Sunday, August 16, 2009

Chipman's Block Mittens

My mom was knitting a mitten from this pattern when she came for a visit and I liked it so much I borrowed the pattern from her and made a pair myself. I thought they would be for my oldest daughter, but they are way too big for this coming winter. The odds of me knowing where they are when they finially fit are not good.

This picture was taken just a short walk from our campsite in Rocky Mountain National Park. It was so beautiful!

This is the second project I have tried in fair isle. My tension still needs a bit of work, but these are an improvement over the first project (a hat). I attended a workshop at a yarn shop about fair isle knitting and the instructor told us to wrap every stitch so that you don't get long "floats" of yarn on the wrong side that can get snagged and so the fabric doesn't get puckered on the right side. Knitting this way makes for a very dense and warm fabric - ideal for mittens.

The pattern comes from Knit Mittens! by Robin Hansen. It's called "Chipman's Block." My mom's mittens are green and yellow and I think I like the higher contrast of her's better than the dark pink and purple of mine. The pink is Lamb's Pride Worsted and the purple is Cascade 220. Using two different colors of the same type of yarn probably would have helped with my tension issues.

This was a good pattern for a fair isle beginner as the pattern is not complicated. There is a chart, but it has a short repeat and it is quickly internalized. The pattern is sized for worsted yarn knit on size 1 and 3 needles. The cuffs and thumbs are knit on size 1 and the hand is knit on the 3's. Knitting with worsted yarn on size 1 needles sounded pretty painful to me, so I did all of the first mitten with the 3's. When I was finished, I did think that the thumb looked pretty big (the mitten on the left below), so on the second one, I did the thumb on the size 1. And I did find it painful. But, the thumb looks better.

Now I've got another pair of socks on the needles. But I'm clearly going to run out of yarn before they are finished. Buying more of the same yarn is not an option. What to do, what to do....

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