Sometimes a pattern has a very long journey from inception to publication. Today's pair of mittens has been one of those. To me it feels funny to be calling something a 'new pattern' when I spent most of the winter last year with these warming my hands. I had fun tracking their history -- they first appeared on the blog almost two years ago and then again, finished this time, in April of '09. Having realized that these have been around, and well-worn, for a good amount of time reminds me of one of the many reasons I love Shetland Wool: the mittens still look clean and new with nary a pill to be seen. (The photos of the mens mittens were taken just days ago with zero surface-grooming needed!)
If you came to my house - you'd quickly notice that I'm a sucker for all things Chevron and Herringbone. I have one too many woven blankets (if that's possible) with variations on these themes and I never tire of incorporating them into my knitting. Strago blows up one instance of a Chevron motif which naturally follows the shape of the hand inside. Simple, graphic, lovely.
When I got serious about writing out the pattern, I wanted to include a size for women as well and because I was so happy with the motif's existing proportions, I decided to size them based on gauge. The smaller size, shown here in a rich Ochre heather, is worked with fingering weight Shetland wool while the larger is worked in a DK weight. Both mittens are knit with Jamieson's Shetland -- Spindrift for the small, Double Knitting for the large.
The motif on the top of the hand is reflected on the palm identically, which means Right and Left mittens are completely interchangeable and you'll only be working from one chart for both mittens. If you begin wearing out the palm someday, just flip them over and switch hands and they'll feel good as new. The thumb is worked with a shaped gusset along the side 'seam' of the mitten for a natural and pleasing fit.
The smaller pair traveled with me to Italy in the Spring and was shot in a small hilltown in Tuscany. You may recognize the setting and model from our shoot for Dryad? It's really hard to beat Tuscan light.