I've been taking a brief respite from my nursing research and doing a little experimenting of my own--with yarn and double-pointed needles this time. You see I do my best thinking and writing late at night and my compute corner gets kind of chilly. I wear nice wooly socks on my feet so they don't get cold but my poor hands are not so fortunate. I tried making a pair of Fetching mitts for myself but that Aran wt. yarn is a bit chunky and the mitts feel a bit cumbersome to me. So I decided to look online for a fingerless mitts pattern that used a skinnier yarn but didn't come up with anything to my satisfaction. So, as I mentioned in my last post. I decided to design my own pattern.
Several weeks ago I bought a cone of dk weight 50% cashmere/50% merino yarn from Richard at ColourMart with the express intent of knitting some fingerless mitts out of it. Originally I thought I could just adapt the Fetching pattern but the yarn was much finer than I had anticipated even after washing, so I knew that wouldn't work. Besides, I love lace so a lacy pattern would be great. I came across a sock design from a great knitter here in Knoxville, Judy Sumner of KnoxSocks (Knoxsocks Designs Sock Knitting Patterns by Judy Sumner) that used a really basic lace motif that appealed to me. So I took that and added some ribbing, and after some trial and error I came up with a lace pattern that was easy, stretchy, and appealing to my eye. One of the challenges was to get a snug fit around the wrist but then how do I get enough room for my hand? I thought back to the things I've been learning from Liz Lovick in the Gansey Workshop over on EZasPi and found my answer--gussets! In gansey sweaters gussets are using in the underarm area to allow for comfortable movement. So I played around with increases and found that placing a gusset on the front and back of the thumb with one panel of lace separating them was the perfect amount of room to accomodate the entire hand and still maintain a close fit. And as you can see from the 1st picture the increases transitioned perfectly into additional lace panels. Boy did I feel accomplished having figured this out :-)
I've finished knitting the first mitt as you can see, and it fits my medium/large hand perfectly. The second mitt is about half done and I can't wait to finish it so I can wear it --only the coldest hand gets a mitt tonight :-( I plan to knit another pair out of a different yarn and try to finesse the pattern a bit more before I put it out for the world to enjoy. But I have plenty of the cashmerino left so I think a matching pair of socks is in order. It will be my next experiment in designing with yarn.