Although this could be a post about the glorious fall foliage display C and I observed this week in our travels, I am instead talking of the October Leaves fingerless mitts I just finished. My sister requested a pair of fingerless mitts for work. Since knitting requests from family are like kryptonite to me, I eagerly set out to find the perfect pattern. I've made several different mitts over the years and find my favorites are the ones knit with fingering weight yarn (sock yarn). They fit close to the hand so they are unobtrusive when you are trying to type or use your hands for any reason, yet they still provide plenty of warmth. I also wanted a pattern with a bit of interest. The October Leaves pattern by Abbie Tilden looked to be the perfect choice.
The color requested was grey or black and a quick search of my stash produced a gorgeous grey superwash sock yarn. I was off and running. The mitts only took 11 days to complete. The pattern calls for cables up both sides of the hand. But after a few rows in this fashion, I decided the outside cable was too much. I much preferred the single cable running up the thumb side and blooming into the leaves that frame the thumb.This pattern is super easy. I manged most of the 4 stitch cables without a cable needle. When I did need a cable needle I used a lightly sanded round toothpick since none of the cable needles I own were small enough for such fine yarn. This worked wonderfully. The only other modification I made was to knit the top (hand) ribbing on smaller needles to keep the fit snug around the knuckles. There's nothing worse on mitts than the top edge being loose and bunching up.
The only problem I had with this project was the yarn. The yarn was a gorgeous mottled grey handdyed sock yarn. It is delightfully soft and a pleasure to knit with. However, I washed the mitts and then laid them outside to dry. When I went back to check on them a few hours later, I discovered the side facing up had turned green!I've never had a yarn change color on me. It was so weird. After checking the yarn label, I found the dyer DID say to dry them out of direct sunlight, so it is entirely my fault. The green was an interesting color and had I been able to get the second side to fade the same way they might have been usable. However, the request was not for green mitts so I took to my dye pot and overdyed them. Two dyebaths later, the mitts emerged a fabulous charcoal grey.
They are on my hands now as I type and I adore them. Sis, I do hope you love them too. It's a wrench parting with them but it makes me feel good knowing you'll have warm (and I must say, smartly dressed) hands thanks to me.