Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Blast from the past

Just before Christmas my sister-in-law called me to say that she had put on her mittens and her little finger had gone right through! Could I fix them? I said sure.

I made these mittens somewhere around 1996, two moves ago for both of us. I'm almost certain they're made of jumper-weight Shetland, and I think they've held up remarkably well. Kathy says she wears them all winter long. I couldn't find matches for the yarn in my Shetland box, so I mended them with some white Shetland that isn't quite the right color and some gray handspun that is exactly the right color but much harsher. I don't think it will matter, though.

Even though they're looking pretty good for their age, these mittens are reaching the end of their useful life. I mended three fingertip holes (both little fingers, one forefinger), an incipient hole on the outside of each thumb where the yarn had broken but the hole had not yet spread, and a break in the cast-on on one side. I could see lots of other thin spots that could break at any time.

So I promised Kathy another pair for next winter. She wants almost exactly the same thing -- a low-contrast Norwegian style mitten -- although she said the colors could be slightly different. This time I think I'll make them just a tiny bit longer so that the fingertips don't wear out as quickly. Also, a little longer hand would frame the top motif better.

But what yarn shall I use? Last time I picked Shetland because I had lots and lots on hand. I still have lots of that Shetland around (abandoned that sweater plan) but no natural colors. I could spin the yarn (there are five or six or maybe seven Shetland fleeces in the garage) but I'm not sure it would be even enough. Or I could buy something that would be more durable than the Shetland. Ten years is a good run -- but it still was a shock to see all those thin spots. Maybe a Norwegian yarn?

I guess this is the first on the list of 2007 projects. I need to make sure they get finished, too!

No comments: