“Flip Top Mittens”
My last knitting project of 2018 was a request from granddaughter McKinley… and when a granddaughter asks for a specific item… You make it! It seems a friend in school has a pair and she wanted one like her friend,,, and I felt honored that she asked me!
Immediately I began searching for a pattern, and after comparing a few, I ended up on Ravelry and bought one… then off to my local yarn store. They suggested the brand Jelly Beanz, which looked very pretty in the pinks and purples and something the girls would like; one pair turned into two as you can’t make for one granddaughter and not the other. After knitting with this yarn, I quickly found find it not to my liking and wouldn’t recommend it… but somehow I managed to muddle my way through. It was a softer yarn, and maybe that was one of the problems besides the many strands of colors winding through which often seemed to stretch out of shape.
The pattern was well written, but very detailed… sometimes too detailed. I’ve found that I don’t work well with patterns that aren’t specifically… only written line by line. This pattern seemed to require you to really read through each section before beginning and that seemed to be my problem as I’d begin what they said to do… to eventually learn I shouldn’t have done all the rows in order… oh well… live and learn!
My next dilemma was that the pattern was written for an adult, so I had to change needle sizes… which caused me to rip out and begin over a few times. Finally I settled on needles and had no problem completely the mitten… although I’m not a fan of working the thumb area. Just as I thought I was out of the woods, I came to the section of adding the flip top on the mitten… procrastination set in! I read and reread the how to’s… and immediately realized I’d already missed a step… I didn’t add a lifeline where I was to pick up stitches to make the flip hat. I backtracked and added the lifeline and added a note on the pattern for the next mitten… which definitely made it easier in adding a straight line!
While I”m not a newbie to knitting, it took me several starts and rips to finally get my two sets of mittens made. If they had been for me, I might have done what my mother always says, “just throw it in the trash and walk on.” But that’s not me… I can be a dog with a bone… never giving up!
My biggest obstacles besides the gage was the yarn splitting and those stretchy strands making bigger stitches, which sometimes caused me to fangle the stitch somehow in tightening it up. It was actually the thumb area which had me almost having a “hissy” fit… but I kept taking deep breaths… actually really deep breaths to complete them. While they aren’t my best work, they came much better than I thought they would… and they’ll make two little girls very happy. Hopefully they are my very last time of making flip-top mittens, also called convertible mittens… but I wouldn’t be surprised if I don’t someday try again with another type of yarn… having more substance to the fiber. Not all yarns are created equal for all projects!
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