Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Fair Isle Mits


When the lost get found it is always a happy moment, but if you know you will never find what you have lost it is best to face reality and get a replacement.  Two years ago, I lost a mitten from the first pair of mittens I had ever made.  I loved those mittens and they were vital in keeping my digits warm during the many cold winter months here in Minnesota.


I eventually allowed myself to accept the fact that my one mitten was gone forever and I needed to go about replacing the set.  With the same brand of yarn (but unfortunately, not the same color way) I set about creating a new pair of mittens - last year.  Luckily it was such a warm winter, that when I lost interest it wasn't a big deal because there were so few days of true winter weather.  This winter has already proven to be quite a bit colder, so I was motivated to finish my these mittens (plus I just hate having WIPs sitting around).


Behold, my new fair isle mittens that will keep (and have been keeping) my fingers nice and toasty.


The pattern is the Flip-Top Mittens in La Gran Mohair from Classic Elite Yarns.  (The patterns in this book are where all of my  first knitting projects came from!).  I chose to use Cool Wool yarn, which is a  100% wool in sport weight.  I modified the pattern by eliminating the cables (I have nothing against cables, I just didn't want to make my mittens too complicated because I also wanted to add color work).    The fair isle pattern is Snow Bunny from the Vogue Knitting Stitchionary 3 book - an absolutely fabulous resource for knitting with color!


My favorite thing about these mittens in the flip top - for many reasons.  First of all, it allows my to free up my fingers to make it easier to dig for my car keys at the bottom of my purse, while limiting their exposure to cold.  Second, having the flip top with hobo gloves underneath provides two layers of wool, keeping my fingers extra warm.


In all honesty, I am still sad about not finding my one lost mitten, as I actually liked my original pair of mittens better - both the color choice and the pattern I chose for color work.  But, I am still happy to have a hand-made replacement that is a reflection of me.

What's the longest it has taken you to replace something lost with another hand made item?  What is your ideal pair of winter mittens?  If you live in a warmer climate, what's a weather appropriate accessory that you have made or would like to make?

Live in this moment and love life!
Annabelle

20 comments:

  1. You are way ahead of me on mittens. My ideal mittens were made by my grandmother. It had begun to become so difficult for me to find mittens that I like that I made my first pair last summer. Gramma's mittens were knitted tightly on smaller needles so that when she finished knitting them, it was is they had been partially felted - very, very warm. The mittens I made are not has heavy; I need to learn to make some changes in the number of stitches and needle size to begin to duplicate the ones she made. But I do have right and left handed mittens now.

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    1. Oh wow, those do sound really warm! Hopefully you will be able to replicate what your grandmother made. My grandma made my sister and I mittens when we were younger - I think they were just made of acrylic yarn, but because they were made on such small needles, we could play in the snow for hours before we came in complaining of wet and cold hands.

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  2. Ooo, very cute! I just learned to knit so, I haven't tackled color work yet but, fair isle is definitely high on my list. That flip-top mittens does seem ideal. Last year, I crocheted a pair of fingerless gloves, which I love for their convenience but, on the rare icy cold day, my fingertips froze. Luckily, it hasn't gotten that cold here yet so, I'm practicing my knitting on weather-appropriate cowls instead.

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    1. I am so glad you learned to knit, I can't wait to see what your future projects will look like. A cowl sounds like a great first project - I've seen so many wonderful ones on ravelry. Fingerless gloves are also on my to-do list (more for early Spring and Fall rather than winter though).

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  3. I love flip-top mittens! Yours are so pretty! I have two pairs in fleece that I bought to wear while working outside. I'm sure yours are much warmer, but until I learn to knit, I'm glad that I can find that style in the store. I have considered making the thumb flip-top as well (especially for those times when I have to use double-stick tape on costumes).

    The other great thing about the flip-top is you can insert a hand-warmer packet and not lose it when you have to pull your fingers out for a minute because it will stay in the "pocket". =)

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    1. Thank you Brooke. I think making the thumb a flip-top would be extra convenient, perhaps I'll have to look into that with my next pair. I have yet to try putting hand warmers in the flip top, but there are certainly days when I could those.

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  4. Wow! Once more I'm in awe of your knitty skills! They're beautiful!

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  5. Wow! I'm in awe of your knitty skills again! They're so pretty!

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    1. And I've commented twice. Been one of those days!

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    2. Thank you Vicki! No worries, I am sure I have commented twice on my fair share of blogs, if not yours than plenty of others ;)

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  6. Those are AWESOME mitts, and you look gorgeous! ^_^

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  7. I love the mittens! I lost some fingerless mittens that I bought in fleece from Eddie Bauer years ago -- probably when the rage first started. I hated the fleece, I disliked the velcro, but they were so handy. I've been dying to recreate them in knitting.

    What is the book your pattern is from? I have to try this pattern!

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    1. Thank you Jennifer! I listed all the information I have on the pattern, I guess it is more of a pamphlet rather than a book. I tried searching the internet and ravlery for the pattern so I could link it, but had no such luck. If you would really love to try the pattern, I wouldn't mind mailing you the pattern - I love to share!

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    2. I like the shape of the mittens. I looked over Ravelry and couldn't seem to find a similar shape and style. I'd love the pattern! That is so sweet to offer!

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    3. I just sent you an email so we can work out the details. I think it is a great pattern that others should enjoy as well.

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  8. Wao, they turned out amazing Annabelle!! I love how you can remove the top so you see your fingers. Sorry about loosing your original mitten, I understand that can be very dissapointing :(

    www.thejoyoffashion.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Marie! I bet you don't have much use for wool mittens in beautiful Panama.

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  9. Wow. Those look really complicated. I grew up where it was cold (Pennsylvania) , but yeah ... while we have some cold days here, there aren't enough for me to knit mittens. Yours are fantastic! I'm still trying to figure out what to knit for practicality here (the 100% wool shrug, while lovely, isn't terribly useful... and we have enough hats) Lace something probably. In the meantime, I'll do baby gifts and dishcloths. :)

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    1. They're actually not too complicated. If you can knit lace (and I know you can), then you can do color work. Reading the pattern is the same idea, but instead of a symbol representing a yarn over or knit 2 together it represents the color to be used.

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