Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Goals and Plans: What? Me? A Designer?

Over the past few months, I've had a few ideas percolating in my brain.  I never thought about design (after all, I'm not looking to re-invent the wheel).  But a few things have intrigued me and spurred on a design possibility.

First, wool intrigues me.  Not so much wool itself; rather wool's insulating properties, particularly in the application of mittens.  Imagine getting your mitts wet and still being able to stay warm?  How cool is that!  As a teacher,  I know only too well the consequences of wet mitts and frigid temperatures.

Another interest has been the thrum mitten.  The idea of fluffy warmth surrounding one's hands on a blustery February morn is quite appealing.  However, thrum mitts do look rather bulky and I wasn't sure if I was up to the challenge of constructing such an article (although a few of the gals at knit night have made them).

Stash to the rescue!  In my bin, I found 100% wool in my Briggs and Little along with extra skeins of bulky, soft Bernat Roving.  What if I combined the two to create a cushion-like fabric without all the bulk of a thrum?  With needles in hand I cast-on, taking copious notes, ripping out as needed and re-knitting.  Where did it all lead?

Introducing my lovely Faux-Thrum Mittens (link to free pattern page on this blog). 
It doesn't look like a thrum mitten; however, the diagonal pattern creates a layer of roving floats inside to cushion and thicken the fabric.  Now Bernat Roving is only 20% wool, but Briggs and Little makes 100% wool roving and Patons Roving is 100% wool (both of which are available locally so I may have to experiment).
Inside the Mitten
Writing a pattern is a little intimidating--and even a little daunting--but its done.  Please check it out.  Hopefully I can churn out another pair of mittens and maybe coax a friend to test knit it.


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