26. November 2009 12:03
This year for Christmas, I was asked by Mark's Grandma to make her some cabled mittens with some alpaca yarn we bought over in Newfoundland on a family wedding trip. This yarn is 100% Alpaca, and super soft. In fact, it might be the most luxurious alpaca yarn I have ever come into contact with (shudder at memory of Bad Bernat Alpaca yarn... ewwww)
So of course, I offered to oblige and set out to decide what kind of mittens to make. I surfed for patterns, and looked at other projects online and didn't exactly see what I wanted. The yarn is about sport/dk weight, so the pattern needed to be a little more detailled than just one cable down the back (as a lot of beginner cable mitten patterns) and I didn't want to go so far as to make the super-insane cable/patterned mitts (a-la-Jared-Flood Druid Mittens - which I love, but to be completely honest, If I ever make these they will be for Me and Me alone).
I realized that I would have to wing it.. and set off on my own. I also decided to keep detailled notes of how they were made, just in case I decide later on to write up a free pattern or something. I took detailled measurements of Granny's hands, and swatched various stitch patterns to make sure they would fit properly. I had 2 x 50g balls of yarn, but the label didn't list yardage. I hoped I would have enough (and in the end I think I maybe had 40 yards left!)
Here is the result:
I worked a standard 1x1 rib (for lots of stretch and comfort) and decided on 3 cables up the back of the hand would look nice and balanced, and to work the backs and thumbs in plain stockinette. Between the cables, I used a single Ktbl (Knit through back loop) rib to make the line stand out. Because of all the purl stitches amongst the cables, the mitten has a nice amount of ease, so even if my calculations are a bit off they should still fit. I mostly used my own hands as measurement devices, since the only real size difference between Granny's and my own hands were the wrist sizes (length of fingers and width around hands and such were very close to being the same)
I wanted the cables to be symmetrical and look balanced so I made the cable twists all turn towards the middle. I like the result :) The thumb gusset was modelled (from memory) after the first mitten pattern I ever made as a child... with basic increases every second row until I had enough stitches for the thumb, and the rest of the mitten was worked in established cables/stockinette and then ended like the toe of a sock, decreasing 4 stitches per round until 10 sts remained and using kitchener stitch to tie it all together.
I hope Granny likes them :)
** I am considering writing up the pattern for these mittens, but am not sure if there would be any interest in it... if you think you'd like a pattern for these, please let me know! **