Wednesday, 10 July 2013


The weather has turned decidedly chilly here in Melbourne.  Frosts are starting to appear on the lawns  and the morning walk to the train station has started to become  more bracing than is entirely comfortable.  We've been digging out scarves and gloves, but my daughter is at a new school this year, with quite a strict uniform policy (Summer socks are white, but must be above the ankle is just one of the many rules we are following).  My daughter's blue stripy gloves from last year just won't do I'm afraid.

My plan was to purchase some black yarn and make a pair of fingerless mittens which would not only match her Winter uniform and keep her hands warm, but also allow the dexterity required for handling her train ticket.  I ended up at Lincraft and chose "Bamboozled" yarn with my thoughts being that I would loom knit a pair of mittens, in much the same way we had previously made Loom Knit Gauntlets, and then crochet a little lacy edge with Cleckheaton's slightly thinner ply "Bamboo".

Things didn't quite go to plan!

Attempt 1.  I started on the smallest blue loom, but quickly realised that the stitches were far to large and I would need to use two strands of yarn to provide any warmth to the wearer and I was quite sure I didn't have enough yarn on hand for that.

Attempt 2  I then tried the hand made loom my father made as it gives a much smaller stitch, but this really didn't work so well.  While "Bamboozled" is a delightfully soft yarn it has very little twist, meaning on the loom you are trying to pick up what seems like a thousand individual threads  and pull them over the pin.  A delicate operation indeed and while I was going to have a rib cuff, purl stitch was practically impossible. I kept going with e-wrap until I'd almost finished one glove, but decided I didn't have the patience to go through it all again for glove two.  While "One Sock Syndrome" is well documented, I'm not so certain "One Mitten Syndrome" exists.

Attempt 3  By this stage I had given up on the looms entirely.  The yarn was definitely not suited to the fine hook of the loom and so out came my vintage needles for an attempt at knitting in the round.  I haven't done a lot of knitting lately, just the odd scarf or cowl in between other projects, but it's lovely to hear the click clack of needles as they work together.  

The pattern I came up with was:
Using 3.25mm DPNs, cast on 16 stitches on each of three needles.
Work 7 rows Rib
Change to 4mm DPNs and work 19 rows stockinette stitch.
At beginning of next row, cast off 6 stitches, finish row in stockinette stitch.
At beginning of next row, cast on 6 stitches and continue working another two rows of stockinette.
Change to 3.25mm needles.  Work 11 rows rib.
Cast off.

Pictured are my loom knit attempt on the left and my needle knit attempt on the right (still to be blocked when this photo was taken).  I'm wondering if my daughter wouldn't mind wearing miss matched mittens for the next week or so...or at least until someone finds a cure for "second mitten syndrome"

Happy knitting


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