Thank you for all the kind comments on my last blog post, and hey guess what, I didn’t make you wait over a year for another one! It’s nice to know there are folks out there who still want to read this. 🙂 As I said before I do have some posts in me, and here I am again to prove it. Writing is a nice way to distract myself from the world and goodness knows, we need distractions right now, especially this last harrowing week. I wrote most of this post over the weekend when I needed a calming activity.
One of my main distractions in the second half of 2020 and now starting into 2021 has been knitting. For the last few years or so, I’ve really ebbed and flowed with knitting. It was a craft I did consistently for years, always working on something (or many somethings), and then… I just wouldn’t. For months at a time. If I look at my Ravelry projects, and granted I’ve missed documenting a few, I haven’t had nearly as many projects in the last few years as years past. And that’s fine. It used to bother me, because I wasn’t used to the feeling of just… not wanting to knit. But now I know that’s how it can go for me. Someday after a break I just suddenly want to start a project, and then I’m off to the races again for awhile. But when I don’t want to knit, that’s okay.
Right now I do. I’ve been on a kick since sometime in mid-2020 (I have no idea when because time feels meaningless right now, doesn’t it?) and I’m riding it until the next time I feel like a break. Though I don’t think that’ll be anytime soon as I’m really starting to nail down some style things with my knitting, but that’s a story for another day, because this one is just about something simple: mittens.
These mittens, to be exact. They’re a pair of Sildra mittens by Skeindeer Knits. They’re knit in dk weight, so they’re a quick knit. I knit them in December between a cardigan I finished and another one I started.
I’ll pause myself mid-stream to say that stopping mid-walk in a forest preserve “Hey can we step off the trail to take some photos of my mittens?” and taking pictures of something I made felt so utterly… normal. Not a lot feels normal these days. So were it not for the masks, or the larger than usual amount of people willing to be outside in January because what else can they do right now, or the existential dread, it was indeed quite normal for a few minutes.
Carrying on. For the mittens, I used leftovers natural and bright orange-red colors of Rauma Strikkegarn yarn, a workhorse Norwegian yarn that I love. The color palette is great and it’s wooly and toothy and even describing it makes me want to run right out (virtually) and get more, never mind that I recently stocked up on a different yarn I love, to get two future projects queued up in the background. These two colors were actually leftovers from my Princess Harald sweater that I knit a few years ago.
I’ve always loved Selbu mittens where there’s a main color contrasted with natural/white, but I’d never actually managed to prioritize knitting myself a pair until now. They were fun and fast, and I love the result!
I so rarely just… knit a project, without much tinkering along the way, and I did for this one, so it was a nice break.
I did reverse the charts so that the main and contrasting colors were flipped, because I wanted red as the background color. I learned years ago that I can’t just read a black square for a white square in a chart and reverse it in my head. Well I can, but it makes it suuuper slow going, with my brain ‘translating’ the entire time. Nope. So I scanned it and flipped it.
Before switching colors in the ribbed stripes, I knit one row plain in the color being changed to, which prevents those purl blips from each color showing between color changes in the stripes. You can’t see the stockinette row and it gives you nicer stripes!
I also knit a couple of extra rows in the cuff because many of my coats and clothes have bracelet-length sleeves. Between that and the extra rows from the stockinette row before each stripe color change, the cuffs ended up quite long. But just means warmer wrists.
And really, there’s not much more to say! I mean they’re mittens. They’re warm and toasty and when we took a long walk this past weekend to clear our heads, I wore them for the first time.
I look forward to someday wearing a cute wintery outfit with these mittens accessorizing, when I have someplace to go other than a walk. It’s making me want to knit a red hooded scarf to go with them. Well wait, I’ve already knit a red scarf that I can wrap around my head, and I hate knitting scarves for some reason, so maybe I’ll just call that good enough.
Hopefully if you live somewhere cold right now too, you get a few nice enough days to get out and enjoy a good walk. Take care of yourselves out there. ❤