Finished Persnickety

So going through my box of mittens I discovered that I had actually finished the persnickety mitten! Which means it has been done for about as long as the other (the first+a week). So of course I’m going to share it with you …

Finished Persnickety Mittens. Pattern by SpillyJane Knits. Knit by: Anne Grove.

Finished Persnickety Mittens. Pattern by SpillyJane Knits. Knit by: Anne Grove.

In the first post about the Persnickety Mitten I asked what persnickety means. I love the name as it seems whimsical to me. Ellen Anthony answered my question and thank you so much, Ellen!

persnickety means something that is difficult with small and demanding parts, and is not correct unless you do the parts right! It can be 2 colors of pale pink and if you use the wrong one you won’t know until you have finished the second mitten, or it could be a very complicated recipe from your grandma, or it can be your grandma herself!
So something difficult with small parts! That is has this pattern, but I must admit I did get into a rhythm that made it easier as the mitten progressed. So don’t worry about the name 😉
Persnickety Mitten back side.

Persnickety Mitten back side.

The autumn has ben crazy. I’ve been occupied with school to such a degree that I have had no energy for doing almost anything outside of school. The little energy I’ve had I’ve spend on relaxing and my volunteer work. I’m the chairman in a steering group that runs an educational role-play for 14-17 year old, and the steering group has had a very tough year so a lot of work has gone into getting us on top again. And luckily we are getting there.

I need to close the mitten project and I’m going to do that by posting the last 2 or three mittens that I have found in my stash and then hold the give away. There is two pairs done in needle binding! The technique used in the Northern Europe before knitting came up through turkey and Central Europe. The two pairs I have are of different stitches so I hope you look forward to seeing what they are!

Persnickety Mitten

Persnickety

Persnickety Mitten with yarn balls. Pattern by SpillyJane Knits. Knit by: Anne Grove.

Yet a mitten from SpillyJane Knits. This is one is really cute. Cute and simple. I am not sure what drew me to it: the pattern or the name. I have no idea what is means – is it a place perhaps? It’s just so darn fun to say (not that I know if I pronounce it correctly).

The palm is not my friend. At least not before blocking it. I don’t know quite yet. Perhaps I’ve just been occupied and tired this week. Lots is going on and thoughts are wondering off every time I sit down to knit.

Anywho, this is going to be a short post as I am currently out feeding 30 geeks. I probably won’t find the time sunday to post the finished mittens as I won’t be home before very late. But don’t despair – I have a small post ready for the sunday read 😉

Back of Persnickety Mitten.

Back of Persnickety Mitten.

I have done two pairs of mittens from SpillyJane before on this project. Or one as a warm up and one as the first pair of mittens. The gnome mittens and the flamingo mittens.

SpillyJane patterns contains instructions as well as a chart. It costs $ 6.00 USD but if you purchase several at a time she gives a nice discount. You can find the pattern here on Ravelry or on her etsy shop.

Rosa Ros

Rosa Ros is a modern version of a traditional scandinavian motif. The rose is seen throughout Scandinavia but are of course mostly know as the selbu rose (from Norway). Gotland (Sweden), how ever, has a lot of roses – less figurative than the Selbu.

Solveig Larsson, the knitter behind has dedicated her life to mittens. She published the book The Mitten Book and I tell you, it’s an inch+ thick book of mitten after mitten. Almost every other page is a new one.
All Solveigs patterns are

Rosa Ros. Pattern: Solveig Svensson. Knitted by Anne Grove.

Rosa Ros. Pattern: Solveig Svensson. Knitted by Anne Grove.

This project, let me tell, it was a joy! The stitches just flew from one needle to the other and before I knew of it I had finished the first mitten. I had actually intended to knit these on the span of two weeks as per the setup of this project. But as a good book I just couldn’t put it down. It has been a joy doing these mittens. I think they might be my favorite so far. I’m sure they would be yours too if you could feel them. ‘Cos yum!

Solveig is very clear on her choice of yarn: alpaca. And this does give a wonderful mitten. If you are not used to knitting with different qualities of yarn you should do yourself that favor. A wonderful project can be amazing with a good quality yarn. I am glad I did these mittens in the recommended yarn^^

Front and back picture.

Front and back picture.

The cuff

The pattern doesn’t have a start to the cuff, non of her charts do. Normally most mittens will have some kind of edge before the charted cuff part. In The Mitten Book, Solveig have a chapter in the beginning showing different kinds that one can pick and choose from. I don’t remember if she writes this, but I have seen her use it on several mittens. I did a 12 rounds garter stitch. Plain and simple. I like that it doesn’t take from the pattern, but I do figure that others will like some cute edging – luckily you can choose which you use for your project 😉

Close-up of cuff, Rosa Ros.

Close-up of cuff, Rosa Ros.

Notes and thoughts

1. Choose an edging for the cuff. I chose a simple and somewhat stocky cuff: 12 rows of garter stitch.

2. I also added a very little detail to the pattern. I don’t know if it shows in any of the pictures but casting on I used both green colors. Giving a small row of light green loops before the cuff. I didn’t do it in any fancy way, I just made a loose knot to tie the two strands together and unwound it afterwards.

3. Yarn choice. Do yourself a favor and knit this pattern in alpaca! It deserves it and it’s what Solveig would do. It makes it a little fluffier, softer, smoother and much more yummy^^ I used DROPS alpaca for these, but you can use any alpaca

4. Color choice. The three shades of light pink for the rose can be tricky. I love the three colors I chose, while on their own. But the leap from first to second was just too big. Several times while knitting I discussed with myself if I should unwind and do it only in two. Just have in mind when you pick out colors that one color isn’t too powerfull and take out the pallet.

Besides being an awesome knitter and author she is also a wonderful person! She helped me to the pattern without much ado about nothing. And thank you for that, Solveig!
If you want to see more of her amazing mittens she has about 160 on Ravelry, you can see them here. You can also go to her webpage, though I could only find it in Swedish. Her website can be found here: solveigs vantar.

If you want to get your hands on this pattern you can get it, and many more patterns by purchasing The Mitten Calendar 2013 through the webpage. I will also recommend buying her book. It’s simply amazing. It comes in scandinavian languages and english (at least! that’s just what I know of).

Closeup of rose pattern - just because I'm in love with it!

Closeup of rose pattern – just because I’m in love with it!

Dr. Zoidberg in the house

And in the living room too! These mittens are as fun and easy as they are fast to knit. You only need to be able to knit, purl and make a stitch.

I haven’t met anyone so far that hasn’t gotten shiny eyes from seeing these. Oh how I wish these were adult size. It’s gonna have to be a project to come^^

Lobster Claw mittens. Pattern by Morehouse Farm. Knitted by Anne Grove

Lobster Claw mittens. Pattern by Morehouse Farm. Knitted by Anne Grove

I made the medium size. I must admit I don’t have a clue about for what age child this is. The only directions for size is small, medium, large and then with how to size for your own child. As I don’t have a child at hand to test on I have no idea what the measurements tell. On the finished size I would guess a size 4-5 years, but I am not all sure. If any of you have any input on what age fits a hand that measures 4.5″ do tell!

In general I actually don’t have much to say about this pattern. Normally I would do a ‘notes & thoughts’ but I don’t really see the relevance this time, so I will leave it out. The only “problem” I had was about the size.
The pattern call for a double stranded cast off – I did a single as I like how it roles. That’s the only change I made.

I normally rave about the layout, as it’s in my opinion very important for the comprehension and the overall impression. The pattern is easy to understand and doesn’t fill more than one page (and no more is needed!) so it’s very easy to keep an overview.

Lobster Claws

The Lobster Claw mittens can be found here on Ravelry or directly on  Morehouse Designs. It’s priced at $5.00 USD. You aught to check out their other patterns. Many fun and quirky! They have some scarfs that will make you giggle all day long.

Finished Owls

So there Owls In Tree mittens are all done! And they are adorable. I must admit the pattern grew on me during the project^^ Not that I didn’t like it before, I just like it much more now. They were fun to do. I love the cuff with the edging, the latvian braid and the cuff chart. And of course the mitten chart in it self. Also I love the palm chart. It’s simple and very classic and makes the mitten more durable.

I wrote in the long post about the owls in tree mittens that I was trying to knit looser so all my mittens wouldn’t be size S/M women’s and it worked out! I have a tendency to knit very tight – and changing needles doesn’t seem to help a bit (Im strange!) so I used quite a lot of concentration to make myself knit looser throughout this project. I think I found a good flow in it so this experiment was a success.

Finished Owl In Tree Mittens. Pattern: Fact Woman from Mod Knits. Knit by: Anne Grove

Finished Owl In Tree Mittens. Pattern: Fact Woman from Mod Knits. Knit by: Anne Grove

I had a little trouble finding the time for blocking these mittens as I sunday: went to Copenhagen to teach a course in needle binding (for what must have been about 80 people – and two other teachers), monday: worked 8am to 8pm fixating and washing about 14 meters of banners I dyed last week and tuesday: worked from 9am-3pm cutting banners, overlocking sides and generally finishing it all up. So it totals to about 49 working hours in three days. Phew! I’m happy to start a fun and silly kids mitten now.

Oh and here is a little thing about how to finish up. You know those single stitches that just seems to disappear into your knit work? Well here is what I do to make them come out into the work again:

How I treat hiding stitches in colorknitwork.

How I treat hiding stitches in colorknitwork.

Mittenz with a set

While waiting for the sunlight to come out, so I can take a good picture of the finished Owl in Tree mitten, I give you Mittenz:

I wrote in the Either Or post a little tip about doing an simple and easy project alongside a very complicated one. Well Mittenz was my easy project. I often do this when I’m working with something complicated as I have moments I just need to knit – not think. These were in the poll alongside Either Or Mittens for the first round of Technical Time. They didn’t win or come close, but I had to try them out!

Mittenz. Pattern by Mariella Apadaco. Knit by Anne Grove.

The pattern is made by Mariella Apodaca and is available for free on her blog here. I love the pattern as it’s a mitten done a 100% in stockinette stitch AND it’s knit flat. This means it’s a nice project for the beginner and an easy one for an experienced, however not too boring for you to loose your interest. I’m quite into those where everybody can be in. The pattern is sized for child or small woman but can easily be accommodated for bigger sizes.

This mitten differs from traditionally knit mittens as it’s not only knit flat it’s also knit sideways. You use increase and decrease to shape thumb and fingertip and knit in garter stitch which makes the mitten have a ribbing effect and gives it a snug fit around the hand. So don’t be alarmed if you think it looks ‘skinny’ It’s intensional 😉

The Mittenz mitten not sewn together.

Her pattern is written out, row by row. Personally I prefer my patterns as short and cut to the bone so this is a bit too much for me. I normally write those patterns down in the abridged version, and this one didn’t take more space than an A5. Perfect for having in the bag with you on the go!

The material was Ragg-Strømpegarn from Hjerte Garn in variegated blues. A skein didn’t quite do it, so I have an almost full skein to use for something else. Any suggestions?

Mittenz

Notes and thoughts

1. When choosing your stitch markers (you need two) use two different from each other! I confused myself to begin with a lot because I had only one kind of stitch marker.
You are working flat so you are turning your work again and again and it’s easy to forget which marker is fingertip and which is thumb.

2. I found when sewing the mitten together it makes the nicest seam if you lie the work flat and sew it together rather than sow with back loop stitches.

Apodaca has more mittens knit sideways in a bit more complex version: Longway sideways mittens and Original sideways mittens. This, mittenz, is however the simplest version as you don’t have to make new stitches only cast off.

Owls in trees on wooden needles

In Africa and the Middel East the owl is a potent of death. If you see or hear it’s hoot, it means someone will die. In general they are omens of bad luck, ill health and death. It is still a belief today. In the Americas the owl is surrounded by taboos, that often has do to with sorcery and evils. They too considered the owl as a symbol of death and destruction. The Aztec god of death was even depicted as an owl.

In western cloture it’s associated with wisdom. But it has too been associated with bad omen as a ‘monster of the night’. Today however the owl has come into fashion and is considered a cute animal. There is something about those big eyes and surprised look! It’s simply a hoot!

Owl in Tree Mitten. Pattern by Fact Woman from Mod Knits. Knit by Anne Grove.

Owl in Tree Mitten. Pattern by Fact Woman from Mod Knits. Knit by Anne Grove.

So the first Owl in Three mitten is done (not blocked yet) and the second is coming along nicely. Owls do belong in trees but it’s not that often you see them depicted there, not these days at least. For this project I decided to try to work not so tight as I normally do. It went fairly well but resulted in a bit wonky mitten. I am sure it will be just as it should be after I’ve blocked it though. It went better than expected and the big test is to do the second in the same gauge.

This pattern by Fact Woman of Mod Knits contained not just the wonderful pattern but also a guide to latvian braids. For me this was an important part of the pattern as I want to portray this technique. It is a traditional way of decorating, especially cuffs, on mittens in Eastern Europa as well Scandinavian. In the scandinavian mittens I have seen it mostly on young girls mittens: simple white mittens with a colored braid to underline the cuff.

Owl in Tree mitten: palm of hand.

Owl in Tree mitten: palm of hand.

I found this amazing teal colored yarn and I had to do this mitten in it. It might not be so tree like but it’s beautiful! These pictures doesn’t do the teal color justice but it’s as close as I can come with the camera I have at hand at the moment.

Latvian braid

This was my first try at Latvian braids ever and I can tell you they are surprisingly easy to do! 😀 Which is very awesome. It does of course take longer than just knitting as you need to twist the yarn and knit a stitch, twist the yarn and knit a stitch. But it’s definitely worth it! The first braid lies a little better than the second, but I think this could be because I didn’t work the second braid so much into shape as the first one. This just means I have to do a little more work on it – maybe steam it a bit. If you want to steam smaller knitwear you can do it over a pot of steaming water shape it a bit and then shake it lightly.

Detail of cuff and latvian braid.

Detail of cuff and latvian braid.

Besides the braids you can on the picture see the detail of the beginning of the cuff. It has an edged look to it and is folded in two. I sewed the fold in after the mitten was done but it looks like Fact Women did it differently. Or at least very early in the process as several pictures show it being done already when doing the latvian braids. There is no mention about how and when.

Notes & thoughts

1. The pattern is nicely made and easy to understand however it’s a bit strangely put together. The first page is very packed with pictures, size+gauge, what you need, keys and a chart. It would have helped a lot if the first page was only a front page with pictures and then the second page was the pre work information. Also I find the placement of the instructions for the Latvian Braid quite strange. It is placed in the middle of the pattern and not in the end, even though it has a distinctly different look form the rest of the pattern. It was obviously done as two different parts and then just plotted in and it shows. This doesn’t mean it’s a bad pattern or the direction aren’t helpful, but it feeds to the overall impression and experience of the project.

2. The latvian braid tutorial is very well made. In my opinion the pictures with the captions is all that is needed but my way is very visual so it’s good there is description in text as well. Again I would have liked a bit different layout, but it’s not a big problem as to understanding.

3. The charts of this pattern are well made and easy to read. They are in two colors that isn’t too big a contrast to each other so it’s nicer for the eye to look at. I appreciated this.

4. I was quite confused about the use of increase in form of ML and MR. Every time I have done that increase in patterns before I have done it the opposite way of what this pattern writes. I don’t know if this is a mistake, intensional or maybe it’s just common to this where Fact Women works. If confused me at least!

5. In particular I enjoyed the palm pattern. I have a fondness of this kind of pattern and it’s the first mitten I’m doing in this project that has such a small pattern. The Jolnir Mitten had something a little like it, but that was a little larger. It’s a traditional way to do palm. It’s makes for a thicker textile which gives more warmth, durability and protects the palm.

Owl in Tree Mitten: palm detail.

Owl in Tree Mitten: palm detail.