Friday, September 23, 2011


Mittens for babies and toddlers are really fun to make because they turn out looking so charming and miniature, and are gratifyingly quick compared to, say, a sweater. Plus, unlike with adult-sized mittens, you don’t have to worry about knitting that pesky thumb. I don’t know about your babies, but my girl has a miniscule thumb that wouldn’t possibly stay lodged in a mitten-thumb anyhow. So why fuss with gussets?*

The mittens in the photo are
the special Noro ones I mentioned last time, in my “back in the land of the knitting” post. What sweet little hand-warmers! I dug up some pretty, eggplanty** Lamb’s Pride wool for the cuff and tip of each mitt, used up my hand-dyed Noro leftovers for the body of each mitten, and worked a four-pointed star at the tip of each – that being about as much intarsia, Dear Reader, as I can gracefully handle.

The fraternal mitts are attached by the prettiest silk ribbon on earth, which is long enough to thread through the sleeves of Bee’s winter coat. Expensive Japanese wool? Silk ribbon? I know, by January these mittens are totally going to end up lost in a filthy puddle of melty slush in the street, as every toddler mitten eventually does and must. But I’m not worried. I want my daughter to be surrounded by things of beauty, and to know that she’s worth the work of creating them.

That being said, I’ve just finished a second, slightly less over-the-top pair of mittens as back-ups. And because I happened to have wool in exactly the right colors lying around, this pair matches Bee’s winter coat with ridiculous, matchy-matchy precision. They’re a bit more utilitarian than the Noro pair (and identical rather than fraternal!), being made with some standard light worsted, but they’re still kind of terrific, I think. I’ll finish them after a day or two of nap-knitting, and then you shall see them in all their splendid orange-and-magenta-ness.

For both pairs of toddler mittens, I improvised a pattern that I’m unlikely ever to post here, as I know for a fact that the majority of knitters do not enjoy working from hastily scrawled, error-laden patterns created by the frazzled mothers of young children.

* Truth be told, I love doing gussets. For socks and grown-up-sized gloves and mittens, they’re necessary and pretty fun to do. But not having to add a thumb to baby mittens makes them really fast to knit, and I do respond well to that sort of semi-instant gratification.

** Indeed, this eggplanty yarn is left over from when I knitted (yep, you guessed it) an eggplant. I’m telling you, some Christmas down the road, Bee is gonna unwrap the best collection of stuffed play food EVER.


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