Mittens With Pints On

Mittens with pints on
I don't usually do 'here's a cool thing from the internet' or 'I want to  make this' type posts. Today I make an  exception to bring you both a cool thing on the internet and something I really want to knit.

I discovered Spilly Jane a few days ago and I've been oohing and ahhing over her designs ever since. She has the most wonderful colour work mitten patterns. There are ones with gnomes, cupcakes, strawberries and all manner of whimsical little things. For obvious reasons I've fallen for the ones on the left and I must make them. I don't have the yarn to make them though as I don't have a collection of lots of yarn all of the same weight in different colours, I can only wish! The pattern calls for knit picks yarn which isn't available in Ireland. I think I've found the perfect substitute yarn in Jamieson and Smith though.

Jamieson and Smith are a yarn company that are based in Shetland, one of the Scottish islands which is famous for knitting and for their native Shetland. Their jumper weight yarn spun from Shetland fleece fits the bill perfectly. It's fingering weight, 100% wool, comes in smaller 25g balls, has a brilliant colour range and is really cheap. It's designed for fair isle colour work jumpers after all. I suppose I could go entirely mad and attempt to dye some yarn I have into enough to make these but I'm not confident enough of my colour matching skills to do it. I think I might just have to order the yarn if there is to be any hope of these mittens getting made in the next few months.

I posted a link to this pattern on facebook and it made me smile that the people who liked and commented on the mittens with pints on were people who are interested in beer. It made me think about how knitting acts a kind of filter for people. Many of my non knitting friends send me links with knitted and crocheted things they think are cool. Or they mention something they saw about knitting being trendy again as they know I knit. It sometimes says more about them than me which I find interesting. A friend Luke (who writes and hopefully won't mind me using him as an example) sent me on a very cool knitted R2D2 pattern he found. Luke is into sci-fi and gaming so of course he finds this cool. I am nerdy person but I'm not into Star Wars as I didn't see it until I was an adult so it doesn't mean as much to me as it does to someone who grew up with it. Another friend obsessed with cycling sent me a photo of a knitted bicycle. All the cavers love my crocheted caving helmet.

It's funny that people who aren't into knitting will notice it when someone knits something that touches on a part of their life, where knitting intersects with what they think is cool. They then pass it back to me. It's maybe their way of saying wow you knit and I never realized it was cool and useful to stuff in my life. But still I wonder do they really understand what I love about the knitting process. I don't really do it because I think I will end up with a finished product that reflects my interests. Though that is part of why I do it. I love beer and knitting and a pair of mittens with pints on are what I dream of pulling on after a fun night with friends at the Bull and Castle. But if I just wanted some clothing with beer on I could get it without going to the trouble of knitting it. I like the whole process and creative design parts of knitting just as much as the finished product. Picking the perfect pattern like the mittens with pints on. Then picking out the perfect yarn to make it with, choosing my own colour palette for the project, maybe even deciding that I should spin the yarn for it myself. Then the technical side of the knitting. A plain knitted item is much easier and quicker to make but I don't usually do that. Lace and colour work or an interesting construction always make a project much more interesting to make even if it is more complicated and takes longer. Learning something new with each project means I don't get bored of the knitting. The fact that I end up with something cute and wooly that I can wear to keep my hands warm is just the icing on the cake.

5 Responses to "Mittens With Pints On" (Leave A Comment)

Sinéad says
August 20, 2010 at 7:32 AM

What a great post, it's true that people do notice more about things that touch their lives, but how great that they send thing to you that they think you'd like.
I can't wait to see your beers mittens. I reckon you could use the chart to make the brim of a hat to match, too.

sheknitupthat says
August 20, 2010 at 7:41 AM

Really enjoyed reading those musings, thank you! I agree - it's all about the thrill of finding the pattern, hunting through the stash, etc, rather than just having an item to wear.

Dulcinea says
August 20, 2010 at 10:34 AM

Those are amazing! Love them.

Leigh says
August 20, 2010 at 10:59 PM

Wonderful! I want some!

julie says
August 25, 2010 at 3:17 AM

I hope lots of non-knitters read this post because it's a great explanation about why we like knitting beyond the finished product. But those mittens are still fabulous!