The mark of a really good pattern designer is that they can take simple skills and wield them for lots of impact. The cuffs on these mittens are a perfect example. Knit and purl and the salt and pepper of knitting–as basic as you can get. Here, however, our designer alternates them, changes direction, and turns them inside out to create a nifty little channel that will hold decorative stitching when we’re done.
It took me a couple of readings–and peering at the photo of the finished object–to realize how all this worked. Now I’m impressed instead of confused. Decorative ingenuity aside, this pattern creates a snug cuff, which is something I value in a mitten. It won’t matter how toasty my fingers are if my wrists are cold and wet.
If you have big hands like mine, you might want to opt for the man’s sizing. I didn’t, and they’re feeling a little snug (not something I like in mittens). I’m withholding judgement on how snug until they’re washed and blocked, but I’m making a mental list of mitten-worthy friends for gifting just in case they end up too tight.
They are very wooly without being very scratchy–another high value for me. I like the feel of this Cascade wool against my bamboo double pointed needles. A bit on the rustic side (tweedy yarns always feel rustic to me), but with enough style to feel ruggedly artistic rather than woodsy. Of course, your choice of wool will be the ultimate factor in how they look–I could see these in a black wool with a wildly colored contrast yarn for the stitching.
Next up, I tackle the thumb gusset. Don’t forget, you can still leave a comment (voting for your favorite chocolate) to win one of Erica O’Rourke’s books from our February Authors Who Knit episode!