Denise's NeedleWorks
Location: Ames, Iowa, United States

I am wife to Jeff, homeschool mom to 8, a knit and crochet teacher and totally addicted to knitting, crocheting and other fiber arts. After knitting, crocheting and sewing my own clothing from the age of 10 on, I studied textiles & clothing in college. That lead me to 25 years of custom dressmaking and alterations work, while sewing, knitting and crocheting for my growing children. I have worked in the yarn industry for the past 3 years and have been designing my own knitting patterns. Visit my web site at Find me as DeniseInIowa on

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Warm Woolen Mittens

The weather is changing here in Iowa. The northern part of the state has already had a freeze. We haven't had frost yet but the leaves are starting to lose their color. It will be cold soon and there are lots of hands that need a pair of mittens to keep them warm.

I have been making some simple mittens for the International students at our church. These are some odds and ends of wool yarns. For this pair I used the Easy Striped Mittens pattern. I had to go up to size 8 needles to get the right gauge. I don't usually have problems with gauge so that puzzles me.

I also think there was a mistake in the pattern. There should be 3 more rows before the thumb shaping. The photo's stripes don't match the instructions. This pair should fit a pre-teen to teen. It is a little short for me. I think I will add the extra rows to the next pair so it will fit an adult.

Then I started an Elizabeth Zimmermann pattern--the Norwegian mittens from Knitting Around. Size 4 needles with a blue Nature Spun wool and a dark teal Lion Wool. I am using the snowflake design for the back of the mitten.

I haven't done a lot of Fairisle because it takes more concentration than I can usually find around our busy household!

I am enjoying this though. I have been trying to get the tensions balanced which has been tricky. The two yarns are slightly different thicknesses which I think is affecting my tension. I keep trying different holds, knitting one looser, the other tighter etc so this mitten might look a little funny when it is done. But as Elizabeth says in her books--blocking can work wonders.

There are stripes on each side of the mitten and on the thumb. Not as easy as it looks because with the increasing stitches of the thumb gusset the sequence of colors keeps changing.

The palm has a simple pattern. I kept looking at it though and thinking it didn't look quite right. I finally discovered that the white boxes in the chart should have been black and the black-white. I had to rip and restart at the wrist again! I remade the chart in my Easy Graph Designer program so it would be easy to follow.

It has been moving right along since I straightened that out. Having a yarn in each hand is becoming more comfortable as I work. I start to miss it when I pick up other projects!

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Blogger Knittingloca said...

Those fair isle mittens are absolutely gorgeous!!!!
Awesome job!!!

9:31 AM  

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