Pattern: My own flip-top pattern
Needles: Addi Turbo US 3s
Notions: Two wooden, hear-shaped buttons from Field’s Fabrics
Began: January 29, 2010; Completed: February 27, 2010 (Raveled here.)
Notes: I spun this yarn up last spring and, while I loved spinning with BFL, I wasn’t too pleased with the yarn. The colors just weren’t really me, in some undefinable way. My mom really liked the colors, though, and when she requested flip-top mittens last year, I knew this yarn would be my choice.
I’m really crafty in that, when someone requests a knit, I wait and wait until they think I’ve forgotten. Then I pounce! And by “pounce,” I mean oh so slyly email them, asking for detailed hand measurements so that they know exactly what’s coming. Since these mittens weren’t a surprise, per se, I kept the details a secret from Mom and didn’t post any photos. She received them in the mail today, in time for her birthday next week, and I’ve been given the go-ahead to post about them.
Since my mom likes homemade gifts, I wanted this process to be as custom and made by me as possible, so I sat down with the yarn, knitted a swatch, and drafted a pattern to her measurements. I didn’t consult any flip-top or mitten patterns, just started and figured it out as I went along. I ended up ripping back a few times when a particular element wasn’t working, but in the end I got something that I (and, hopefully, my Mom) really love(s). I added an i-cord loop at the top and put the buttons on the cuffs, so she can easily clip these back when walking if her hands get warm. I also added a little hole in each thumb so she can pop the tip of her thumb through to grab her train ticket, answer her phone, etc.
I had a fantastic time knitting up these mitts, and I feel the end result is a real triumph. I forced myself to take my time, experiment, and rip something out if it wasn’t perfect. It was a labor of love and a real learning process, and I walked away with not only a new sense of just how far I’ve come as a knitter, but a pretty cute pair of mittens. Also, can I just tell you how soft BFL is after a good soak? These mittens are feminine and pretty, but they’re also remarkably strong. Ironically, just like their new owner. Happy birthday, Mom!