"And the fire is so delightful,
Since we've no place to go,
Let it snow
Let it snow
Let it snow." (with gratitude to the composer Jule Style and lyricist Sammy Cahn)
Being a true Wisconsinite, this is one of my favorite winter songs. I also managed to convince daughter #2 that this is the best song in the world. She and I would sing it with great vigor and enthusiasm when she was little, sitting in front of the fire and watching the snow come down outside. I have successfully raised her as a winter-lover.
Therefore, when I opened the Fall 2008 Vogue Knitting's Mitten Issue, I fell head over heels in love with the "Let IT Snow" mittens. Perfect Christmas present, I thought. I finished only the "Snow" mitten for Christmas, however, and made the second in early January.
I used Paton's sock yarn so the palms would last forever. Maybe that threw off my gauge. The first mitten was wide enough for two hands. Realizing that I could not simply wash and shrink the mitten (cause I was using sock yarn) I had to rip out the first mitten and alter the pattern. I took four stitches out of each side of the pattern (16 stitches in total).
My color choice (blue and green) was determined by a hat I made for my daughter when she was in grade school and that she still loves. She refuses to let me knit her another hat. "I already have a hat, Mom!" How many 17 year old girls do you know who refuse new clothing??
Although I love the backs of the mittens with the pine trees and drifting snow flakes, I also heartily love the palms of the mittens.
As a special treat, I told my daughter that I would knit an angora lining into the mittens. She declined. Her hands are too sensitive, apparently, for even angora. She begged for polar fleece lining. Sigh, what is a knitting mother to do??
I went to JoAnn Fabric store to find some microfleece. Nada. So, I purchased the lightest weight non-pilling fleece that I could find--a remnant with seashells on it!! I figured that the incongruous fabric would be inside the mittens and no one would know that serious winter mittens are lined with a beach scene fabric!! I simply traced the mitten on the fleece, extending the thumb a bit, cut it out and seamed it up.
I slid the fleece mitten inside of the knit mitten,
and whip stitched the two together at the cuff. I made the fleece cuff a little narrower so that the mitten would hug the wrist to stay on.
My daughter loves the mittens and wears them when the weather is really cold. She has some cheap, lined acrylic mittens (given to her by a school friend for Christmas) that she wears for normally cold Wisconsin weather. (Here in Wisconsin we need a variety of mittens to get through winter. When the temperature is below 0 F and the wind is blowing, unlined mittens are useless!! For snowblowing and snow shoveling, I use insulated, deep cuffed leather gloves that look like something for Antarctica.
I've been wearing her mittens recently and I find that the fleece lining is very soft, nice and insulating and cozy. Not too bulky. Very fast to make. Much faster than angora knitting. I may be on to something.