One Mitten Done, Half the Fun!

I started these mittens in October, as my Slotober project. Slow indeed! I was knitting a row or two every morning before work and a bit more on weekends. The routine waxed and waned and so, over the past week I finally finished the left mitten!!! One down, one to go. Here’s to knitting the right mitten in less than 4 months, as I picked up yarn today for my next project—the Lila Top Down sweater.

My gauge was shy of what the pattern recommends. I knit tightly and MT Unicorn Tails yarn was a little thinner than the recommended Brooklyn Tweed Loft. I also neglected to do a swatch—I was too eager to get started and forgot this step. Nonetheless, this left mitten fits my hand just fine. I remember when I first came across these mittens in 2012. I was super intimidated by them—I had never knit mittens or done any color work. They seemed intricate beyond my skill level, but their design and color has stuck with me all this time. When I cast on in October, I still had never made a pair of mittens or done any color work. At this point, those nevers didn’t scare me away and intrigued me instead.

Stranded Knitting + Color Dominance

Getting started on these, I was a bit thrown off by the pattern. The color chart is inverted when compared to the photographs that accompany the pattern. Since I wanted to knit the pair represented in the photos, I went back and forth trying to figure out which color was meant to be the dominant color. In the end, I decided to do as the pattern said after reading a post from Paper Tiger blog (DC Blue, BC White). The whole way through, I continued to get my strands tangled as I attempted to trap long strands. Eventually, I’ll probably figure this out, but have been fine with detangling.

After Thought Thumb

The after thought thumb was easy enough. I followed these tutorials on YouTube:

It was my first time using this technique & I mussed the set up a little. When I came back to pick up the stitches, the top/back of thumb was a little wonky and there’s a small hole (pictured above). I just knit 3 together in an effort to close it. Not perfect, but doable.

 

Yarn + Tools

The Unicorn Tails yarn is 100% merino wool and I love the softness of the final fabric. Madeline Tosh’s colors are always beautiful and it’s no surprise that most things I knit are with her yarns—I can’t stay away! I was also excited to be using my new Fringe Co project bag, that my sister got me over the holidays. Being able to thread the yarn thru the yarn guides is such a nice feature.

Project Details

Pattern: 34th & 8th Mittens

Yarn: Madeline Tosh Unicorn Tails (3 skeins of ea. colorway; Antler, Fathom), fingering weight

Needles: US 1, bamboo

Gauge: 36 sts = 3.75″ though I haven’t blocked my mittens yet

project on Ravelry

Slow Fashion October: Week 1

Excited to be casting on mittens from my fall to-do list at a time that coincides with Slow Fashion October. I’ve had a crush on the 34th & 8th mittens since 2012.

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For most of 2013-15, I had put making aside and was fed up with the amount of stuff I had accumulated in order to make things. Every project required at least one element that I didn’t have, even though I had boxes of materials & supplies. My approach has changed, as I’ve found my way back to making this year. I no longer buy without a distinct & immediate use in mind. A lot of my previous making efforts started with browsing the secondhand/vintage craft store and being inspired by the things I found. I’d pick up anything that peaked my interest. With the benefit of next to nothing prices and the self-imposed stress to buy it before it was gone, I ended up with more than I knew what to do with.

Nowadays, I only head to the store with a distinct goal – “buy 2 skeins of yarn to knit this pattern.” I’ve been working with new materials, which cost more, and put an immediate cap on purchasing more than I need. I’m also happy to support more women run companies who make the fibers I work with and own the shops I frequent. I haven’t eliminated my need to purchase materials, but I have brought intention to my choices around making. Additionally, I’ve found that I am happier with the final products, resulting in soon-to-be well-worn & loved pieces that I look forward to wearing each season.

One of which I finished last month – the Agnes sweater. I’m a sporadic and slow knitter, so I started mid-summer in hopes of finishing by winter – success! I was inspired by the #havefancyhouse knit along and Drea Renee Knits’ color selection. The pattern was easy to follow and this piece does knit up quick with the bulky yarn. I wish I had made the arm holes a 1/2″ larger, as it’s a struggle to layer anything with sleeves under. But, as it’s my first sweater, I’m pretty happy. The fit is fairly form-fitting, which is surprising for a heavy weight sweater. Can’t wait to wear it all winter.

I’m also working on paring down my fall closet for “Slotober.” I’m a fan of Project 333 and steadily working my way towards a smaller, better functioning closet. I’m looking forward to following along with Slow Fashion October on Instagram and can’t wait to see what folks are making/repairing/wearing!

 

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