Knitting the Almanac - Mitered Mittens

Mother, May I Miter?

These mitered mittens are way fun.  I've made a couple of pairs before because they're fairly mindless to crank away on, and you don't have to decide where you want the thumb until the bitter end.  Thus, it was with joy in my heart that I found 100g of stash yarn and cast on these mittens.  What you must understand is that I have a sizeable stash.  This should come as a surprise to no one, and yet, allow me to take you down a bit of a tangent.

I have a very good friend who has recently taken up knitting.  She does not have much if any stash because she has way more self-control than I do.  (She also only works on one project at a time, but that's so far out of my realm of comprehension that we shall never speak of it again.)  She knows that I have a stash.  She knows that it's a pretty good stash.  She has seen me buy piles of yarn.  And yet, when I was selecting yarn for these mittens and she saw the stash for the first time, she was shocked.  She was astounded by the sheer volume, but also by the variety of yarns present.  It is an impressive stash.

So with this knowledge, dear reader, know that I foolishly selected a yarn of which I had but 100g.  Another salient detail:  this yarn was discontinued.  I'm sure you can see where this is heading.  In my mind, this plan was perfect because the mittens would use up almost all the yarn, and then there wouldn't be any more awkward, brown, alpaca bouclé to be dealt with (yes, I am ashamed of this purchasing choice, but we all make mistakes).  However, after the main part of the first mitten was complete, it became clear that, while I certainly had enough yarn for two mittens, I did not have enough yarn for two mittens and two thumbs.  Had I known this in advance, I could have made the mittens a bit shorter.  I could have striped the brown yarn with something else.  I could have done any number of clever things, but it was too late.  The only way to implement any of those ideas would be to rip out at least half the work I'd done already, and I was disinclined to do so.

Back to the stash closet!  There I unearthed some amazingly fluffy alpaca that I had bought in Germany for a large shawl.  The shawl turned out spectacularly, but I had nearly a full 100g ball leftover.  I decided that I would do the thumbs in this contrasting yarn.  Of course, nothing screams, "I ran out of yarn!" like brown mittens with purple thumbs.  I had to find a way to make it look like, even if it was an odd choice, it was a purposeful one, not in any way dictated by a shortage of material.  I decided to embroider bunnies on the backs of the mittens in purple so that the thumbs could  match the embellishments.

After fiddling with a duplicate stitch chart for longer than I care to admit, it was obvious that I was not going to be able to fit a bunny on the slanted grid of stitches that the mitered shape provided.  Have no fear!  One of my favorite embellishment techniques is to crochet a chain through the knitted fabric.  I simply grabbed a hook and free-handed doodled a little bunny on with yarn.  I decided to make the other bunny in a different pose so I wouldn't have to try to make them match, and voilà!  They are super cute and super warm!

Snow Bunny Mittens

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