Friday, March 18, 2011

Fee-Fi(ber)-F.O. Friday

This week is brought to you by mittens central.

A little while back, while running errands (which I usually do on foot because I love to walk), I lost one of my favorite mittens. I loved these mittens. They weren’t hand-made, but they were thick and the warmest mittens I’d ever owned. I was so dejected when I realized I had lost one, because I knew I would never find it. I was certain that, by the time I'd realized I was down one mitten, some car had already dragged it under its tire to an untimely death.

So, crafty person that I am, I made myself a new pair of mittens. Welcome to the world my Woolly Mammoths:
These are my interpretation of Lyn Robinson’s Friendship Mittens pattern. I’ve crocheted them using an H hook with one strand of Noro Kureyon and one strand of mohair held double throughout. The pattern is written so that one can customize the cuff length and upper portion (past the thumb opening) to better fit one’s hand. I did just that … as well as shortening the thumb just slightly. They fit me so well, and I love their rustic look and feel.

However, since this is the second pair of mittens I’ve made in less than a month, I thought some comparisons were in order:

As I had previously written about my Fuzzy Little Luxury, my red mittens are shockingly red. There’s nothing rustic about them – they are embroidered, so delicate in one sense, yet bold in another. They were knit from the cuff up, on straight needles, with a seam to sew at the end. (Knitting them flat helps with the ability to embroider them). The thumb is knit as you go. It might be my current reticence to fudge with knit directions (since I’m still learning techniques left and right), but I do wish I would have shortened both the thumbs and the upper portions of these mittens. Nevertheless, they will go perfectly with one of my winter coats – which is red – and I absolutely love them.

My Woolly Mammoths are also super, but for very different reasons. They will definitely become my workhorse mittens. The ones I reach for again and again during any winter season. Even though I used one fiber that is traditionally chock-full of color, the other fiber - the mohair - in these mittens is the color of cafĂ© au lait. As a result, they are almost neutral, which is great for wearing them with almost any other color. I also love their cables and slightly stubby look – they’re long enough in the cuff to keep my wrists warm (forget about that annoying gap
between mitten and coat edge!), yet short enough in the thumb and upper area to be comfortable. Additionally, the thumb is crafted after the rest of the mitten is complete - another good way to ensure good thumb fit. They were also quick to work up -taking me two days – surpassing all previous personal speed records. Finally, I thoroughly enjoyed customizing them for my hands – it gave me a feeling of real craft mastery. Doesn’t take much for me, I guess.

Let me leave you with photos of my finished Inspira Cowl. Talk about pride – oohhhh weeeee am I proud of this:

Have a great, crafty weekend!


  1. I'm wiping the drool off my monitor. I love both pair of mittens. I would totally rock the red mittens because they are so sassy but I know what you mean about the wooly mammoths.

    Your cowl is officially on my wish list to knit.

    Happy Fiber Arts Friday!

  2. Both your Mittens are great...I would be more partial to the wooly mammoths as I luv thick warm mittens
    that cowl is Gorgeous!!

  3. Oh, that cowl is great! I haven't tried stranded knitting yet, but it's on my list for this year. Love the mittens, too.

  4. Yeah... so cool that you just whipped up 2 pairs of mittens. Both are gorgeous! But then to finish with that stunning cowl! Beautiful!

  5. The mittens are cute, but that cowl is absolutely gorgeous!!!

  6. Great mittens! (I can see by your rustic tableau that we have similar taste in decorating!)The woolly mammoth mitts are my fav, but all your projects are all wonderful!

  7. @wonderwhygal: Be warned - you download that Inspira cowl pattern at your own risk. Get ready to get hooked. :)

    @the critter ranch llama farm: Thanks, and the woolly mammoths are super warm. Thanks - it was my first real stranded knitting project, and after several false starts, it finally clicked. I'm certain I'm not the most elegant-looking stranded knitter, but, hey, I'm not looking for style points. At least not in this contrext. :)

    @Knot by Gran'Ma: Thanks. That's what crafty, self-sufficient gals do, right? :)

    @Nichole: Thanks so much. I wore it, and it was just the right amount of warm.

    @Melissa Plank: Very funny on the rustic thing. Those chairs are definitely weathered. I think I'm a mixed media kind of gal, so rustic + _____.

  8. Hello! Wonderful mittens - they remind me my mittens years ago in Finland! I love your Inspira Cowl - those colours are so delicious!
    Thank you for your lovely comment on my blog!
    Have a sunny weekend! Tee

  9. Craft Mastery is right! Those mitts are awesome. What did you say... ensure good thumb fit? hahaha. I love it.

    I haven't tried mittens yet. I have a cabled pair planned and yarn set aside. It's just a matter of finishing all the other projects.

    I love the mitten display device. Very creative. :-)

  10. I love the mittens. Red is my favorite color, so those are particularly eye-catching!

  11. Your mittens look super snuggly. Great job! and the cowl is amazing. Happy Fiber Arts Friday!

  12. I am just astonished every time I see the abundance of colors in the Inspira cowl - wow!

  13. Love the mittens and cowl! Awesome job!

  14. I must admit in my 6 years of knitting, I have never knit any mittens. Yours are terrific and so is your cowl.

    Happy Fiber Arts Friday!

  15. I love the photos on your blog. The red mittens are gorgeous! I love the the bright, bold color. And your cowl is wonderful. Have a great weekend.

  16. @Teje: Thanks! Finland and mittens seem to go easily together. :) Have a sunny weekend, too.

    @Kathryn Ray: On display devices - the mother of invention, you know? You'll get to those mittens, I know it. :)

    @Spinster Beth: Thanks - I used Drops Vivaldi, if you'd like to make something red for yourself.

    @Ally B and Nicole: Thanks so much - I did enjoy making all of it.

    @Marushka: Oh, that Inspira cowl - if you have the color-changing yarn, it is definitely the pattern for you!

    @Melissa: No mittens ... sounds like me and no socks. :)

    @Tamara: Thanks so much for saying that! It's greatly appreciated.

  17. I love your mittens, and I really need to get around to making my own. Have been planning them and eying other people's cute mittens for too long!