How’s everyone’s 2020 going? Doesn’t it feel like we’re living in the future, even though it’s the present? It’s late February and I’m still adjusting.
After Christmas, I took a small hiatus with projects but all the sales hit and I succumbed to buying some items that helped kick off some new WIPs for 2020. I started a poncho (this one, to be exact), a little amigurumi that is green and baby/child-esque from one of the biggest movie franchises in history, and to keep my brain extra challenged, a pair of knitted fingerless mitts that also has a cable pattern. (For in-progress photos of the green baby, you can check my Instagram, I have a story highlight on that one.)
Not surprisingly, I finished the knitted mitts first, although 2017 Zoe would have found that hard to believe. I thought I might finish the amigurumi doll but I’m taking my sweet, sweet time with it. The mitts presented several new-to-me challenges: making cables and thumb gussets, mostly, although I was slightly worried I would have Second Thing Fatigue. That’s where you make the first of two items and then are exhausted by it and never make the second half of a project. I had that happen to me when I tried crocheting a pair of socks. Turns out, crocheting a ton of single crochet in the round for hours on end is extremely tedious, and I never made the full pair of socks. I was thrilled that didn’t happen with the knitted mitts! Knitting in the round is more soothing and goes pretty quickly, especially working with a chunky yarn like I was. Next time I do a pair of these, I will try “TAAT” or two at a time.
For my mitts, I used a pretty hand-painted aran-weight yarn from Knit Picks called Muse, colorway Vitalize. I liked all the yellows and greens with flecks of red.
For the most part, despite being an intermediate pattern, I found the pattern relatively easy to work up. I did have to do some math that scrunched my brain a bit, since I decreased the number of stitches in order to get gauge. I cast on 36 and I knitted these using magic loop. I’m just not a double-pointed needle kinda gal. I used my brand new cable needle to help me, watched some handy YouTube videos to make sure I was on the right track, and knitted away. There are definitely ways to have more finesse in cabling but for a first-time project, this wasn’t bad at all. My mitts don’t look as refined as some of the other linked projects but that’s okay. It gave me enough confidence keep trying cabled projects.
The trickiest part for me was making the thumbs. I was fine with slipping the thumb stitches onto scrap yarn but I also had to learn the backwards loop cast-on which is so simple it’s hard. At least initially. After casting on those extra stitches, you complete the hand and bind off. (I used Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy bind-off.) I also had to pick up stitches, which is made easy only with a crochet hook, at least for me. I do not have even or pretty thumbs on these mitts but they’re chock full of lessons learned. The yarn is sorta stretchy because it’s a superwash wool but next time, I think I would like to go with a merino/nylon blend, or something with a tad more stretch. The chunk to the yarn helped me knit them up more quickly, though, so that’s something.
Overall, extremely pleased with these and they’ll be great for the transitional seasons when it’s not too chilly but chilly enough to need a hand warmer. Plus, the fingertips being free means being able to use anything with a touch screen.
If you’re a fellow knitter, I’d love to hear about any successful fingerless mitts patterns you like, cables or not.
Until next time, friends!