Sunday, May 20, 2007

Mittens are the New Socks...



We're all familiar with the following formula: '
______is the new ______'. I believe Diana Vreeland is responsible for the adage "pink is the new black". Some terribly deluded woman whose throbbing ovaries were ticking like a time bomb perpetrated upon us "40 is the new 30", which I am here to tell you is so not true by the way. I've also heard that "Queens is the new Brooklyn", which I want very much to be true, but have yet to really believe. However I have alighted on a formula that does indeed prove to be valid, at least for this knitter: Mittens are the New Socks.

Let me explain.

Once upon a time I looked to the simple sock for its healing, curative powers. What exactly did it represent? A breather from a long haul sweater or tedious scarf. A microcosm of all the techniques you could ever want in a project. Low-cognitive load knitting. A fast moving project that progressed at a nice clip. Right when you were on the verge of getting sick of the leg,
voilĂ , you were on to the heel flap, and interest was maintained. Heel flap tedium? No matter, you're turning the heel now, and what could be more exciting? And just when you'd had quite enough, you were done...and knitting satisfaction ensued.

Enter more complicated patterns that require a higher level of attentiveness. Guess what? Socks aren't moving so fast anymore, are they? Case is point: the Jaywalkers. I know it seems that I'm always picking on this pattern, but I have been working solely on this pattern for the past week and am inching forward at a snails pace. Suddenly socks are not doing it for me anymore.

Hello A.D.D. Knitter, meet your new best friend: the mitten. One of the things I picked up at MDS&W was a bunch o' Morehouse Merino kits. Suddenly remembering where I had stashed these puppies, I dug one out with a hunch that it would prove to be a salve to my sock-frustrated soul. And I was right. The sheer simplicity of the mitten makes it a joy to behold. I started these mittens late Thursday night at the tennis court watching my daughter play, worked on them during a hair appointment on Friday, brought them back to the courts yesterday afternoon, and am now fondly gazing at a finished object. Now that's more like it!



The Specs:

Pattern: Morehouse Merino Variegated Mitten Knitkit

Yarn: Morehouse Merino 3-Strand in Indian Summer

Needles: size 5 dpns

I know that knit bloggers love their socks, and I love mine as well. But sometimes putting them down for a carefree spin with another less consequential, low stakes project is the right formula for success...

29 comments:

Sonya said...

I agree with you on the Jaywalkers. I like the finished product, but I really didn't enjoy knitting them at all. Love your mittens. My current non-consequential project is a pouch for Kevin's bowhunting notions. Apparently hunters have notions just like knitters. Who knew?

Rachel said...

Not to mention that mittens go way, way, way faster than socks. I've never knit any, but I want to. I think you could be on to something.

Yours look great, by the way!

Jennifer said...

I haven't made a pair yet, but that kit is mighty cute...

Gingersnaps with Tea... said...

I've never made mittens but at my LYS boxing day sale, I bought enough Lorna's Laces Chunky Swirl in Motherlode to make mittens, a hat and a scarf. It was 70% off, how could I not? So some nice, chunky, quick knitting mittens are definitely in my future! LOVE yours by the way.

anne said...

I agree. I love knitting mittens but will soon have no more use for them after I move...at least hats are fast, too!

a friend to knit with said...

Ahhh! I LOVE my mittens.......I'm not a glove person, but mittens, yes!
Love your mittens too!

pamela wynne said...

Mittens ARE the new socks!! And yours are very cute. :)

Jen said...

I could see some mitten action happening next fall. You could be on to something. Quick, if you work up some patterns you could have the next Jaywalker. ;)

And, dude, 40 is sooo the next 30. If you say it every day it becomes true. Considering that I still watch cartoons, and I'm 30*cough*, 50 may be the new 30.

Faith! said...

I'd be more inclined to agree with you if it were mitten season! And if you think these guys are fun, you've got to check out thrummed mittens. I don't know if I've ever enjoyed myself so much on any other knitting project!

solje said...

I agree. Socks have been a hot knit for (especially) the last year, but I am simply tired of knitting them. I am along with you in prediction of mittens, gloves, wristwarmers, fingerless gloves. I just finished my first lace fingerless gloves--just in time for summer to begin! LOL!

schrodinger said...

I love socks - there is something soothing about them. But mittens, too, are great, and it's so much easier to stare happily at the beautiful knitting afterwards as well!

sophanne said...

yes yes yes. I knitted several last minute pairs right before Christmas this year out of the Lion Brand Home Spun *gasp* that non-knitting husband thought I would like. They were received like a pirate's treasure (except maybe without the aargh.)

If a person were the type to plan ahead, it would be a really cheap and easy Christmas for the non-knitters.

For anyone concerned- the LB homespun found a new home as a result of one of those "free to good home" web sites.

Romi said...

Oooooh! Great colors! I love them. :)

Angela said...

Nice colors! I'll have to try some mittens next.

kelp! said...

You know, I always see people breezing through a pair of socks, and they seem to take me forever. Who can resist mittens when they look that awesome? I wish I would have bought a kit from Morehouse.

Zarzuela said...

Hey, sometimes you just need a change of pace. They are very cute!

Jessica

WonderMike said...

Mittens are indeed the new sock. I've been prepping for my next full-tilt knitting phase and I think you are most insightful. I picked up Mostly Mittens, Magnificient Mittens and Folk Mittens in a espresso fueled shopping binge. I can't wait to make my Xmas Mittens. I should get started now.

Melissa said...

OOhh...I like them. The colors are gorgeous and I'm all about a quick knit.

Sarah said...

Those are a fabulous colour! And you are being very efficient getting them done before winter.

Redheadskydiver said...

Thanks for the comment about my tattoo. The mittens are very cool but alas I don't have much use for mittens in New Orleans.

Theresa said...

I love it! (Too bad I live in San Diego . . .) And I love love love the Morehouse Merino. Ahhh . . .

Karen said...

I could not agree more!! Granted, I still (and always will) love my socks, but the patterns are getting more and more challenging. That's why I've been enjoying my little Holiday Headstart projects - I pick something small and not too taxing. Mittens would fit in there perfectly!!

Dipsy said...

Ahhh yes - I certainly agree! Not that I did many mittens yet, but I certainly will, because, well, I so totally agree with you on what you wrote about socks - and mitts! After knitting a gazillion of socks, I find that the patterns get more and more challenging, so that's not really a sweet little break anymore - except for plain stockinette- or rib pattern socks that is. Mitts seem to be the solution - and most especially if they look so cute and lovely like yours too! I love the color!

KnitPastis said...

Oooooh, I heard this Morehouse merino yarn is suppose to be REALLY SOFT stuff! Pretty mittens and I bet one comfey pair.

Kirsten said...

So pretty! I love a project that is all about beautiful yarn!
Funny though, to go through your mitten phase in May. Is it killing you not to be able to wear them for many months to come?

Nora said...

Beautiful work - I'm loving reds at the moment.

(Found you via Megan's blog and have subscribed via bloglines.)

gray la gran said...

yeah mitts! and jaywalkers suck ! ... well, they do as long as i can't get them to fit.
gin & tonic? yum! summer beverage. ghetto style ... cheap white wine with a couple of ice cubes. yep. wanna come hang out on my porch?
ps. stuart says "hi !".

gray la gran said...

pss. i can't stop knitting socks!

amanda cathleen said...

sounds like a good formula for success, as those are lovely, lovely mittens! : )