Just to continue the accidental baby theme I notice we’ve got going on here, I thought I’d post up some baby mittens I’m working on from Kris Percival’s Knitting to Go deck from Chronicle.
I’ve been looking for a good, quick knit project for all my friends who are having babies right now–booties are great, but they’re always a little more time-consuming than I want them to be, and I’ve missed the size window more than once! These mittens are the perfect thing for winter babies. (Although a friend pointed out that they could protect even summer babies from scratching themselves if knit in a light cotton yarn.) An average speed knitter can easily finish them in a solid afternoon, or they’d be the perfect thing to knit in odd moments over a weekend.
The pattern is rated “Difficulty Level 3″, but I found it really easy to do (if you know how to knit in the round, increase and decrease, you’re set). Joining the first few rows is a little tricky just because the work is so darn small, so that may be why it rates for difficulty! (As you can see in the photo, with k1, p1 ribbing, the cuff is tiny!) I didn’t make things any easier for myself by choosing a fuzzy, lace-weight yarn instead of the recommended fingering weight yarn, but I think they’re really cute. I just moved up a size in the needles required to make the gauge. (Tip: if you’re looking for small-sized double-pointed needles and you happen to have a set up Pick Up Sticks lying around, you might have just what you need! It turns out the sticks are just the right length, smoothness and sharpness to stand in for DPNs, and by checking them against a needle size card I have, I found a set of size 2s and size 3s just waiting to be repurposed!)
I love the card deck format of Knitting to Go, which came out a few years ago: each pattern is printed on a folded card with a difficulty rating and really clear instructions (there’s a separate card that has all of the abbreviations). It’s so nice to just toss your yarn, needles and the card in a bag without lugging the whole pattern book around, or squinting at a photocopy, and the card’s much sturdier than a print-out. I’m looking forward to trying some of the other patterns in the book (there are a bunch of baby and toddler projects, which is great for me, but there’s also a cute knit belt, a man’s sweater that doesn’t look too intimidating, some patterned shawls and throws, and even some adult-sized mittens). The infant mittens are definitely going to be a staple for me, though! They’re adorable, and the perfect thing to use up odds and ends of yarn.