Curses! Foiled Again!

Mittens are my evil nemesis.

I'm sure that, to most of you, having mittens as an evil nemesis probably seems pretty lame. Kind of like having a baby kitten as an evil nemesis - how can something so fluffy and warm be evil? But they are evil. Evil and soul-sucking.

You may remember, from a previous Ooo! Shiny! post, that I knitted a dragon scarf and dragon hat for my friend's daughter. The scarf came from a pattern but the hat was created totally from scratch by me - no pattern whatsoever. I was pretty damn proud of myself for that. Now, the hat's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. It could have been longer to cover her ears better and the overall design could have been more elegant. But, it's for a five year old and it matches the scarf so, really, I'm not losing sleep over it.

For some reason, I thought it would be a good idea for her to have mittens to complete the set.With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, I realize I should have quit while I was ahead. "How hard could mittens be?", I naively asked? Pretty damn hard is the answer.

Never trust a mitten. Even a nice one.*
I went to my favorite source for free patterns - Ravelry - and started looking for the easiest instructions available. I specifically wanted to use either circular or double-pointed needles because I didn't want to have to piece the thing together. After slogging through a ga-jillion options, I settled on a pattern that looked relatively easy - and it was! I knitted up the cuff and thumb gusset (the bit where the thumb attaches to the mitten) with no problem. Then, about 1/2 way up the body of the mitten, it occurred to me that it looked kind of big. So I slipped my hand into it. And it fit.

After tearing the mitten apart, I started again - adjusting the pattern by about 1/4 in an attempt to make it smaller. So far so good. The cuff knitted up quickly. The gusset looked okay. And I managed to "guess" my way through the pattern adjustments to end up with a pretty decent looking, 5-year-old-sized mitten. Then I made the thumb.

Evil, evil, evil!!!

The thumb ended up with two giant gaps in the "v" where the thumb attaches to the body of the mitten. ARGH! The only solution I had at that point was to "sew" the gaps closed with yarn. Needless to say, it looks pretty crappy and is not worthy of being a gift.

[Note for those who knit: My mistake was as follows: I had to cast on two additional stitches to start the thumb. I did a M1 for both, which left me with big holes. Instead I should have K1FB on two stitches which would have given me two additional stitches but not left holes.]

So...yeah... I'm pretty much convinced that mittens have an nefarious plot to drive me mad and ensure that I never knit them again. I can't imagine why they wouldn't want to be brought into existence but who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of hand coverings, really?

- Alex

* For the free pattern of the basket weave mittens shown above click here.


  1. You're scaring me! I don't wanna try to knit no mittens, now!

  2. Ah...don't let it scare you. I'm just overly sensitive. ;)