Tuesday, 25 October 2011

FO: Glorious Cable Mitts

I'm a bad knitwear role model when it comes to my hands. I dislike the bulk of knit gloves, and only wear mittens if it's so freezing cold out that your fingers need to snuggle up next to your other fingers for warmth, like puppies. I do love the elegance of leather gloves, especially if they are lined with something wonderfully soft and warm, like cashmere or deerskin.

A few of my friendos in my local knit group made these Glorious Cable Mitts. I really liked the delicate but complex cabling and the fine gauge.

I started with a skein of A Verb For Keeping Warm Annapurna Cashmere in the Peacock's Tail colorway. It's dyed with Indigo. Aside from the gorgeous color, it's lovely yarn- a blend of cashmere, merino and nylon. Soft, and after a wash, the cashmere blooms and fills in the fabric nicely.

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There was a little bit of "crocking" that is, my hands turned an alarming shade of frostbite blue. That's totally normal with Indigo, and after I soaked it I got hardly any bleeding at all. You have to think of indigo as not just a dye, but a live organism, so you learn to love its quirks.

I used size 0 needles, but realized pretty quickly that I'd have to fudge the pattern a bit as they were going to be huge if I didn't cut down the stitch count. 72 stitches were a bit too many if I wanted them to fit.


I ripped back, cast on 62 stitches, and then re-worked the cable pattern so that it would be centered on the new stitch count.

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I love them.

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They keep my hands free to fumble through my bag, find my phone, wallet, keys, metrocard, whatever. All that ribbing means they fit nice and snug. I love the cabling detail- it took a bit of time to work the cables but nothing so bad that it couldn't be done. They took me a little less than 2 weeks from start to finish. I didn't have the goal of having them Rhinebeck ready, but it worked out that way.

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The thumb gussets are brilliant- I think I've only ever done an "afterthought" thumb, which just sticks out like a hitchhiker. These lie nice and flat without any thumb bulk to get in the way. They keep me toasty warm as they are snug around my pulse points. I did a stretchy bind-off so I can wiggle my thumb out and roll them back if I'm doing something where I don't want to get them dirty. Still, the ribbing keeps them snug across my hands so they don't get saggy baggy.

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Someone stopped me to admire the gloves and asked me, "Can I just get those at Walmart or something?" to which I replied non-verbally with a careful peeling off of my new fingerless gloves and giving the poor ignorant soul a sound slap across the face with them.

No, actually, you can not get these at Walmart.

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