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Pattern: “Tiffany,” from Knitty.

Materials: Knitpick’s Merino Style. 2 skeins each of colors Vanilla and Maple, and 1 skein each of Coal and Fog.

Needles: Size 2 DPNs.

Cast-on: May 2007

Finished: September 12, 2007

When I saw last winter’s edition of Knitty, my eye was immediately drawn to these mittens. However, I live in Texas. Winter lasts for 2 weeks here. So I started thinking, “Who could use a nice pair of mittens?” I knew from the mittens I made for my husband that knit mittens in stranded colorwork would be very dense, warm and somewhat waterproof. So then I thought about his mother, who lives in Green Bay. I shouldn’t have to tell you that Green Bay gets cold. The very first time I visited his family, I think it was 17 degrees below zero (no exaggeration). So I called my MIL, asked her what colors she wanted, and ordered the yarn.

The pattern is so very pretty. I knit a bit under gauge, so they are about 11″ long – long enough to overlap with her coat sleeve and keep out the wind and snow. What I did not like about the pattern was the incredible number of floats. On some rows, I was twisting the yarn every 4 stitches or thereabouts. I know, I know, I could catch the float on the back of a stitch, but I’ve tried that, and it shows, and I’m a perfectionist, so I can’t deal with that. I also dislike the afterthought thumb. This is the first time I’m done such a thing, and I’m not sold on it. It was easy enough to knit, but because there is no gusset section below the thumb, the mitten feels tight at the base of my thumb, where my hand widens. This could partially be due to my long fingers and thumb, which might be putting the widest part of my hand in the wrong portion of the mitten. I’m thinking of designing my next pair of mittens, so it’s good to know these things – adding a thumb gusset should be easy enough.
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To block the mittens, I stuffed the tops and thumbs with plastic grocery bags, and then inserted a beer can into the body of the mitten. Beer cans are just the right size! No, I don’t drink Schlitz. Ugh. We keep the Schlitz around for marinating bratwurst. I would, however, be happy to make a set of mittens for the first person who can arrange for a case of Molson Golden to arrive on my doorstep. We can’t get Molson Golden down here, and my husband and I miss it. I’m making do with Harp.

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