Tag Archives: Knitter’s Almanac

Not-so-controlled chaos: my Noro mitts

Elizabeth Zimmerman's mitered mitts in Noro Kureyon 326

Elizabeth Zimmerman’s mitered mitts in Noro Kureyon 326

Regular readers may have noticed that I took some time of knitting and blogging at the end of the summer, and as things geared up in September.  However, the colder weather here turned my mind back to cozy warm knits.  These mittens felt like the perfect project to get my knitting groove back with.  I love this pattern from Elizabeth Zimmerman’s classic Almanac.  It’s beautiful and simple, and with Kathryn Ivy’s excellent modifications, it can be completed without steeking.

This yarn, a new colourway from Noro, called to me the moment I saw. I have a bad habit of accumulating beautiful yarn, without a specific project in mind, but this yarn basically screamed, “Make mitered mitts out of me!”  After completing the first mitt (on the left), I felt like a yarn genius; the yarn and pattern seemed like a perfect fit.  However, when I picked up the second ball, I noticed something, this ball was nothing like the other: the blue, which was barely present in the first ball took up most of the second.  When I finished, my second mitt was blue and brown, while my first was pink and purple.  While I ordinarily love the controlled chaos of Noro colourways, this was too much, they looked like a completely mismatched pair.  (and the blue and brown, with a hint of orange was pretty awful to be absolutely truthful.) Fortunately, I had a fair amount of purple and pink in the scraps, so I cut off the tip of the right hand mitt (ironically, I had used Kathryn Ivy’s directions to avoid cutting into a finished project, but no matter).

While messing with a Noro colourway feels a bit like cheating, I’m very happy with the finished look.  They look great on my growing pile of Christmas gifts.  My only concern? I have two more balls of manlier coloured Noro Kureyon waiting to be made into mitered mitts for my husband…

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Sunshine in mitten form

Mitred mittens in Noro Taiyo 11

“Of course you knit those in February.  It’s like you tried to make sunshine in mitten form,” was my husband’s response upon seeing these mitred mittens, from Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Knitter’s Almanac. He is definitely on to something.  Winter still has us in its icy grips, but I am ready to bid adieu to slippery sidewalks, grey skies and slushy streets.  Fortunately this Noro Taiyo (#11) was leftover from my Paintbox Blanket, and it looks like spring.

_AWN2208I loved the way the Noro worked out on my previous experience with mitered knits (Zimmerman’s Baby Surprise jacket), so this pattern and the leftover yarn seemed like a perfect combo.  As I’ve written before her patterns are timeless, but often inscrutable.  These instructions are described by Zimmerman as “pithy,” and they certainly are.  The pattern also includes the nerve wracking instruction to cut a hole in the mitts, unravel a few stitches and knit the thumb.  I don’t have the nerve to take scissors to an otherwise completed piece of work. I was sure this was going to result in an unraveled sloppy mess.

Elizabeth Zimmerman's mitred mitts in Noro Taiyo 11

Elizabeth Zimmerman’s mitred mitts in Noro Taiyo 11

Fortunately, it was ravelry to the rescue, many knitters had used Kathryn Ivy’s excellent set of instructions for a gusseted thumb to make these mitts.  The instructions are clear, and they result in a perfectly fit thumb, without any scissors.  The reccommended needle size (US 6) was way too big for me though, these were made on US 5.  The needle size is a little small for this yarn, but that’s perfect for mittens since the finished product is really quite dense, and I used nearly every yard! Now, until spring, I’ll have warm hands, that remind me sunny days are just around the corner…