I do love a good mitten pattern and this new one I found might be my favorite yet. The Northman Mitten is right up there, though. There’s a couple of things I look for in a good mitten pattern: it has to have a decent thumb (either an afterthought thumb or a thumb with a gusset) and it has to be a two color pattern. This pattern has both and it also has a lining, which is really nice. And it was a really fun knit.
This pattern is from Elinor Brown, a knitting pattern designer who I was always in awe of because she designed all these wonderful patterns and did all this knitting while attending medical school. The pattern gives three sizes for the mittens. I knit the Medium and I thought they seemed just right for the average woman’s hands.
I chose to use Quince Chickadee for the outer mitten yarn so that the pattern had a lot of stitch definition. It’s a 100% wool yarn. Sometimes, in the past, when I have used a wool and alpaca blend for an outer mitten, the alpaca fuzzes up a little too much and the pattern becomes a little blurry. But I like the warmth of alpaca so I used that for the inner mitten.
Two color knitting is so fun and it’s addictive to watch your pattern coming off the needles. When I knit in two colors, I hold one yarn (the contrast color) in the left hand and knit Continental with that and I hold the other yarn (the background color) in the right hand and knit English on that side. It took some practice to learn, but it’s natural for me now and very fast. if you hold the contrast yarn in the left hand, it becomes dominant in the finished knitting. The background color is held in the right hand, and stays in the background.
I knit all my projects in the round on circular needles using Magic Loop instead of double points. It makes it very easy to try on the project and assess sizing as you go. Plus I hate all the double points sticking out and having to work around them. And it makes knitting the thumbs very easy.
The only thing I did not totally love on this pattern was the i-cord cast on. The result just wasn’t worth the aggravation. If I knit another pair of these (and I will) I’m going to do a different kind of cuff – maybe a picot edge.