Subscribe to the knitting blog RSS feed Like this knitting blog on Facebook
Follow this knitting blog on Twitter Follow this knitting blog on Google Plus


Mitten mania

The final project for my batch of charity knitting was a pair of mittens for J., a three year-old boy. I started out by knitting the adorable Piggy Mittens. But then I had a two-fold late-night realization:

1. Mittens for a three year-old should be machine washable.

Maybe not if you know the family and you know they are fine with hand-washing knits. But as a random charity donation? No. Machine wash only. That family has enough to deal with, without the burden of hand-washing a toddler’s mittens.

2. I didn’t have any machine washable yarn.

Due to America’s lack of 24/7 emergency yarn stores (or at least a medical-style on-call/page system for yarn stores) I had to wait until the next day. I ran to the store and bought a skein of Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice in Peacock Blue.

I dedicated the better part of Saturday to cranking out a pair of Sivia Harding’s Child’s Simple Striped Mittens (but without the stripe). Those Piggy Mittens were adorable, but there wasn’t time for all that fiddly stuff.

child's mittens

Amazingly enough, I finished these with enough time to wash and block them overnight, just in time for the Sunday deadline. There was even time to crochet a single chain mitten string (a judicious addition to a pair of mittens for a toddler).

In theory, you shouldn’t need to wash acrylic yarn when you finish knitting a project. In practice, I find that many acrylic yarns have a coating (called “sizing”) and your project is much nicer if you wash it. This is definitely true of Vanna’s Choice, which changes dramatically in the first wash.

3 comments to Mitten mania

  • Ghislaine

    I’m sure the family will appreciate the washability of the mittens. Great shade of blue!

    Eons ago, when I was young and living in Montreal, I remember buying acrylic yarn at the grocery store! It was horrible stuff back then, but in a knitting emergency …

    Those piggy mittens are so cute. I knit a pair for a co-worker (who is pig obsessed) a couple of Christmases ago. I hate sewing things in, so I decided to knit the ears from the point down and then just knit them into the mitten just before starting the the decrease.

    • Erika

      Clever idea on the ears! I had only managed to knit the ears before I realized that I shouldn’t be using wool. I was definitely dreading sewing them on.

  • I’m sure the washability is for the best. Toddler mittens tend to collect dirt as fast as toddlers do…
    I made my dad Piggy Mittens for Christmas some years ago. (He raises pigs. It was a natural.) He unwrapped them, said “Oh, mittens.” Then he started to put one on, took a good look, and exclaimed “Why, they’re PIGS!” Big grin followed, especially when I pointed out that
    a) If he got bored, he could always go out and give the pigs a puppet show, and
    b) When someone asked him what he did for a living, he could whip out the mittens and say “I raise pigs, and I’ve got the mittens to prove it.”