Sunday, December 27, 2009

My HOT little hands

They look like mittens, right? But what they really are, is little ovens for fingers. If you have cold fingers, make these. Hidden within, unsuspected by all, is a thick, warm and indescribably soft lining.
There are very few things that make me wish to live in Toronto again. But these mittens are definitely one of them. Here there is no call for wearing mittens of any kind, and much less these ones. So mine are all made for my Canadian family, and I dubbed them "Ontario" in their honour, and because they reminded me of winter night hikes across Ontario farmland. I have more mittens made up in other patterns, but I can't show them just yet because they are presents for my folks, and on the very unlikely chance that they will read this blog, I'd better hold off on posting them.

The pattern for these is in the Winter 09 issue of Interweave Crochet. They changed the name of them without bothering to tell me about it, and christened them with the unlikely name of "Mischa". "Mischa"? Why? What was wrong with "Ontario"? Do these look like you could play the cello in them? They also decided not to use the tutorial that I sent, so the main reason I'm posting here is to give my poor victims that tutorial.

So here we go. You see, we're doing Back Loop Crochet Jacquard with a strand of white and a strand of beige. Only we also have this big hunk of roving hanging there.
We'll just let it hang there for a while, meantime we'll be zipping along in our colour pattern.
Well, not quite zipping. You kind of have to nudge the roving from your last round down a bit to get it out of the path of your hook.

After 5 or 6 (or 7 or even 8) stitches, we're going to catch the roving and attach it to the back of the work.

Working in Jacquard, we always insert the hook underneath the secondary strand, right? Now we'll insert it under that AND under the roving, and draw up a loop.

This is the loop I drew up.
Then I completed the stitch. I've created a "float" on the inside of the work, and because it's such chunky stuff, it becomes a big fluffy puff of insulation.
And now, for your own sanity, grab that roving with a free finger, and pull it back out of the way. And then keep crocheting. You only have to hold the roving back for one or two sts, then it will leave you alone.

If you have to complete the pickup stitch in the secondary strand, which you will invariably have to do at some point, (Note: I'm assuming you know how to Jacquard or Tapestry Crochet already. If you don't, I'm sorry but you'll have to make yourself an iPod sock or wristband or something in that first, then try this technique, which is a bit trickier.) it's just the same, with one difference. The last step, i.e. pulling the roving back out of the way, should be done before completing the stitch.

What I try to avoid is starting a pickup stitch in the secondary strand. If it can't be helped, then I drop the two colours and reverse their position, so that it is no longer the secondary strand.

These are pictures from the magazine. I love these pictures!