Category Archives: mittens

My evil plan is working

All winter I’ve had a mental to-do list of knitting accessories far longer than what I’ve actually managed to get to. Try as I might, the fantasy knitter in my head is still a faster knitter than the knitter-me in reality. But spring has been slow in arriving so far this year, and reports have been predicting a cool start to the season. So I decided yesterday to just go ahead and cast on one more pair of mitts – and if it tempts the weather fates, then so be it.


On the one hand, if it stays cool, then I’ll actually get to wear the mitts before the summer. But if my karmic experiment ends up bringing on the warmth and rendering my new winter accessories on-standby-only until next fall, well, then at least that means it’ll be warm outside. Win-win! I’ve cast on a pair of my own Azalea mitts pattern for me (in Sweet Sheep Tight Twist sock – very sturdy), since I didn’t keep the original sample on these, and if I get to use them they’ll be great for convertible bicycling mitts as the weather transitions.


I’ve also taken the opportunity to branch out and try a new set of needles at the same time. I’ve gotten into the habit of using Knit Picks circulars for most projects in the last couple of years, and I love the pointy tips and the flexible cables – especially for Magic Loop. But there are so many other needles out there to choose from and I was enticed by the flexible red cables on these ChiaoGoo stainless steel circulars (scroll down). Many of the knitters over at Needles in the Hay use them and dang it, I wanted to see for myself.


Well, after 24 hours of using the 2.5mm for Magic-Looping on my mitts, I’m already pondering which other sizes to go back to the shop for. Do I need more than one set for socks? Maybe I do. And err, at least a set each for DK and worsted weights, right? I love them. The tips are pointy, the cables are just flexible enough to be comfortable but not so floppy they get in the way, and the little bend at the base of the tip means that the cords don’t swivel. I’m not usually the kind of knitter to go on raves about equipment (I like to cut to the chase, errr, the yarn itself), but these needles get my vote. I’m glad I branched out. Who knows what else is around the corner?

One thing’s for sure. Since I started these mitts yesterday, in between yesterday’s week-ahead weather forecast, and today’s, predicted daytime temperature highs have already gone up a couple of degrees. My evil plan is working.

Happy Friday, and happy weekend to come!


Filed under mittens


Every year I knit myself at least one pair of mittens or gloves. And every year, half of the pair I wear most often somehow manages to get lost. I suppose this is the normal way of things – I see so many single mittens or gloves along the side of city paths or sidewalks, sometimes draped over benches or fences, so I at least know it happens to everyone at some time – but damn. It’s hard losing an object that you’ve put hours of time into making yourself.

Last winter this happened to me with the pair of red wool gloves I knitted myself to match the Laurel beret I made out of Cascade 220. They were pretty simple, worked from instructions in a now-out-of-print Patons pattern booklet, and gave a suitably matchy vibe along with the hat. Then, I lost one. I can’t exactly remember how, but I do know that I was grateful to have one remaining intact pair of gloves left to fall back on.

I’ve heard that sometimes people solve problems like this by going to a store and buying a new pair of gloves. But of course, they wouldn’t be the same, and since I’m a 5’9″ woman with long fingers the gloves in the stores never fit me as nicely as I’d like. So since then, I’ve kept telling myself I’d re-knit the lost glove, and it’s taken almost another year but I finally did it.


Despite being only half a pair of gloves and therefore only half a project, I’m calling this my first Finished Object of 2011. Psychologically it feels like the same effort, to go back and re-do something that was already complete once upon a time.

In looking through my stash I also discovered a thrummed mitten kit I bought from Tanis Fiber Arts at the Knitter’s Frolic in Toronto a full year and a half ago, and buoyed by my glove momentum have finally taken it out of hiding to turn into actual mittens. I will be prepared for losses this year, oh yesiree. These will be warm and toasty so long as I can manage to keep my hands on (or in?) them.


Have you any finished knits already for 2011? What are you most looking forward to working on next?

Happy knitting this week!


Filed under finished object: accessories, mittens

Hello, People of the Pod

Pattern download link for most recent version, Dec 15th 2013: Podster mitts PDF

For months now I’ve had this pattern brewing up in the back of my brain, just waiting for the opportune moment for me to cast on and write it out. After a while I started to think, “surely, someone else has done this already.” And it’s entirely possible that someone has, but if that’s true I haven’t managed to encounter it yet. This is a fingering-weight glove pattern, but more than that it is a flip-top, convertible glove/mitt pattern (glitten? mlove?). “But Glenna,” you are saying, “that’s nothing new, psh, I’ve seen that before.” Well, this is a convertible glove with the addition of one wee little modification: an i-Pod thumb:


This modified thumb is intended to solve the extremely decadent and modern problem (because really, as problems go this is about eleven millionth down on the list of things that need fixing) of wanting to use your digital music player in cold weather, without having to remove your whole mitten and get cold fingers in the process. Digital music players come in lots of different styles these days, and they all have buttons and switches to press, but the unique thing about the i-Pod is that the little dial relies on the touch of your actual skin. You can pound away at it with your gloved fingers as much as you want, but after a certain point it won’t work unless you expose your actual thumb and fingertips, which means ripping your glove off of your hand in order to change tunes or podcasts.

And so I finally said, “heck with this, I am a knitter, I can solve this problem.” So a couple of weeks ago I marched right over to my stash and pulled out a skein of Dream in Color Smooshy (you know, as you do), and started knitting away. Getting the little peekaboo thumb just as I wanted it took a couple of attempts, but I’m pretty pleased with this particular result. Time will tell once the real fall cool weather starts to sink in, but by Jove I think we’ve got it.


This is, at first blush, a flip-top glove/mitt pattern. At the end of the instructions are three potential modifications to this, the first of which is the ‘podster’ peekaboo thumb, which fashions a ribbing-covered gap over the inside stitches of the thumb. This means that it is snug enough to still fit to your thumb, but loose enough for you to peek the tip of your thumb through and expose it for helpful music player control. The other two modifications are quite logical and not terribly unusual in the slightest, and explain how you could work this alternately as a pair of plain gloves, or plain mittens. So, these instructions are essentially 4-patterns-in-1. (Note: I only worked the modified thumb on one glove. You may choose to do either one, or both, and choose whichever thumb suits you best. Or just screw the fancy thumb and make normal gloves, that’s cool too.)

With the sample shown here I’ve used Dream in Color Smooshy, which is a multi-ply fingering weight yarn with a bit of squish to it. At the pattern gauge of 32 sts/44 rows over 4 inches, it produces a moderately snug gauge (in other words: not loose or drapey, but not so thick that it stands on its own), so if substituting yarns, try to choose something that behaves similarly. Regarding sizing, I have written the pattern instructions for two sizes, loosely intended for a Women’s Small and a Women’s Large/Men’s small. I made the larger size (shown here) and they fit my 7.75-ins hand circumference quite well. If in doubt, measure your hand circumference (or the hand of whoever is receiving these), and if it is 7 ins or bigger I recommend going with the larger size.

One thing to keep in mind for these instructions is that, while I direct you to work in the round and tell you what needle size/gauge to use, I do not tell you what specific method to use. I am assuming that if you are knitting this pattern that you have done at least one project’s worth of knitting in the round, that you know what method you used to do so, and that you are comfortable using this method again. You can execute this on Double Pointed Needles (DPN)s, Magic Loop, or knitting on 2 circulars – it is entirely up to you. (For the record, I worked this sample up using Magic Loop. These days I slide back and forth from DPNs to Magic Loop pretty fluidly.)


The other thing you’ll notice is that I don’t provide any finishing instructions for things like buttons, snaps, velcro, or other means of fastening the mitten top in the “down” position. This is, I will admit, partly out of sheer laziness, but also because I have to say that when I wear flip-top mitts like this, they spend about 90% of the time in the “up” or closed position, and I can deal with a little bit of flopping around when they’re not. You’re more than welcome to take this step, however, and it would be fairly easy to add a fastening of some kind to the back of each wrist.


You may download the pattern instructions for free here from my blog, or here in my Ravelry store if you are a Ravelry member, which will also allow you to store in your Ravelry library.

If you find value in this pattern, I would humbly suggest taking the dollar amount that you think it is worth, and donating that amount to your preferred charitable organization (who are, most likely, trying to solve problems that are a little higher on the list than cold podster fingers). I hope that you will enjoy knitting these, and that the gloves keep your hands (or those of a few gift recipients, perhaps?) toasty warm and technologically savvy all season long.

Well, at least until the super cold weather hits, at which time I will be running screaming back to the thrummed mittens and praying for thaw. But these can still live happily in my coat pocket for when I need them – and hopefully, yours too.






Filed under design, finished object: accessories, free pattern, knitting addiction, mittens

It’ll be okay. Just think of mittens.

I said this very thing to a stressed out friend the other day. While it is true that she is also a knitter and might have successfully interpreted “just think of mittens” as “maybe you should take your mind off stuff by knitting some mittens, because they are small and fun and very useful now that the temperature is dropping,” I’m not even sure that’s what I meant to say, either. I think I was having a day of wanting to do nothing but knit, and it’s starting to get cold, and mittens are so comforting and warm, that even just thinking about mittens would help me out so why wouldn’t it make somebody else feel better?

Sounds completely reasonable to me. I’ve been coveting mitten patterns over on Ravelry (oh bless that advanced pattern search) like nothing else. I want to make these, and these (at the bottom), and definitely some of these, and have already started on a pair of these (Ravelry link).

But first, I had to make these:


These tiny adorable mittens are linked up with a tiny adorable i-cord to be used as a bookmark, and they have been sitting around for a few days waiting to be sent to their (very very patient) recipient, in a swap for the 20th Century Novels group on Ravelry. I was going to do this with mini socks, but now that it’s nearly winter I had to go for the mittens. I hope my swap partner likes them. They were a little fiddly but not too difficult, and only require a tiny bit of spare fingering weight yarn – I used some leftover bits of Socks That Rock lightweight. I may need to make more.

In other news, Steph has every so generously tagged me to post 7 pictures/facts about me. I will make this a weekend project.

And, oh yes – Happy Halloween! Have fun if you’ve got kidlets goin out, and if not, well, you can come over to my house and eat cookies.

Otherwise, it’ll be okay. Just think of mittens.


Filed under accessories, mittens