First there was Kuka, with her masterful Squirrely Mittens.
Then last winter I replaced my skiing gloves with mittens and was thrilled to find I had warmer, drier (less sweaty) hands all day.
The last couple of months I've been walking to the bus stop with cold hands in old, cold suede gloves, hunching my fingers into fists in the hand part of the glove to try to warm them up. Dreaming of woolly mittens.
When I came across the pronouncement that 'adults should never wear mittens' - one of a series of fashion 'don'ts' in a newspaper style section - that was just the red rag to a contrary adult that I needed.
I've been building up a little stash of 4 and 5 ply wools with stranded mittens in mind. But winter was marching on and I wanted my mittens now!
In the works-in-progress basket was the beginnings of a hat I started on last year's ski trip, in purple Cleckheaton 8ply crepe and mystery green tweedy stuff (maybe Lang something). It was going to be a fancier variation of this hat (which is done in dark green merino totem and the same mystery light green) but I had completely lost interest. So I used the two-colour ribbed band of the hat to guesstimate the number stitches I would need for my wrist and impulsively cast on. After a few rows I tried it on, and decided I had to start again with less stitches.
Each mitten only took a couple of days or so. This is largely thanks to my willingness to leave in many mistakes and miscalculations as I went along. I just wanted warm hands.
I muddled through using these instructions and charts from Mostly Mittens by Charlene Schurch. I didn't use her instructions or even use her charts properly (they definitely would look nicer with a stitch border between the thumb and the hand sections). They aren't as roomy as mittens usually tend to be. But they are pretty warm and soft.
Speaking of muddling through, see the zig-zag section on the right hand mitt?
Not supposed to be there. That's the rest of messing up only one line of the chart. Amazing how those patterns shift isn't it? That was the first mitten, and after I saw that mistake I put it aside for a couple of days, thinking I would have to redo it. Then I decided I was fine with it. I never said I was a perfectionist.