Monday, January 3, 2011

Snapdragons

You've heard me make mention Ysolda Teague in the past.  You've also heard me specifically mention the Snapdragon Flip-Top mittens.  This holiday season I had the opportunity to knit a pair.

My friend's mom approached me a while back asking if I could make a pair of flip-tops/convertible knits for L.  The requirements were brown yarn and finger holes (as opposed to just fingerless mittens) under the flip-top.  Let me tell you have few patterns there are out there for a good flip-top pattern.  Let alone one with fingers!

After talking with her mom, we decided on a pattern called London Eye Glittens.  In theory, these would meet the needs of L perfectly.  In practice?  Not so much.  The pattern was too small for comfort.  Knowing L has similar hands to myself, I knew there was no way she'd find these comfortable.  I could hardly get my hands in them and I only had 1 mitten half-way done!  Oh no!!  This means picking a new pattern.  I was disappointed this pattern didn't work because I really liked it.  I still have hopes that I can modify the pattern a bit to accommodate larger hands.  I might make myself a pair at that point.

Anyway, back to the story.  This meant choosing a new pattern.  Something stylish but not overdone.  Something with fingers....fingers, fingers....nope, I didn't like any of the patterns with fingers.  This meant modifying any other pattern I chose.  So I decided the the Snapdragon Flip-Tops were the way to go.  I'd wanted to knit these for some time now, and this was a great opportunity.  I got to work straight away.


The cuff is really what took the longest on these.  Because of the all the cables and the design they create, you are constantly picking up and putting down your cable needle.  This, for me, is not conducive to quick knitting.  I didn't mind, though, knowing that the cables would be so neat when finished.
Once I had the cables done and had moved on to the rest of the glove, they were a piece of cake - straight stockinette.  Perfect for wanting to finish a project up quickly. Until I got to the fingers... I've never made gloves or fingerless gloves for that matter.  I figured it couldn't be too difficult and there should be notes on another project or a glove pattern I could use to modify the pattern to suit my needs.  I ended up using lemoncake's notes on making these gloves instead of flip-tops.  And instead of finishing off the fingers, I just knit to the knuckles and bound off loosely.  

After finishing the fingers and adding the flip-tops, they seemed a bit uncomfortable, like all my fingers were fighting for space.  This was resolved after a semi-heavy blocking.  To block, I traced my hands on heavy interfacing and then cut them out.  I made sure that my fingers were spread out enough to loosen up the finger holes.  For the flip-tops, I traced my fingers close to one another (as though inside a mitten) and used the cut outs in the flip-top.  This worked just as I hoped it would!  My only tip here would be to make sure the wrist/arm is long enough.  In my versions, I had to pin the cuff because the blockers weren't long enough.
The cabling straightened out beautifully and the stitches all lined up just right.  They were comfy and warm, in my own opinion.  I hope L liked them!!  I modified the length of the flip-top to accommodate for long fingers, which made them too long for a button on the cuff.  I could have sewn on a button, but the flip-top wouldn't have laid as straight and pretty as without the buttons.  I also lengthened the thumbs.  I have long thumbs and hate when gloves/mittens are too short.


Overall, I really liked this pattern.  I knit this pair with Cascade 220 Superwash in Walnut Heather.   There were a few times were I felt as though I was muddling through the pattern - specifically when attaching and then knitting the flip-top.  There is a small diagram in the pattern, but no specifics as to placement.  I sort of winged it.  Next time, I would also cast on additional stitches for the flip-top to make them easier to use.

3 comments:

  1. great mittens Raelynne! Super stylish!

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  2. Awesome tips you gave here Rae Lynne for this project. They look terrific!

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