Mittens in Summer

Why in the world would you choose to knit mittens in Summer? While they are obviously a cold weather accessory, mittens provide a number of opportunities and benefits that can be overlooked.

Some years ago I developed a way to knit year round and  put all of those many creations to use, while indulging my love of always having fiber in the hands: The Gift/Holiday Bin that started as a small box at the back of my closet, wound up becoming a three and a half foot long plastic tub with a lid. Throughout the year, I would knit a variety of items and place them in the tub. When I wasn't knitting an item specifically for myself, the tub gave free reign to the needs of the hands to never be idle. Whenever a gift was needed, there was always a special, handmade item available, mittens included. The tub was also a saving grace at holiday time, cutting down on large outlays of money for gifts all at once.

Now, mittens can be knit in several ways: the traditional mittens we think of when we picture children and sledding. There are also “flip top” mittens that expose the fingers as needed. These are great for active people and military personnel. Today's mitten repertoire also includes “fingerless” mitts ( wonderful in the shoulder seasons of Spring and Fall), and mitts with partial fingers. But this variety is not the only reason to knit mittens in Summer.

Have you been wanting to try a specific pattern? Mittens will provide practice in a small scale project. Never worked with alpaca fiber? Alpaca is 8 to 10 times warmer than wool and will knit into a lightweight yet very waran pair of mittens. How about color work? Whether stranded knitting, Celtic knots, Fair Isle patterns, or simple stripes, mittens provide the opportunity to learn and practice new skills in the form of a small, easily portable project. Knit mittens in Summer! Why not?

Suggested reference: Ultimate Mittens - 28 classic patterns to keep you warm by Robin Hansen who lives in Bath, Maine. ISBN # 80-462-6420.

Joy Moody

Yarn Shop Manager, MYFS