Friday, 1 February 2013

The Horned Owl Mittens

*drumroll here please* Ta-daaah! They are done! D-O-N-E done! Pheew. And look how fine they turned out, too! Ok, yes, yes, they are lumpy as hell, but I've heard that steam ironing can do them a world of good, so I will try to de-lumpify them the minute we get home. Which is happening pretty soon, actually: it feels totally weird to think we only have a month to go. I'm wavering between having second thoughts about changing the flights to an earlier date and the sheer joy and glee of returning home and being able to see friends, bake, and steam iron all the knittings that have been done during the trip.

But I digress; back to the mittens. The pattern was the lovely Horatio and Oren by Barbara Gregory and my official first attempt to do colour knitting. And I must say, I really quite like it. Yes, it is a pain to try and get everything to go smoothly and no, I still don't understand how people manage to get a silky smooth knit surface (even before blocking or steam ironing the piece), what with all the yarns that are twisted around each other at the back, but probably this, as everything, has to do with practice, practice, practice.

And need I say that there was AGAIN a problem with the gauge/tension? Oh my God, that thing is driving me absolutely stark raving mad! I just DO NOT understand how that works. Here's how it went (wrong) this time: the yarn weight was supposed to be 113 m / 50 g ball and the yarn I bought was 120 m / 50 g, so I figured (wrong) that instead of using the 3 mm and 3,25 mm needles that are called for in the pattern, I would get away with using a 3,5 mm, as the yarn was a bit thinner. Thinner yarn, thicker needles, right? Well, turns out that the 7 m difference is not big enough to justify the 3,5 mm needles, and silly me didn't get the 3 mm ones (the shop didn't carry half sizes so the 3,25 was a no-go anyway). I don't remember actually how the gauge knitting went, but I do recall that I got a larger gauge number with the 4 mm needles than with the 3,5 mm ones (!). This defies all logic, I know, but what can I say? Things in wonkyland tend to be, well, a bit wonky.

There was also the matter of the thumb gusset. After figuring out I needed to start it straight away I still didn't get where the one stitch in between the first row of gusset increases came from. I scoured the internet for info and asked my mother-in-law-to-be for advice, and finally found out that indeed, the first half of the motif only has 23 stitches instead of the 24 I had counted. Urpo laskit väärin, as we say in Finland. A lesson learned, once again!

But with luck the mittens turned out ok. They are a bit small for me, but as they are going to a friend, it's ok. I remember she has small hands. If not, I imagine her daughter who was born a few months ago will eventually grow into them... I'm also not quite sure if I like the fact that the thumb gusset starts immediately after the cuff, so I might add a couple of rounds of garter stitch in between when I'm making my own pair of owls. Yes, there is more to come, just you wait :)

There have been lots of other versions of these adorable mittens around the blogging world, and I can easily see why. The mittens are fun and relatively easy to knit even for a colour knitting beginner and the result is so sweet that you immediately want to cast on another pair :)

Have you made you own Horatio and Orens? I'd love to see your pics! //

Nää on nyt valmiit! Säätöä oli taas varsinkin tuon peukalokiilan kanssa, mutta valmista tuli silti melko sukkelaan. Eihän nämä nyt Vuoden Neuloja -palkintoa saa, mutta ehkä höyrytys tekee ihmeitä? Kiva näitä oli ainakin tehdä. Nämä menee kaverille, pitää valikoida omaan versioon sitten vähän eriväriset langat, pinkki ei oo ihan mun juttu. Oottekos te tehnyt omia Horatio and Oreneitanne? Kuvia kehiin! :)

Pattern: Horatio and Oren
Yarn: Linie 110, colours Timona and Burgundy
Needles: 3,5 dp
Mood: *boogie*

With love, Lilje


  1. Oh how cute they turned out!!! Ich liiiebe das Eulen-Motiv, total süß!

    1. Danke dir! Ja, wenn ich das Motiv sah, gab es keine Frage mehr, musste einfach ran und es stricken... :)


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