making it even better

What I love about knitting and making many things by hand is that I can customize to my heart’s desire. When something is “finished” it isn’t set in stone as finished. I can continue changing if I want or need.

In 2008, I knit Little Gem Mitts.

In January 2009, I knit another pair and made modifications to improve the first pair, a much longer cuff and what i term, “button hole thumbs”. They were awesome, but their paired life was short lived as I lost one of the first day of my last semester of Graduate School. I probably have enough yarn left to reknit the missing mitt but I was heart broken and frustrated and never did.

In July 2009 I knit a simple braided pair but lost them in December when I was very disorganized. This was before I acquired the perfect business bag to keep me tidy on my commute.

In January 2010 I knit ysolda’s garter stitch mitts which I love but have a very large fault in that there is no thumb so they don’t keep your hands very warm.

So, in December 2010 I knit a a modified pair with thumbs but these were a gift so I only wore them for the photos. That was a difficult package to mail off!

So here we are in February 2011. I have not knit a new pair from scratch. I have plans to. But it’s just been too darn cold for too darn long and I wanted something… instant. I’ve been wearing that first pair all winter and my fingers have been might frozen. The night of the Meg/Amy class I purchased a ball of LB Collection Baby Alpaca in Black which really closely matches the Regia Silk (especially the worn-all-winter-without-washing-them Regia Silk). I then proceeded to “thwack a mitten onto my mitts” in other words, make my (mostly) warm hands, made warmer.

little gem mitts warm hands, made warmer: progress warm hands, made warmer: progress warm hands, made warmer, thumb mod warm hands, made warmer, thumb mod warm hands, made warmer, thumb mod warm hands, made warmer finished!

They aren’t particularly pretty. They aren’t particularly well knit — I was really trying to get the alpaca around my fingers as fast as I could and the night I knit the first one I walked to the subway with my hand around the rest of the ball for warmth. They are warm and I hope that the temperature rises and stays just a bit warmer until Spring time so I feel compelled to knit a new pair.

This was the fastest route to warmth and actually they still aren’t completely done, not that it’s stopped me wearing them at all stages in their progress… even with needles sticking into them. I have buttons to sew on to keep the mittens tied back when not needed but I don’t know if I’ll ever get that far.

It doesn’t matter at all. They are warm.


If you are wanting instructions on how to retro-fit a pair of fingerless mitts (aka thwack a mitten onto a mitt) I’m working on it.

If you are wanting instructions to start from the beginning, I encourage you to look around at other patterns. Following are a few that caught my eye. Miriam‘s Dimorphous Mittens have been on my to-knit list since she released them. Sarah’s Lady Work Mittens and Colleen’s Urban Necessity Gloves (direct PDF here) look really nice too. Kristen’s Gnomittens (Rav link only, sorry!) and Ruth’s Camera Mittens (direct pdf here) look warm as well.

I’m not sure if my spring mitts will be colourwork, lace, or cables, but I am in love with my almost instant desperate for spring hat and I wonder how it will influence a pair of above-freezing mitts.