knitting, warm hands kal

Estonian-inspired mitten #1 is Done!

Yep, that’s right. Mr. Estonian mitten finally got his thumb yesterday. See?

Estonian-inspired mitten #1, complete!

And for a palm-side view, there’s this:

Palm side of Estonian-inpsired mitten #1

It’s a little bumpy, but that’s nothing a good blocking won’t fix. There’s something really magical to me about the moment when whatever it is that I’m knitting is finally off the needles, with all ends woven in, and is suddenly actually an object. Not a work in progress, but an actual, say, mitten. Or sweater. Or whatever. It makes me feel so powerful and creative: I decided I wanted a mitten, and now I have one. I can create. I can turn two balls of yarn into a mitten, just using a few sticks. It’s just very, very cool.

The mitten is very, very comfortable, too. The yarn I used (Artyarns Ultramerino, the worsted-weight version, it’s heavenly) makes a delightfully squishy, spongy fabric when knit at this gauge. You want proof that it actually fits on my hand? Here you go:

Estonian-inspired mitten #1, on me!

And now for the palm side (with thanks to my dear husband for taking these pictures for me…it’s a little tough to take a picture of one of your hands if you’re as bad at balancing a camera one-handed as I am!):

Palm side of Estonian-inspired mitten #1, on me!

For my own reference, I’m going to summarize the “pattern” I followed to make this (in hopes that Mr. Estonian Mitten’s partner comes out looking just like him):

Cast on 48 stitches evenly over 4 size 3 dpns. Join. Knit in 2×1 rib for 14 rows. Increase 6 stitches evenly over next round. Do 24 stitches worth of “Goat’s Eye” pattern (I used the charts from “Folk Knitting in Estonia”), 3 stitches of alternating edge pattern (borrowed from the Selbu mittens I knit for a friend of mine, from the book “Folk Mittens”), 24 stitches of “Fly” pattern (also from “Folk Knitting in Estonia”), and 3 stitches of alternating edge pattern.

On the next round, start thumb gusset by doing an M1 on either side of the center stitch in the alternating edge pattern, alternating colors every two rows to form a “checkerboard” pattern. Continue to increase in this manner every other row until gusset contains 24 (I think…I really should have written it down, because it’s hard to tell now that I’ve picked up extra stitches at the thumb) stitches, then place those stitches on a piece of waste yarn to finish later.

Continue knitting the body of the mitten in pattern until the last row of the 5th repeat of the “Goat’s Eye” motif, at which time do a ssk on the right side of the body, next to the edge pattern, and a k2tog on the left side of the body, next to the edge pattern (do the same thing on both sides of the body).

Continue doing decreases every other row until 10 body stitches remain on either side of the edge stitches. Then carry the edge stitches over the top of the mitten by knitting back and forth, using decreases to join body stitches to the edge stitches (this probably doesn’t make any sense to anyone else, but at least I know what I mean). When the only stitches remaining are the edge stitches, either kitchener them together or turn the mitten inside out and do a three-needle bindoff to finish the body.

For thumb: pick up the thumb stitches, picking up an extra three stitches at point where it joins the body. Use those three stitches to continue the edge pattern up the inside “seam” of the thumb, and continue to knit in “checkerboard” pattern for 4 rows. Then do decreases on either side of the edge stitches (as in the body) every other row for 8 rows. Then do decreases every row in this manner for 2 rows, and then carry the edge stitches over the top of the thumb in the manner described for the body, closing the mitten by threading the yarn through the loops when 4 stitches remain.

Well, hopefully Mr. Estonian Mitten’s partner will get finished in a more timely manner than Mr. Estonian Mitten did. It’s chilly outside, and I want to have warm hands!

6 thoughts on “Estonian-inspired mitten #1 is Done!”

  1. Your mittens are beautiful! I love the color combo, the pattern AND the name of the pattern – “Goat’s Eye”! They will be really warm with the double thick layer of yarn. Good luck with #2!

  2. Love those colors. The pattern looks more like flowers to me, than goats eyes…it’s so pretty.

    I just used Artyarn super merino for the first time. LOVE it! I had won some on a blog contest and made it into socks. So soft and was a real pleasure to work with. I imagine your hands will be just as happy as my feet. Heehee!!


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