Sunday, December 23, 2007

Mittens - Beyond Theory

Here in So Cal, mittens are little more than theory. In theory, you place woolen coverings on your hands and they will not freeze off your arms, leaving you with ugly stumps and no ability to play the piano. That's the theory.

The reason we never test this out is that our idea of a really cold day is standing in the freezer section of a grocery store in winter (anyone know why it is colder there in the winter? I seriously think they lower the temp in the stores when it is cold outside!) In LA you can pretty much take care of cold hands by pulling your sleeves over your fingertips.

But I am going to Modesto for Christmas. Time to get practical, baby! It gets down to 40 (F) at night in that town. (Don't laugh, Adriana. Our suffering is all relative) So - in the interest of knitting things I've never knit, I tackle mittens. I decide, based on a comment on Cyn's blog, to combine Plaid Mittens and Peek A Boo Mittens on Magknits. This would have gone so much smoother if I had any experience with mittens - but, as I said, mittens are purely theoretical for me. I had no way of knowing, as I knit them, if my mods were working or not. I used the double circ method and I didn't have 2 10.5 needles, so I made do with a pair of 10's after knitting almost a whole mitten with 11's. I think I knit enough stitches for 3 or 4 pair! Too long, too short, too wide and how the heck do you pick up 2 stitches for the thumb??!! If I made another pair (and I might) I would make them a smidge longer and I would make the slot narrower.

This is how I felt when a 3 hour project turns into a 2 day project:

But, in the end I did prevail! I vastly preferred the shape of the Plaid mitten deceases and I had the Paton's Shetland Chunky in stash. The functionality of the Peekaboo, however, was too much to resist.
How about that, eh? An honest to God, real life mitten. Hot diggity! (and there's another one too!)

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and that is the big shindig for my side here in LA. I'll be cooking for my 5 brothers and their broods - 26 peeps in all. This sounds like a lot, but I cooked for the family growing up and this is how we always roll. No biggie and everyone pitches in. Christmas Day I'm off to Modesto - 5 hours up the 5 freeway and we do it all again, but smaller. And with warm hands.

Be safe, be healthy and be joyous in what ever you do this holiday season. May all your hand knit gifts be greeted with paroxysms of joy and may your loved ones contribute to your stash with well chosen luxury yarn.

See you in 2008!!