Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Palm Readers

No, I'm not talking about fortune tellers or gypsies (although, that is the first thing that comes to mind when I hear those words).  Although, that would make for an interesting turn in my blog, wouldn't it? :)

What I'm talking about are my newest fingerless mitts.  See, I told you I have an unhealthy obsession. :) All I want to do is knit a whole pile of these kinds of things.  Maybe a pair to match every outfit I wear. :)

The pattern is Palm Readers from Vampire Knits.  This pattern was inspired by the character Alice Cullen, from Twlight.  (Okay, I'm sure I'm hearing a groan or two out there from some of you, but don't worry, I'm not dedicating this entire post to the books or the movies.)  Alice wears some fingerless mitts in the movie New Moon that have had quite the following on Ravelry.  Although I didn't have identical yarn, I found some that are pretty similar.  I love these mitts. 
So, to begin, here's a photo of the mitts not on anyone's hands.  When you get to that last row, and you bind off, you sit back and think, wow, these don't really look like other mitts I've finished.  That's because of the 3x2 ribbing at the top & bottom.  It's a bit more "scrunched" at the top & bottom and so, in my opinion, they look really silly just laying on a table.  The knitting looks good, but they just don't look right to me.  
Then, you put them on someone's hands/wrists.  Boy, do they transform into something awesome!  That ribbing that looked so funny before now looks fantastic.  You feel just the right about of stretch around the cuff and palm/fingers.  
They're snug enough they don't fall down on my arms like my Reading Mitts do (which I also love, but I'm constantly pulling them up to where I like them to sit).  They also are a little less in the way.  Meaning, I can still knit with them on (yes, I've tried). :) 
This pattern is also a bit more unique than other Alice Mitts because of the thumb.  There have been many discussions in my favorite, most frequented group, Itty Bitty Knits, about how we don't really like to finish the thumbs on projects (aside from one or two who enjoy it!), making these mitts perfect!  You still have the thumb gusset (which, by the way, I love knitting thumb gussets...), but you don't have any finishing to do, you just cast off the stitches for the thumb hole.  PERFECT!  I will recommend that you check Nancy Fry's pattern page for these mitts though because she has added errata to the pattern as she's somewhat dissatisfied with how the editors of the book "tweaked" her pattern.  

As a side note, I have really long fingers and larger palms so the original pattern was a little short for me when it got to the top of the thumb gusset.  I added an extra 2 increases to the pattern and a total of 6 extra rows.  The resulting thumb hole is a bit larger than I'd like, but I liked that it covered my bottom thumb knuckle a little better.  because of these additions, it added length to the entire mitt, which I need for my fingers.  If you'd like to see my modifications, check out my project page on Ravelry. 

The yarn I used was KnitPicks Shamrock in the Connolly colorway.  Shamrock is a plied yarn that has one multicolored strand running along with the others.  It gives the overall effect a "tweedy" (not the bird) look.  The colors in Connolly are the darker green background, the multi-colored strand changing from a yellow-green to aqua to royal blue to navy blue.  The darker colors are very subtle, but can be seen in direct sunlight or really good lighting and make this yarn that much more beautiful! (And perfect for this pattern.)

I'd never used Shamrock before, which is 100% Peruvian Wool.  Because I knit these in 2 days, it meant I almost always had them in my hands while I was home.  The wool became a bit coarse and scratchy to my index finger, but not enough that I wouldn't use this yarn again.  The pattern calls for a worsted weight yarn and Shamrock is heavy worsted.  This created a fantastic, dense, knit fabric.  They're very warm. Just the way I like it.  J has been asking for a new winter hat, this might be just the yarn I'll use.

I have to say thanks to my wonderful mom, L, who was willing to help me by posing with the mitts.  I tried taking pictures of myself wearing them, but they didn't turn out right.  It was wonderful to have her help!  It made it so much easier!  Thanks, Mom!

I may make a second pair of these.  I have some undyed yarn, as well as some cream yarn I'm considering overdying and I may have figured out a way to dye them the colors from the movie.  Not to be just like Alice, but rather because I love the colors in the original mitts and how they play so nicely with one another. :)


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