women of a certain age are like sunflowers; they know how to turn their faces to the sun.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Magnolia Mitts

"Let us believe neither half of the good people tell us of ourselves, nor half the evil they say of others."
- John Petit-Senn

When I was younger, one of my favorite reads was a children's book titled "Half Magic" by Edward Eager.If I recall correctly, the book revolved around some sort of talisman that granted its possessor half of whatever they wished for.

To quote Amazon, "Imagine the results emerging from inaccurate efforts: half invisible, half rescued, half everything!"

The book is still available and I heartily recommend it for your children. In fact, I think after I am done here, I will order one for my niece who reads like a fiend.

Now, MY idea of half magic would be if that second mitt, second sock, second sleeve, second half of the scarf just magically knit itself overnight.



LARGE: 6 inch circumference
SMALL: 5 inch circumference
LONG: 9 inches
SHORT: 6 ½ inches
1 skein (150 yd) MANOS Silk Blend
or MALABRIGO Silky Merino
four size 3 & 5 (US) doublepoint needles
8 stitches = 1 inch (twisted rib stitch)

Charted design - Intermediate level - knit in the round.

My studio is strewn with half finished projects, enough to vet the pattern, but not enough to wear.

I have half a set of Magnolia Mitts. If I can just find someone with only one hand, I'll be good to go.

Unfortunately, most people have two hands and both of them want to be warm.

Guess I'll just have to grit my teeth and bear down.

Birthing a pattern has to be easier than birthing a baby, right?

I am doing some Christmas knitting, but I am too ornery...



to use someone else's pattern.

I was surprised at how many small tweaks I had to make on the fingerless mitts. Stitch count, gauge, needle size, increase placement. A lot went into these little gems.

And a lot took a detour to the frog pond.

I made mine long so they would cover the forearms with a 3/4 length sleeve. They came in just under one skein of the Manos silk blend, but if you are in a hurry, you could easily do two pattern repeats instead of three. Malabrigo's silky merino would also be lovely.

The color is Dove, a lovely ecru with very pale undertones of soft green and pink. Perfect for the delicacy of the design, but I could also see them as Poinsettia mitts in that lovely deep crimson color.

I placed the increases within the thumb gusset so they form a chevron pattern, and added a little picot trim to the edges.

The pattern pulls the bottom of the mitts up in the center, providing a gracefully curved line, and the twisted ribbing ensures a snug fit.

I will try to get better pictures, but it was late last night when I finished (HALF) and it isn't easy taking a picture of your right hand with your left, when you are right handed.

Charted design - Intermediate level - knit in the round.

It is a very speedy little pattern...when you aren't tweaking. I should have the second one completed by the end of the day.

The quote above is quite apt for a week that began with criticism and ended with an increased awareness of the great blessings all of you are to me.

Thank you for all the kind messages. I choose to believe more than half of them, even as I am acutely aware that I am not half so good as you might think.

If that...

Now THAT is what I call magic!


Anonymous said...

Your gloves are lovely...as are all of your other patterns! Best wishes, Hannah

Anonymous said...

The Magnolia Mitts are beautiful and I had to place my order. This will be interesting... I've never done gloves or mitts because I do not like double pointed needles. I have done hats with the magic loop technique and that's what I will be trying with these :-)

fleegle said...

I solved the half problem by always knitting second sock/sleeve/mitt first. Fortunately, only have one head (usually), so the dilemma doesn't apply to hats!

Gorgeous mitts!

dragon knitter said...

i clicked! i'm looking forward to the pattern (although i may adapt it a bit. i have very short pinkies, lol)

FiberRachel said...

Well I am glad you believe at least half of all those comments, you deserve to. I only have one main complaint, you design tooooooooooooo many patterns that I like, which is the main reason why I haven't finished much yet. I have stopped buying them at the moment so I can do some catch up, but once those cathedral patterns start coming I won't be able to stop myself at all.
I just sit there with twelve or so little bags with beautiful yarn, wonderful beads and your magical patterns and don't know which to do first and then there's the hats and sweaters I need to wear which have to be done too. Now if you could just design a 48 hour day I would order a years worth in one go.....

Anonymous said...

I saw the title to this article and my mind immediately flew to that great book I read when I was a kid. I was actually surprised that you were referring to the same book!

I read your response to the unkind commenter. You compose works of art that have a lot in common with symphonies and cathedrals. Lots of complex elements supporting each other, weaving in and out of each other, making a stunning whole. However, nobody said you are perfect. Those of us who can't plan a dishcloth and are envious will have to settle for the fact that you make booboos when transcribing your concepts for us. And some of our less gracious members will call you on it. That's what you call sour grapes, m'dear.

I haven't tried one of your scarf patterns yet because I know I'm not skilled enough. But when Durham comes out, I'm screwing up my courage and doing it.

Whether I attempt them or not, your scarfs are as lovely as any piece of art. You have no idea the pleasure you give to us when we're scanning through Ravelry and I yell at my sister, OMG, you've GOT to see this."

Ronni said...

Ooooh pretty mitts! These are gorgeous. I've got them in my cart and as soon as I figure out how to get that hat and scarf too. And anything else I missed while I was in the middle of temporary moving, I'm chortling my way through the checkout. I even have some lovely yarn for these already in my stash. Although possibly not here - that would be sad - I'd have to shop ;-)