Pinstripe Mittens

I am working on my third pair of Pinstripe Mittens.

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Those who know me know it’s rare for me to do the same thing twice, so I must like these! That’s a combination of the pattern, which is a neat design, and the yarn.  I got these three kits at Stitches East in October. The yarn is called Bertha from Dirty Water Dyeworks and it is rich and luxurious. Strangers on the bus have come over to ask if they could look closer.

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Those who know me also know it’s rare for me to approach any pattern without deciding to change something somewhere. I’m a technique junkie!  I collect different ways of doing things with yarn and needles the way some people collect Hummel figurines or postage stamps. It’s no good to collect them if I don’t get to display them, so I am always on the lookout for opportunities.

My tweaks to the Pinstripe Mittens are relatively minor, and one of them uses a technique developed by Lucy Neatby herself so it seems very appropriate to apply it to her mitten design.

  1. Instead of casting on 144 (the number of total front and back stitches), I cast on 72 using the Old Norwegian Sock Cast on, which is pretty and elastic and I love using it on sock and mitten edges. (Your own favorite cast on would also work.) Then I worked one row around as K1 YO, bringing me to the total needed.  On the next round, in double knitting following the pattern, the knit stitches became the stitches to be knit for the front, and the yarn overs were the stitches to be purled for the back.  Smooth!
  2. On the casing, I used Lucy’s Threading technique for Double Knitting for the first and last rounds, instead of using rounds of knitting and purling in the main color as the way of closing off the top and the bottom of the casing. Note that this results in a contrasting stripe that is wider than the original pattern on one side, because all the rows of the casing are worked in contrast, whereas the pattern had the first and last rows in the main color on the right side. I also worked one more row in contrast than the pattern specified to create a casing of the right width before threading the top closed. I love this technique, and the quilted look it gives to the casing.
  3. Cording. Nope. Not a fan. I put a loop of 1/4″ elastic through the casings, slipping it through the shank of a big attractive button before sewing the loop closed. (Oh, Windsor Button, what are we going to do without you!) The button can be pushed through from one side to another if the wearer wants to put the reverse side out from time to time.

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