Wednesday, December 3, 2008

FO: Matrix Mittens

Matrix Mittens: outside
Pattern: Matrix
Author: Kerry Palm
Source: Knitty, Winter '07
Yarn: Cascade 220 in Burnt Orange (7824) and Charcoal (8400)
Needles: ChiaoGoo bamboo DPNs size 5 & 6
Started: February 11, 2008
Finished: November 28, 2008
Photographed: November 30, 2008
Modifications: Added a pattern repeat to both sides to fit my man hands, used a tubular cast on, changed cuff to 2x2 ribbing instead of corrugated ribbing, changed thumb gusset pattern to vertical stripes.
Ravel It!

Finally finished these. I started them last winter because I couldn't take using the fingerless gloves I had at the time. I had one mitten finished, but bogged down when I realized the cuff needed to be re-worked. I followed the pattern as written, but the corrugated ribbing didn't pull in enough to suit me. Faced with the prospect of redoing the cuff, I gave up and they languished over the summer.

Matrix Mittens palm detailIt took the onslaught of cold weather for me to pick them back up. I devised a plan to replace the cuff and powered through. Using a tubular cast on, I knit a replacement cuff, removed the offending piece and grafted the new part on. It was surprisingly easy and gave me the needed motivation to finish the pair. The first mitt took me 8 months to finish, the second only a week. Why do I wait so long?!

I was keenly aware of color dominance as I knit these up after discovering it on Grumperina's blog. The only problem was in the long layoff between mitts, I had forgotten which color went where. I knew I wanted the gray to be dominant, but I couldn't remember how to hold the yarns to accomplish that. Instead of looking it up, I stubbornly knit an inch or two into the pattern before realizing I was doing it wrong. You can really see it on the thumb pattern where the gray lines of stitches literally sit higher than the orange lines.

Matrix Mittens detailSpeaking of the thumb, I made two modifications here. The pattern originally called for horizontal stripes on the thumb, which left either long floats while you knit with only one color or catching the yarn several times and you knit around. I wasn't a fan of either - and I like Elli's Herringbone Mittens - so it was an easy switch. I also made the gusset larger to suit my man hands. The only other modification I made was to add a pattern repeat to both side to better fit my hands.

Final verdict: Excellent. They keep the cold out and warm my hands up nicely. The only thing I don't like has more to do with my winter coat than the mittens. The cuffs don't play well with my coat because it has such tight cuffs. Putting them inside my coat sleeves makes for a good seal against the winter wind, but they're a bitch to get off. Outside my coat cuffs, they get stretched out and don't sit right on my hands. I need a new coat.


MotherHenKnits said...

I love these! Great job!

Larjmarj said...

"I need a new coat"

Spoken like a true knitter. The mittens look awesome. I'm thinking about doing the skull mittens. It'll be my first delve into 2 color knitting.