Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Double Thick Mittens

I started these way back the beginning of November. I might be slow but I do keep going and this steady movement forward has rewarded me with a completed project. Our oldest grand daughter, who loves playing in the snow, is thrilled with them. Snow is a new discovery this year since she now has warm boots, wool socks, warm mittens, snow pants, and a warm coat with a hood. Things she lacked before, not to mention someone to help her discover the wonders of the white fluffy world outside. Because I'm here to keep track of things, my knitting needles are clacking away trying to come up with the woolly wonders that keep you warm in the cold. And it is really cold outside right now, 12 below 0 F. With the little breeze that's blowing, life is pretty miserable doing chores but that's another post for today I want to share with you my mittens.

And now that they are done, my mind is a whirling with all the other needs, my husband sure could use a new wool hat and I could use another one too. Our middle grand daughter is wanting a scarf. I'm in the middle of knitting an ascot for myself. I'll tell you about it later and I've wanted to make sweaters for the girls but just never seem to get it done. Oh how did the pioneers keep up. There wasn't a store to go to and buy all these woolen wonders. How did those mamas make sweaters, socks, mittens, hats, and the like for an entire family? And to think many had large families too. Case in point, my Kinghorn line from Scotland. I swear they all had fifteen kids. You know how many genealogy pages that takes up just for one family?
At times like these I wish I could sneak a peek into the past. Wouldn't it be interesting to look in on them and see how they lived. Not actually live there for I like my warm house and today's comforts but just visit for a short time to learn some lessons from them.

I'm sure they had grandmas to teach them and a mom that could have taught me how to make double thick mittens. A luxury I didn't have. But I have had a double thick pair of mittens and loved the and we have one childrens pair right now so I made up this pattern after contemplating and looking at a store bought pair, a rare find. I started with two sizes of yarn. Not because that was thought out or anything for I had planned on just doing the inside layer a couple stitches shorter in width, but because it was what I happened to grab in a big hurry as I went out the door on a trip to Idaho with my hubby, had to make the best of it or not start on the mittens and that wasn't going to happen. You can breathe now. Wow was that a long sentense. So the inside mitten is the same number of stitches across but a few row more in length to make up for the lighter yarn. All done, I see I could have added a few stitches to the width but over all, I'm pleased. They turned out great and our oldest grand daughter has declared them comfy and toasty warm.
After all that is the point of double thick mittens.
Last night as our youngest grand daughter fell asleep beside me in bed, I crocheted up a string to attach to both mittens. I can't believe mittens you buy in the store no longer come with strings attaching the two. For grown ups I can understand, but kids-- they always loose a mitten if you don't keep a really close eye on them. With the grand kids gone to school, that isn't going happen so I've begun building strings once more just like I did with our kids when they were little. I 'll thread them through our oldest's coat and my effort won't get lost in the snow or at school. I've learned to make the string double thick or our grand kids, being kids, bust the string loose from the mittens in one day. I don't understand that phenomenon since there is still only one strand of yarn going through the mitten itself but, none the less, if I just crochet a single chain, it is broke by nightfall. With the above double rowed string, it now takes a few weeks. Hence, I was crocheting two strings, one for the broken one of our middle grand daughter's and this one for the new mittens as my eyes kept drooping shut all comfy in bed beside our cute little snuggle bug. Yup, that's what we call our youngest grand daughter, bug as in lady bug, cute bug, stinky bug, snuggle bug, opinionated bug etc.
As fate would have it, my oldest daughter told me last night she discovered a book on making both mittens, the one inside and outside at the same time in a book in one of the rooms where she works. Now she tells me! But I suppose it didn't do this old brain any harm pondering on how I'd get the job done on my own. I'll just appreciate knowing a better way next time. Which I hope will be soon as the kids are really enjoying the snow. That means they will want a change or two of mittens as they grow wet playing in the powdery white stuff. Next, after my scarf is done or while I'm working on it, I'm going to knit up some double thick mittens for the youngest grand daughter, now two. I'm going to do the thumb extended to the side like the mitten to the left. The one on the right is a comparison of the traditional style versus the infant thumb placement on the left. I've found for little ones, I just love the thumb to the side. No more trying to get their thumb to line up with the thumb hole. It just slides right on as the mittens slides on. Did I have a pattern for it, no, but I did look at one super thin version made by the store and wandered off from there. What is it with thin thin mittens for infants? Their hands get cold the quickest so why not treat them to an extra thick pair? Our little bug had declared this pair not adequate for some of our colder days.
Now as for the sweater with the elk horn buttons I promised you pictures of, I'm sorry to announce that we are embarking on that old game of Button Button Whose Got The Button. Yep, our middle grand daughter who can't leave anything alone has lost one. It was sitting on the bed having just worked on getting the other two attached and I'd left to go take care of supper giving specific instructions to live it all alone there was a needle sticking out. Such is the life with little ones, nothing stays put. Oh how I hope Kirk doesn't have to make another one but we have no idea where it is. After the grand daughter returns from school her and I will look again. Her first reaction last night was, "Just go and buy another one Grandma. " After I explained to her why that wouldn't work, she felt really bad. But then that attitude sums the bulk of the population. I feel things have come a bit too easy. Appreciation for things just isn't there. If people today had to clothe their families and themselves with their own labor, that would soon change.

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