked and prodded so much. I finally managed to get it back on the needle in something like the original configuration, but I see that there is a dent where that stitch was. Oh well. I can live with a dent!

I have now cast on the second mitten and knit an inch and a half or so. I will definitely get them finished in time. But from now on, I'm making mittens in the round in stockinette. I do not love garter stitch. It is not easier than purling. Imagine the Einstein coat--an entire coat in all garter stitch! No thanks!

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