Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Mitten mania - I can handle it...

I was so pleased with my Selbuvotter that I have been deep in my other mitten books dreaming of future projects.

This is another of my favourite books. One of the reasons that I find mittens such a fascinating little project is that luckily for the knitting community, some wonderful books have been written capturing the patterns and styles of different ethnic groups and locations. These mittens, drawn from the Komi people of Russia are an altogether larger garment from the Selbuvotter and also use much starker,more geometric shapes, softened by a joyous use of colour.


For mittens I like to use traditional 2ply Shetland yarn. It has a sturdy, woolly quality which bends the colours into a warm solid fabric. It also comes in a dazzling range of colours - just look at this....


I have a good sized plastic bin full of balls of this yarn which comes in very convenient 25g balls but I have to own up to the occasional fantasy of having a box containing all the shades on this card. The shade card is a good substitute however, I think every home should have one.

After much deliberation I chose this pattern. What attracted me to it was the way it plays a palette of toning colours against a neutral tone. In terms of my self education in not making a hash of colour choices I thought I might be able to have a good bash at this!


Here are the colours that I chose. Jamieson's Spindrift in (clockwise from top left), Sand, Foxglove, Madder, Anemone and Mulberry.



And here is my progress so far. I have to admit that I have been knitting pretty much exclusively on this since the weekend to the point that the second finger on my left hand is positively sore with jabbing it in my ham fisted two handed stranded knitting style.

In other news I have made good progress on the hand spun scarf. I am very pleased with it as because it is worked on the bias with a reversible stitch, the gentle striping and texture of the yarn is accentuated. Now I have to set to and spin up the next batch.

One of the habits I am least proud of is my tendency to abandon a project when it is 99% finished. My flutter scarf has been finished since September, just requiring a gentle blocking. Finally, this weekend I realised that having removed layers of detritus from my spare bed, I could use it as a perfectly good blocking surface. A gentle blocking has really made a difference to the scarf which has a lovely floaty, fluttery finish.
I think the merino tencel is a good fibre for this pattern as it has a lightness and sheen that sets it off well.
I didn't over block the edges as I wanted to retain the flutteryness. Now that some time has elapsed since I finished this project it is hard to remember that it was fully accomplished with a drop spindle and pair of knitting needles. Simple things....
Finally, it's definitely getting chilly so I have invested in a new hot water bottle. Of course, every knitter knows that it just isn't done to go to bed with a naked hottie...

Can anyone recommend any good hot water bottle cover patterns?

15 comments:

Dori Ann said...

The scarf is beautiful! I so enjoy looking at your knitting, you are very inspiring!

Harriet said...

Another lovely pair of mittens!
I'm just about to make the Hot Water Bottle Cozy by Kathy Pusasta (free on Ravelry) for my daughter-in-law. More two coloured knitting!

celadon2 said...

Fantastic mittens.

I'm about to jump on the mitten knit wagon and join in.

Printed off pattern, but dare not cast on just yet, keep knitting christmas socks - nearly up to doing a lace pair, oh the joy, the ones for the three blokes have been plain stocking st - yawn.

Then I'll cast on for mittens.

Both sets of mittens you've done/doing are fantastic.

stash haus said...

If you like cables, take a look at this cover.

http://myglasshouse.typepad.com/knitting/2003/08/hot_water_bottl.html

Love the mittens!

noraknits said...

your mitten is stunning!

I've this hottie cosy queued for my next project - http://www.yarnagogo.com/bawk_hot_water_bottle_coz/

sussexyorkie said...

Lovely Mitts, I musn't cast anything else on but they are so tempting. Both handspun scarves are fab.

Louise said...

I've come to your blog via Cornflower; it's a real fiber feast! Lovely mittens, and I think the colours of the Shetland yarn you have shown are delicious. A burst of colour to brighten up a dull November day.

RooKnits said...

Another fantastic mitten. The scarves are gorgeous too.

LittleBerry said...

Love the flutter scarf.... and the mittens are looking great :o) I still like the selbu ones though **sighs**

The handspun scarf is looking good too althoughit's finer than I first thought it would be when I saw the fibre spun up....

tea and cake said...

what a delicious treat it is to read your blog! I love the mittens and the scarf. I too must not cast on anything new until I've blocked and sewn up the 5, yes 5 cardi's I've finished for my baby grand-daughter. Then, I bet she'll need some new mittens .....

Karen said...

Another lovely mitten! I covet the shade card, too.

picperfic said...

oh Jane, you are so good at making me want to knit more things! When I do two colour work I use both hands, go on try it....it feels so awkward at first but then it becomes second nature and gets quicker the more you do it! I love the flutter scarf, I shall be looking out for that pattern. As for a hottlebottle cover how about this one http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/toasty-hot-water-bottle-cosy

Now back to my spinning!

Squiblet said...

I covet things in all the colour variations too. I went through a making mosaic phase and wanted tiles in jars in all the colours of the rainbow on shelves. And I'd love a craft room with all colours of thread and wool and buttons and beads....... so I know exactly what you mean.
I love the mittens. I have colour knitting envy but I haven't tried it yet.

CCK said...

Jane, hope all is well, miss your blogging, but tis the season and busy usually keeps us occupied. Looking forward to the mittens.

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