Saturday, April 13, 2013


I accidentally deleted a post. It had my mitten-making pictures. Did you catch those MITTENS? You did? Oh good! Now we can talk about them! I can hardly hold up under the excitement of designing my own mittens.

First, the show and tell: This is my third pair of Chevalier Mittens this winter. (by Mari, a lovely Finnish crafter). I don't normally enjoy repeating a project, but the finished result here is just so very beautiful.

giving you the finger with a wooly mitten
I made brown pair for my mother-in-law for Christmas and Will was totally admiring and covetous (Will doesn't exactly share my passion for wool craft, although he's a patient listener when I'm on Ravelry and always compliments the finished project. He's a good soul.) So I made him a pair for St. Patrick's day; appropriately green and appropriately cabled. 

He LOVES these mittens, which shows he's cool and has good taste.

So then, with two weeks till my parents birthdays, I cast on for two more pairs: cherry red chevalier mittens for my mother, and a daring original design project for Dad.

not quite sure what that red mark is;  random bits of thread always show up in my photos

I wanted something more "manly" than cables; something geometric, something subtle, something Nordic or Baltic. But I couldn't find a pattern that was right (or free, one of my knitting disciplines). So I took a hint from Elizabeth Zimmerman (the magnificent), got the squared paper, and one thing led to another....


During this flurry of knitting, quite a bit of David Copperfield (audiobook) was revisited, a few favourite tunes added to the list, like these lovely lads (Mumford and Sons) and these fun people (oh my, how I love their names!) and the often replayed Barton Hollow (Thank you Angela. Really now, how would I ever learn about anything cool, without you?). I also checked back to Elizabeth Zimmerman's pithy (but obscure) directions in Knitter's Almanac. Elizabeth Zimmerman EMPOWERS.

Knitting Talk:
I learned a lot with this project. I'm not crazy over the ribbed cuff for one thing. It's a bit plump and loose and dumb. Next time I'll try a smoother, fitted cuff, maybe with an idiot cord border. Also, I used an even number of stitches in the front pattern, which is less pleasing to the eye and harder to design than the traditional odd-number built around a single middle stitch. Am I getting technical? Try it, you'll see what I mean.

Also, the palm pattern falls apart at the thumb increases....(not the thumb, just the pattern) ...which expalins the traditional ladder border around the thumb, I guess.

red Chevalier mitten, very useful for mug-holding

Anyway, there's my record of wooly goodness for you and for posterity. MP.


  1. So great! Love it and thanks for sharing your cool stuff...

  2. Glad to see you back at posting, Mary!

    I hope that we can catch up soon.

    PS. I made rainbow cupcakes with the little boys in mind. Wished they could have been here to help eat them:

  3. Miss you guys! See you in 2 weeks! ♥ A.

  4. Clever you. They look deliciously warm and cosy :)

  5. Mary, your blog is so beautiful! (I'm an old friend of John's and he gave me your blog address awhile back. I've read through a few posts in the last few weeks.) I love the gorgeous photos of your boys and all the cool things they're doing with your mom. As for the wool - wonderful. I think I'll need to live to be 200 in order to pick up (and become good at) the art of knitting. I don't know how you do it. My fave photo of yours is a picture of your dining table chandelier (I think!) with orange maple leaves woven through it. Just stunning. Thanks for all the inspiration. You and hubby are making a lovely life together.

  6. Beautiful! I have several single mitts knitted up, waiting for their mates. Sigh. With your cuff...have you tried using less stitches and smaller needles, then increasing for your mitt? Because ribbing does give such a nice stretchy cuff! If I'm patronizing you, tell me so! I don't know how experienced a knitter you any case, these original designs turned out beautifully!