Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Knitting: C's Bella Mitts

Wow, it has been a whirlwind of activity around here lately.  The build up to, and the subsequent winding down of Christmas has kept us moving over the past 4-5 days.  I scrambled to finish my Christmas knitting, but just didn't have the time or energy to get it all complete.  Luckily, I have a very understanding family who took it all in stride.

I am pleased that I got 3 projects fully started and completed before Christmas was here, in just 1 month or so.  (I had 2 partial hats and one yet-to-be-cast-on bag on Christmas Eve.  One hat is now complete.)

Today I'll share with you a favorite pattern of mine, Phenomenon.  Those of you in Ravelryland know what this pattern is and how popular it has become.  Others of you may recognize it from this post when I talked about making them for a friend of mine as a trade for my business logo.  It's a relatively quick pattern.  If I could just sit and knit all day I could whip these puppies out in just a day or two.  But life doesn't move that way, does it?

This pair was destined for my sister's hands.  She's a lover of pink, and I'm a lover of blue.  It's been that way for a long, long time.  And yes, I know this color is not pink, but it's lovely, and right up her alley.  I think she likes them.  (At least I'll pretend she does, especially since she's already worn them outside the house!)
They are made from Brooklyn Tweed's (otherwise known as Jared Flood) Shelter in colorway Thistle.  This is a beautiful yarn that begs for texture.  No plain ol' stockinette stitch here, folks.  The cabling turn out beautifully, especially after a nice, gentle blocking.

I couldn't decide if the yarn would be appropriate as a bulky yarn so I held it double.  In the end, they were very tight and uncomfortable on my hands until the aforementioned blocking, which stretched them just enough to kind-of accommodate my excessively long fingers and large palms, and definitely roomy enough for my sister's hands.  As I'm sure I've mentioned before, if ever I were to make these for myself, I'd add an extra cable repeat for the added comfort, as well as extra length to the thumb.
I really enjoyed working with Shelter as it had interesting flecks of color spread throughout the yarn.  Each stitch brought new dimension to the project.  Because it is a true wool, it was a bit rough on my hands when I would sit and knit for long periods of time.  I have sensitive skin, and the yarn running along my left forefinger often ended the night a little red.  I've read some suggestions of washing the yarn before knitting to help it soften.  I don't think I'd ever do that, but I did notice the mittens softened and plumped nicely after the blocking.
C was kind enough to model these on Christmas day.  On my parents deck, with a brilliant snowy backdrop, the colors stood out beautifully.  If only I could hire hands to always model my knitwear for hands!  I guess I'll have to keep on asking my sister (when she's home) and mom when needed.  They're good sports about it.

Overall, this was a successful gifting and I foresee these mittens getting a lot of use! :) Hooray!!  I am really looking forward to when I knit my mom's Christmas gift from Shelter in Almanac!


  1. Love your mittens! I didn't knit any this winter, but I will be more prepared next year.

  2. These are just fantastic! Love love love the colorway and how they turned out.

  3. Beautiful! I really need to make this pattern. :)