Winter Twilight Mitts
by Laura Rintala
I have never made fingerless mitts before. And, I really never had any intention of making any, until this past winter when the temperatures dipped, unseasonably for our area, and days and days of cold weather seeped into the Interweave offices, leaving them so chill that my hands would stiffen as I attempted to type. The idea of making fingerless mitts, and making them sooner than later, also began to seep in.
A walk in the woods one blustery winter day was all it took for the inspiration. The sun was completely hidden by a thickly overcast sky. As the sky began to darken, a purple hue rose up. That sky was not one of those flat, gray cloudy days, but puffs of fast moving clouds racing over a gray plane. These puffs gathered and pooled rose and purple color giving the sky unexpected depth. And the barren winter trees created a stark lacy relief to that color and became the framework for the mitts.
The mitts are identical on all four sides requiring only one chart. Work across the chart as usual for the first half of the stitches, then work back across the chart from left to right to work the last half of the stitches. The cashmere yarn worked on bamboo dpns is the icing on the cake: pure knitting bliss. Wearing the finished mitts is almost as nice as making them—just not quite so fun.
Laura Rintala is managing editor of Interweave Knits magazine.
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(P.S. from Sandi: Laura had to keep a sharp eye out when I was taking the extra photos of these mitts to make sure that these pretties did not sneak their way into my pockets or purse, never to be seen again (well, not until the first snow day, anyway). I mean, who could blame me? Purple. And cashmere. And trees. They are STUNNING and maybe I will have to break my "no stranded colorwork" rule to make myself a pair. Oh, and one final point: Laura designed the first mitt freehand. No charting, not until the second mitt and the pattern writing. Freehand. On the needles, in other words. I just can't get over that one.)
Download the free pattern for the Winter Twilight Mitts!
Want to learn more about the techniques of stranded colorwork knitting? One of my favorite books is The Art of Fair Isle Knitting, by Ann Feitelson--an Interweave classic from 1996 that is still going strong. The patterns are stunning, the technique chapters give me great confidence every time I am faced with colorwork projects, and the sections on history make the women of the Shetland Isles come alive: "[Knitting] was absolutely a financial necessity. The more you could knit, the more you could eat." There is a wonderful chapter on how to select colors, which for me was worth the cost of the book all by itself. (If you like having someone read to you, click here to learn more about the audiobook version of The Art of Fair Isle Knitting so you can listen to the stories of the Fair Isles while you knit!).
Purchase the book The Art of Fair Isle Knitting
Want more colorwork mitt patterns? We've got Michele Rose Orne's Composed Mitts and Donna Kay's Little Gems Mitts waiting for you in our pattern store. (Not into colorwork? There are cabled and ribbed and lace mitts (oh my!) in the store, too.) Below are convenient links to the Interweave Store:
Purchase the Composed Mitts
Purchase the Little Gems Mitts
Shop for other glove and mitten patterns in the Pattern Store
Sandi Wiseheart is the editor of Knitting Daily. She is flying along on the Camisa (dang, that's pretty yarn!!), and hopes to be able to wear it for you before she leaves for Canada!