In the May 2016 edition of Simply Knitting magazine, there was a pattern for the cute Aquamarine Mitts, intended to be knitted using the free yarn given away with the magazine. I had other plans for that yarn, so I decided to use King Cole Comfort 4-Ply in Blackcurrant instead. This yarn may look familiar because it’s the same yarn I used for the Catching Butterflies Mitts. I grabbed my 3mm Zing straights and got to work. At first, the going was good and I cruised thought the rib and up the plain body. But then, I hit a problem. The finger end of the mitt should be rib, but the instructions produced moss stitch! I was annoyed that I hadn’t spotted it sooner, but decided to leave it, as it looked quite pretty.
Then came the lace border, which is knitted separately. I’ve done a bit of lace in the past, but this was a nightmare. I cast on the border using 3mm needles as instructed, but ended up with this after three repeats.
Not very lacy, is it? In fact, it resembles the pattern about as much as I resemble a box of chocolates. I took the offending item to the Knitters Advice Bureau (also know as my Mum) and we developed a solution. The needle size was upped to 3.5mm and I replaced all of the yarn overs with double yarn overs, dropping the extra wrap on the next row. With these tweaks, I came up with this:
Aah, much better. It seems I do yarn overs in a weird way. Both my Mum and the pattern picture have two twisted strands where the YO is, but I have untwisted strands. I assume this is because I knit Continental, but I need to figure out how to fix it in the future. I sewed up the mitts as instructed and got this:
Well, the gap for the thumb is way larger than I like it and the edges are curling. Ugh. I’m not very happy with how these turned out to be honest. Even modifying the lace pattern still hasn’t opened it up as much as I would have liked. The pattern’s picture shows the lace panel reaching up to about an inch below the rib (or moss stitch in my case). My mitts clearly don’t look like that. I have very long hands for a woman, so I probably should have added an few extra rows to the body to compensate. The pattern states it will fit an average sized woman’s hand. I’m not sure what that is exactly, but my 7 inch hands seem to be a little too big for the mitts.
I don’t think I’ll make the Aquamarine Mitts again. I had hell’s trouble getting the lace to behave and I’m not very pleased with the result. If I was suddenly possessed by the urge to make these again (or if you fancy it) here are my suggestions:
- Check the errata for the rib at the finger end. Or be a rebel and do moss stitch like I did!
- Knit a sample of the lace panel in different needle sizes. As I used acrylic, I couldn’t really block it, so I had to adjust at the knitting stage.
- Add a knit row to each end of the border. I did this and found that it made the sewing up much easier.
- Add a knit stitch or two to the end of each row of the body. As you can see, mine is curling like mad; a couple of knit stitches should bring it under control.
- Check your hand length as you go. I have long hands so these mitts aren’t as long as I would like.
I think I’ll still wear the Aquamarine mitts, because I like having warm hands, but I also have the urge to burn them in a fireplace because I don’t really like how they look. It’s a shame, because they’re gorgeous in the pattern photos, but I just couldn’t replicate that result. Oh well, onto the next thing!