Mittens, generally speaking, are a pretty quick project, even in fingering weight yarn. Especially when you have super tiny hands, like apparently I do. The mittens I’m about to show you, however, are not a quick project. I mean, if you look at the dates on its Ravelry page, you might think, “Hey! They only took you like a week! That’s fast!” And if I only had the time to knit in the evening or was working on a bunch of different projects, you might be right. But there are several days in there where I spent ALL DAY (like, eight hours) working on these buggers. So in actual number of hours, they took FOREVER for mittens.
Don’t get me wrong, they’re completely adorable, and I love the finished object (though sadly, they’re not for me). But do you see those quills? Each of those quills has about nine stitches in it. Nine fiddly stitches. And they cover the back of the hand.
Pattern: Hedgehog Mitts
Yarn: Recycled wool/acrylic/alpaca
Needles: US 4/3.5mm
Mods: They’re mittens, so you know I mostly just did my own thing and threw in the stitch pattern
Like I said, I love how they came out, and I think they’re really cute. There are several patters out there for Hedgie mittens, and to be perfectly honest, I think I’d recommend you try a different one. This one was pretty hard to follow. For one thing, the directions are written in paragraphs instead of line by line, like most knitting paragraphs, so it’s hard to find your place. For another, there are no finished measurements, so there’s no way to tell how big the sizes are until you’re halfway through knitting them. I wasn’t about to swatch a quill pattern, so I cast on the adult small/child large (it’s the same size, which is another problem), and hoped for the best. I wasn’t sure how the quills would react (I thought they might pull in a bit), but they ended up being a bit large. I decreased a bit and knit a longer cuff to compensate, but that was a step I wouldn’t have had to take if there had been finished dimensions.
See, I think I’ve probably knit about 200 pairs of mittens, fingerless mitts, and gloves over my knitting career. (Most of them were sharks.) I’m pretty familiar with the measurements I need to make them fit given a particular size of hand. I’m also pretty familiar with my gauge in various yarn weights as related to hand size. So I have no idea what my stitch or row gauge is for a dk yarn on size four needles, but I know that I need to cast on 40 stitches and increase two stitches every three rounds until I get 15 stitches for the thumb in order to get mitts that fit my hands. I can compensate for different sizes in a pattern based on my gauge and the given dimensions. I only cast on 40 stitches for my Northanger Abbey mittens because that’s how many I need for dk yarn and size four needles, even though the pattern said to cast on like 56 or something ridiculous (and the finished dimensions listed in the pattern supported my idea that they would come out WAY too big; I usually cast on 36 for mittens in the yarn and needle size called for in pattern). I’ve gotten very good at modifying mitten patterns to fit my little hands.
All that to say: I really need finished dimensions on patterns so I can modify. I’m not about to swatch to get the gauge you think I should; I much prefer to use my gauge modify on the fly. It’s a system that has served me well for many, many knitting projects. But I guess if you take the time to swatch and like math, you could probably figure out the estimated finished dimensions of a pattern based on cast on numbers and gauge. I don’t do math though, so that’s not for me.
Anyway, have some more pictures: