Wednesday, January 14, 2009

At twilight...

...nature is not without loveliness, though perhaps its chief use is to illustrate quotations from the poets. Oscar Wilde

Isn't it so? There's something not at all dim or obscure about the light just after the sun has set or just before it has risen. The light promises something: the spangling of stars or the dawn of a new day. Fireflies love twilight. So does the stillness that precedes treefrogs and bullfrogs and crickets.

When I think of twilight, I think of summer evenings. When most other folks these days think of twilight these days, they think of books you can't put down, movies you see over and over, and gorgeous young vampires. I haven't read the book or seen the movie (am I the last one?!), but as I googled the phenomenon one day, in an effort to stay on top of what students think is cool, I came across a still from the movie in which Bella is wearing a pair of cabled mittens.

In this land of summer evenings, there are only a handful of days that call for mittens. But a pair of fingerless mitts are perfect for warming up just a little. I found a few patterns on Ravelry that tried to recreate Bella's mittens, mixed them together, added a few touches of my own, and cut off the tips to make my own design - the first time I've been original-ish with a non-rectangular knitting pattern! Here it is:

Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease
Needles: Four dpns, size 7

Cable forward six (cf6): Slip 3 sts to cable needle and bring it foward, k3, k3 from cable needle
Cable backward six (cb6): Slip 3 sts to cable needle and bring it backward, k3, k3 from cable needle

CO 50 stitches and divide between three needles (14, 18, 18). Join, being careful not to twist.
Rows 1-6: k12, p2, (k4, p2) six times
Row 7: cf6, cb6, p2, (k4, p2) six times
Repeat rows 1-7 six more times or to desired placement of afterthought thumb.  

Left hand afterthought thumb: work round as usual until third needle, then k4,p1.  With contrasting yarn, k6.  Slip stitches back on needle and knit them; then p1, k4, p2.

Right hand afterthought thumb: work round as usual until second needle, then k4, p1.  With contrasting yarn, k6.  Slip stitches back on needle and knit them; then p1, k4, p2 to end of needle and complete round as usual.

Repeat rows 1-7 to desired length and bind off. Complete afterthought thumb.

I'm a sermon writer, not a pattern writer. True to my sermon writing process, I suspect I'll be updating and editing this post regularly until I get the pattern just the way I want it to sound...

The evidence is only circumstantial, but here, I think, is the model for the color of yarn I used to make my mittens. The model is equally soft and warm, but harder to wrap around your fingers. In fact, he has me wrapped around his. His name is Zachary Gray, after a Madeleine L'Engle character whose personality he has taken on...


Mom said...

And to think I was not sure about my next project...thanks, Jennifer. You are amazing! I can't wait to get started!

Julie Nolte Owen said...

What a beautiful reflection. When I give these a try, I'll be thinking of twilight and fireflies. Thank you for sharing the pattern!

Jen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jen said...

I commented on your generous comments, and then realized my comment contained an error, and so I deleted it...

Kinda like pattern writing! I already noticed several errors and tried to correct them. If either of you really do try this, please be patient and let me know if you run across other problems, or if you find better ways to design or write the pattern. This will be a learning process for me!

Just to let you know. the mittens this pattern makes are on the larger side. My 2008 experience with mitten making taught me that my hands, though, are generally smaller than other women's hands. And my 2008 experience with mitten wearing taught me that I prefer mittens to be a little loose rather than a little snug.