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.

Bella Mitts - let us in

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.

Bella Mitts - knock knock!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.

Bella Mitts sunsetI 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.

Orange Mitts clasped

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.Orange Mitts flat

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!