In many ways, it’s been a warm winter. There have been plenty of weeks where the temperatures are well above freezing, when we wake up to a foggy, gray hush of a day, or fall asleep to the tune of rain drumming on the roof. But there have also been many days when I’ve been grateful to every warm piece of clothing I own. Like the long black puffy down coat I picked up for half off last March, or the fuzzy gray boots I found for 75% off over the summer and have stowed under the bed till it got cold again.
But mostly I’m happy to knit. Each small project seems to fall off the needles, but still goes a long way to keeping me toasty warm on windy, snowy days like yesterday and the other week when the puffy coat was necessary.
These mittens were actually last year’s mittens, the ones I knit as it started to get cold, stuffed in my coat pockets, and was pleased to have with me every time I slipped them on. The pattern is a modified version of the ubiquitous Bella’s Mittens – as of writing this post there are over 8900 projects on Ravelry – and though I’m not exactly what you could call a fan of the movies or books, it’s a fantastic pattern, and there’s no wonder why so many people have made these. Even shortened like mine, these have a nice long (ribbed on one side) cuff, pretty cables, dense fabric, chunky superwash wool – in short, they’re nice and warm and go a long way toward blocking the wind of a New York City winter commute.
I used a size 8 needle with Cascade 128 superwash chunky, and was really happy I have small hands or the tight gauge would have made these too small; knitting that tightly wasn’t so easy on my hands either, though worth it in the end. I’m really pleased with how well the yarn is holding up, too. I use mittens all the time (warmer than gloves, and much more likely to get finished without all those fingers to deal with), and tend to wear a hole through them between my thumb and forefinger, from holding giant tote bags on my shoulders. This pair looks, if not new, then still not a year old.
This pair of mitts is several years old, and shows the wear and the fact that I wasn’t paying much attention to weaving in my ends. I’m pretty sure I finished these in the car on the way to pick pumpkins with friends, and borrowed a crochet hook to tuck the ends in quick and sloppy so I could wear them with the hat I’d made to go with. I’m not usually big on bright colors, but I adore this orange, and love the slightly scratchy woolliness of the Lambs Pride Bulky.
It doesn’t look as if there will be a pair of mittens for the 2012-2013 winter season. It’s already February, and I have so many other things already on the needles that I don’t see a pair of mittens in my immediate future. Lucky for me, whether I need my fingers free or get to encase them in cozy wool, I’m already covered!