My first knitting project, begun and finished in our new city, are a pair of colourwork mittens for Our Dear Boy.
One of the pleasures of moving is unpacking boxes of favourite books long packed away. Since we are just renting at the moment while we look for a house to buy, I only allowed myself one craft-related box of books to unpack. I wasn’t sure what was in the box and I was thrilled to discover that Susanne Pagoldh’s Nordic Knitting (1991) was inside.
This is a lovely book, just crammed full of historic Scandinavian stitch patterns, organised by region. I used to stalk this book at the public library. In the days before blogging, I filled notebooks with photocopies and summaries of this book. A copy of my own came to me a few years ago, part of a deceased knitter’s estate that her daughter disseminated among the knitters she knew.
It is cold here on our walks to school in the morning. Our Dear Boy asked for mittens and serendipity provided the pattern in the pages of Nordic Knitting. Pagoldh provides instructions for knitting a pair of Selbu mittens from the Norwegian Folk Museum Collection. The pattern calls for worsted weight yarn on 1.75mm needles to create a tight, windproof, water resistant fabric.
I had some vintage Patons Herdwick DK from a time when all their scouring and milling was still done in Australia. The gauge is similar and with the pain of knitting in that gauge, I am grateful I did not use worsted! I used a single 50 g ball each of natural white and pale blue dyed darker with Earth Palette cold black dye. The result is a slightly variegated, hairy yarn that looks a little ancient when knitted up as these mittens.
The colourwork is simple and working your beginning of the round on the long columns of colour, completely avoids the jog. Genius and something I must remember! The instructions are very basic and you need to make things up a bit as you go but that was one of the pleasures of knitting these mitts. I worked the double decreases to shape the mitten hands either side of the columns to preserve that patternwork right through.
One of my favourite things about these mittens is the off centre star. Normally such things trouble me but the askewness delights me here. The other thing I loved, is that I had just enough yarn. You can see my leftovers above.
Warm hands…warm heart…that is the hope!