My sister requested that I make her Cupcake Mittens.They looked super cute, so agreed that I would give them a go.

I am satisfied with the end result and pretty happy with my colour work, but these were a hard slog.

The beginning of this project caused me frustration. I had trouble getting gauge, first they were too loose, then they were too tight – playing with needle size and stitch counts until I on the fourth try I was happy with the cuff. I also found that by knitting the cupcakes on the palm as well as the back of the hand the mitt was very tight (partly I think due to my inexperience in colour work). So I chose to rip back to the cuff and change the pattern. I knit the cupcakes on only the back of the hand, five on the first row, four on the next and then alternated those two rows. I also knit three plain rows in between, in order to give myself a break from the colour work, provide an opportunity to knit in ends as I went and to hopefully prevent the overall mitten from being too tight.

I also changed the pattern further, by making the mitts convertible. I used the directions from the ChemKnits tutorial for transforming any mitten knitting pattern into convertible mittens.

After three repeats into the cupcakes on the first mitt, I thought that the thumb as written in the pattern was going to end up making the mitts too tight and not sit correctly, so I made the decision to start adding in a thumb gusset. The end result was a stumpy looking thumb that looked weird and felt wrong. I blocked it so see how it would end up, and had my sister try it on. Immediately I knew I had made the wrong decision with the thumb. I put that completed mitt aside and started the second one, following the pattern.

Although the first mitt ended as a bit of a fail, it had actually knit up quickly once I had started. So I was keen to get going on the second one to get it right. But the one by one twisted rib on 2mm needles broke me and I struggled to get it going. I knew I had a deadline, my sister was waiting for these mitts and now, not only did I have to knit the second one, but I had to go back and see if I could save the first!! But the brain is a funny thing, right? I wanted to cast on other things, or didn’t feel like knitting at all. I think if I had no deadline and the first one had been a success I would have been into it and quickly finished the second. But with the weather getting colder and my sister eagerly expecting the finished pair, progress on the second one was slow.

I think I was also dragging on knitting it, because I knew I was going to have to tackle fixing the first one when I was done.

To begin this process I looked to see if I could rip it out from the bind off, but because it had been blocked, the ends were hard to find and it had fused together a bit, not felted, but just difficult to rip out. So I grabbed a pair of scissors and cut the top off the mitts, just above where I needed to restart with the thumb as written in the pattern.

As painful as that was, it ended up being the best option. Once I had taken the plunge, ripping out and picked back up where it needed to be I felt so much better and it took me less then a week to then knit up the rest of the mitt.

Lessons learned:

  • I really do not react well to deadline knitting (when the recipient is expecting the item).
  • I should have followed the pattern;
  • or at least read it through first – perhaps if I had read the entire pattern I would have started a thumb gusset earlier, preventing the stumpy thumb I created.
  • I enjoy the result of colour work and would like to do more, perhaps on a jumper.

Cupcake mittens, deadlines and making changes to the pattern
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