Vacations are for knitting! This is Dave's happy face when I finished the second thumb and his mittens were all but complete. Worth every stitch.
I started these just a few days before we went to visit his folks for the holidays and ended up taking them with me to work on while there. Not airplane knitting, but definitely couch knitting. (Maybe someday I'll want to do serious color work on a plane, but I'm not there yet.) I finished them a couple days before we left for home.
This is another wonderful pattern from Arne and Carlos in their book Favorite Designs that Dave got me for my birthday. I've had an A&C end to the year for sure! They are called Akle Mittens and use a diamond motif found on traditional tapestries hung in Norwegian homes (or so the book tells me). The pattern says they are sized 'for women and girls', but since finished measurements were also listed, I ended up making the girls size for Dave. These would fit me too. Maybe they like their mittens very large? Or they have large hands? Regardless. These fit.
I used the same leftovers from the hat I made for Dave in October plus some white I had as one more accent color and the blue I bought last month for the background. I really like that blue, especially with these colors. I did not end up using up any of these yarns so I added one more leftover to the stash, but I still think this was a marvelous stash buster project as I had all but one of the yarns already handy and ended up with these fabulous mittens. In the balance there is likely less overall yarn in the stash.
There were, as I told Dave this morning with yarn needle in hand, approximately 35,000 ends to weave in. But I ripped off the proverbial BandAid and sat down to do it last night as soon as we finished unpacking. I managed to finish one mitten before declaring defeat and heading to bed. The second got finished before breakfast. Just look at how satisfyingly neat the insides look. The double thickness of wool will make these especially warm.
The knitting went fairly quickly because, unlike most of the Christmas balls I've been working on, there was no float twisting required. Since the floats are relatively short the way it is designed, I could just set up with one yarn on each index finger and knit away. In that way I think this pattern is actually a really nice one to start learning stranded knitting.
Mandarin Votter is Norwegian for Tangerine Mittens, to go along with the Tangerine hat. Of course, since these are some of Dave's favorite colors these mittens will go with several of his other hats and scarves as well. For blocking I did a quick press with a hot iron and a damp cloth around the mittens. These are comfortably snug right now so I didn't want to stretch them out anymore like I did the stranded mittens I made for myself. In this case I think they will loosen a little bit with use to be perfect.
It is no exaggeration to say that these were one of my favorite knitting projects ever. I love the geometric design, making them was relatively easy (it's always hard for me to do thumbs), and they worked up fast. VERY satisfied.
Pattern: Akle Mittens from Arne and Carlos Favorite Designs book (my Ravelry page)
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca in 'Barley', 'Grove Mix', and 'Persimmon', Patons North America Classic Wool in 'Winter White', and Cascade 220 Heathers in 'Blue'
Needles: US 2.5 and US 4 dpns