Mittens! Suddenly all I want to knit is mittens! Much like socks they are small and portable and are the perfect platform for your current knitting technique obsession. All variety of yarns can be used, from rustic and tweedy to smooth and elegant, sturdy worsteds to finest fingering weight. Except for those sometimes pesky thumbs, they are generally simpler to knit than socks and quicker too.
Of course, socks have not lost their appeal. In my opinion, turning the heel of a sock is one of the great thrills of knitting (turning a cable is a close second), a I-can’t-believe-I-just-did-that-and-I’m-still-not-sure-how-it-works-but-it-does! moment. Mittens just don’t have any moments like that, except for the thrill of a completed project (also always a good moment)
Emboldened by the success of my Fiddleheads, I’ve gone Mitten Crazy, scouring Ravelry for patterns, weighing the qualities of yarn as mitten-knitting candidates, even thinking about buying a “mitten tree” (a contraption that holds mittens individually to dry, usually set next to a fireplace or heater) to display them (I’ve decided that’s going a bit far – at least for now) The excellent Help for Haiti pattern selling program on Ravelry has been a great excuse to pick up some new patterns – End of May by Mandy Powers, Squirrel Sampler by Adrian Bizillia (who also designed the Fiddlehead pattern) and Northman Mittens by David Schulz. I’m also planning on knitting more Fiddleheads as gifts (but only for knit-worthy people!)
Of course, I don’t really need all those mittens, and style snobs frown on them. What I know is that they’re challenging yet fun to knit, that they keep my perpetually cold hands warm and that, as the snow flies (again) and the temperatures drop (again), there’s nothing quite as cozy and satisfying as handknit mittens.