Tuesday, September 15, 2009


The weather is growing colder – it’s not quiiiite scarf weather yet, but in another few weeks it will be cold enough in the mornings for me to want mittens while I wait for my train.  I seem to have lost my purple mittens from last year, which I would be sad about if they had been in better shape; they fuzzed and pilled and just got that “matted Muppet fur” kind of look about them.  It was definitely time to knit a new pair, and for some reason Saturday night I was on a tear:  I had to knit mittens IMMEDIATELY.  None of my other thirty bazillion half-finished projects would do.  It was MITTEN TIME. 

Of course, all the yarn stores were closed at this point.  I had to make do with what I had on hand which, despite my frugal Yankee genetics, is not something I like to do.  I also don’t have a large stash of yarn, and most of what I do have is sock yarn which, I’m guessing, would not make great mittens.  But there in a cubby hole were two skeins of Noro Silk Garden, and I wondered….

Last winter I knit one of those striped Noro scarves that were all over the web.  I didn’t wear it much, though, because it didn’t match any of my other outerwear.  I was also sick of the thing by the time I finished, and was in a right funk about the yarn itself – it was full of sticks and grass and other odd things, and it made me grumpy to have to stop and pick stuff out. I was pleasantly surprised, though, to see how the yarn kind of…bloomed?  after knitting…it kind of pouffed up a little and got nice and squishy.  And I liked the color variations, and how it was a surprise as to what would come next on the skein. 

I figured well, what the heck, it’s worth a try…and cast on for some plain-jane mittens.  On the plus side?  This skein had a lot less crap in it, which made me very happy.  I like the way the yarn knit up – dense, but still soft.  This yarn is 45% silk / 45% mohair / 10% wool, so I am a little worried about how they will survive a Boston winter.  They seem warm (although it was 70 degrees out today, not optimal mitten-testing weather).

On the downside?

I don’t know if it’s possible to get two perfectly matched mittens out of Noro.  Certainly not out of one skein, anyway.  I had to unravel the second skein quite a bit to find a close proximity to the color I started the first mitten with, and then the second skein had much more tan in it, where the first skein went to teal before turning gray/brown.  The dye lots on the band balls match, though…not sure if this was a mistake at the store (one band was taped together, as if it had fallen off), or if that’s just the way things are with Noro.  I’m sorely tempted to make another pair just to see; however…

…first I think I need a hat.

PS:  the mittens actually are the same size; the angle at which I took this photo makes one look a tad smaller.  I was trying to avoid stepping on the cat!


Anonymous said...

My oh my....those mittens came out awesome, especially for ones you did on the spur of the moment. I am really impressed! And I am sure the cat appreciated the thought of not stepping on him.

rinnyrae said...

This encourages me that I may actually get my dad's mittens finished in time for Christmas (the mittens that I promised him for Christmas last year!) I really enjoyed your recent article in Interweave - keep up the good work!