by Katie Himmelberg
When Eunny announced that she wanted us to design a "hand item" for our staff project, I knew that I wanted to make a pair of men’s mittens. My husband is still squarely in the “I don’t like sweaters” camp of thought, so I’ve tried to knit him other wearables (translation: winter hats). He really does need a pair of mittens for things like scraping the windshield or shoveling snow. I find mittens are generally warmer than gloves and prefer them when finger mobility is not an issue, and I didn’t want to fuss with knitting fingers out of such a bulky yarn.
I was inspired to choose the Noro yarn after seeing many projects online using a technique to stripe a variegated yarn. Several variations have you switch between either two colorways or two ends of the same ball every two rows, but since I was using a chunky yarn and working in the round, I decided to change ball ends every round. If I had been working flat, I probably would have kept the two-row change since my yarn would then always be in the right spot.
After I got my yarn, I wound the skein into a center-pull ball so that I could work from both the center and the outside of the ball. Between the twisting of the color changes and the spin of the yarn coming from the outside of the ball, I couldn’t avoid tangling! Instead of trying to fight this, I would just periodically stop knitting, grab the ball of yarn, and hold it upside-down, allowing the mitten-in-progress to dangle freely. While the mitten is dangling, you can then pull apart the two strands and the mitten will begin to spin itself out of entanglement.
Katie Himmelberg is assistant editor of Interweave Knits magazine.
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Download the free pattern for the Kochoran Mittens!
It's often a challenge to choose the right pattern when you're looking to knit something for that special guy. My rule is: Keep it simple, unless the dude himself has picked out the exact yarn and pattern. Choose a classic yarn in his favorite color, take his measurements, and then dive into the Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns for basic glove, mitten, hat, sock and vest patterns in multiple sizes and multiple gauges. Instead of sweating to match your gauge to the one stated in the pattern, you knit a gauge swatch with your new yarn and your favorite needles, and then simply look up whatever gauge you are getting in the book, following the instructions for your gauge and his size. Voila: A perfect fit, in a classic style. (You can purchase the book here.)
What if you really want to knit a "guy sweater"? We have a nice selection of "guy sweaters" in the Knitting Daily pattern store, everything from the popular Cobblestone Pullover to a traditional cabled cardigan known as "Ribbed Diamonds".
Purchase the Cobblestone Pullover
Purchase the Ribbed Diamonds Cardigan
Shop for more men's knitwear in the pattern store
Sandi Wiseheart is the editor of Knitting Daily. I'm working on the front panel of the Camisa, worked in String of Pearls yarn from Muench (prettypretty not to mention sparklysparkly!). I just finished adding a couple of darts to the front in the belly area. I really hope I can wear this for you before I leave for Canada, but packing is stealing my knitting time. (30 days and counting now till we move into our house in Canada!)