Last week while Lisa was knitting another pair of mittens using this new Noro yarn, Yuzen, she started thinking out loud. Could you knit the mitten sideways and short-row the whole thing to create the shaping for the top of the hand? Could you do it and never have to sew a seam? Could you do it in one skein?
Lisa always likes a challenge. Quoting her:
"This is one of those "because you can" projects: Knitting a pair of mittens in self-striping yarn made me think about all the things knitters do to manipulate the stripes. The rest of the design decisions were motivated by two things: one, I hate sewing seams (so the hand section opens with picked-up stitches and closes with a three-needle bind-off); two, I HATE weaving in ends (so the knitting is continuous from the cast-on at the cuff to the final closure of the thumb)."
This mitten is not for the faint of heart. There is some wacky shaping going on, although in true Lisa style her pattern reads more like prose in parts than a mathematical formula. When people come into the shop with patterns like this I often say something like, "Just do exactly what the pattern says, without question, even if you have no idea why you are doing what you are doing." This pattern fits that bill. By the second mitten you'll know what's going on. And it's amazing.
These mittens use this new yarn from Noro, Yuzen. It's a self striping DK weight yarn with an interesting fiber content: 56% wool, 34% silk, 10% kid mohair. $10 a ball, you'll only need one for these mittens. Note that Lisa mentions in the pattern that she had 6" of yarn remaining when she cast off the second mitten so if you're gauge isn't right or if you adjust the size you'll want a second skein.
Download Bert's Mittens, December's Project of the Month, and have fun knitting this puzzle!