Dolly’s Mittens


Once upon a time there was a girl with a beautiful and unusual name which was frequently mispronounced, muddled up with her surname, and laid out before her in the garbled greeting of ‘Doll’.

Her devoted friends and colleagues quickly announced their intention to rechristen her Dolly, for which she has yet to forgive us.

Anyway, dear reader, Dolly had a tale of woe and chilliness; as the mornings got colder and frostier, she found that when driving to work her littlest finger on each hand also got colder and frostier, and ever so slightly blue.

She thought of gloves, but wanted to maintain a good grip on the wheel. She thought of fingerless mittens, but then her finger would still get cold. It seemed she was destined to a lifetime of cold little fingers for twenty minutes every morning, until one day, another friend and colleague suggested that ‘we’ could knit finger warmers.

And the knitter took up the challenge, and set forth over the weekend with a quest for finger warmers, preferably in hot pink, and please with a mitten string to go through her coat sleeves and hold the fingers on.

The knitter was intrepid, the knitter was a little bit crazy, and the knitter had nothing better to do over the weekend. She armed herself with the very gorgeous Manos Wool/Silk blend in a hot fuchsia pink, a set of 3.5mm DPNs and a plan.

You see, the knitter couldn’t stop at just little finger warmers, even with a mitten string, and so she came up with a plan for what henceforth shall be known as ‘Dolly Mittens’.

They started, as the best plans often do, with someone else’s pattern; this time the Maine Morning Mittens from Clara Parkes‘ Knitters’ Book of Yarn. The Manos was a lot thinner than the suggested Noro Kureyon but with a drop in needle size and the addition of another pattern repeat, all things were hunkydory.

The knitter knit.
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There were one or two tiny adjustments that the knitter made. When knitting the thumbs she picked up as many stitches as seemed sensible and knit for as long as seemed sensible before casting off. Secondly, and most importantly, when she came to the top of the mitt she put a buttonhole two rounds from the top opposite the thumb hole.

A buttonhole requires buttons, so our happy knitter turfed out her button tin over the conservatory table,
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And identified three possible options for her purpose.
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The butterflies, whilst not an exact colour match, won the day. The knitter put the butterflies to one side and cast on 12 sts in the round. She knit the k2, p1 pattern around and around and around until the resulting tube was a little shorter than her little finger, worked a round of k2tog, p1, and then a round of k2tog and ran the yarn through the remaining stitches.

Then she sewed the butterfly buttons to the little tubes – now quite clearly finger warmers – and chained a really long length of crochet mitten string with a loop at either end.

Et voila:
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The loop on the mitten string hooked over the butterflies, keeping the finger warmers in place, just as promised.
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And on the really cold days; the mitten string comes off, the mitten goes over the top.
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And the butterflies pop through the buttonholes and out to the side to keep it all together.
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And so the knitter presented the mittens to Dolly who entertained giggles of such great delight that the all seeing all powerful boss came over to see what the hilarity was all about. He announced to the assembled masses that he liked the colour (the one thing that the knitter had no involvement in). Is it very naughty of the knitter to consider knitting him pink mittens if his name should happen to fall into her lap as Secret Santa?

Dolly reports that she has nice toasty warms fingers now – and I had a lot of fun making them!

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  • jackie 09/10/2009 at 1:38 am

    It sounds like a fairy-tale, so sweet !

  • Rachel 09/10/2009 at 8:15 pm

    Very clever and very perfect! Love the commentary too! 🙂

  • mandycharlie 11/10/2009 at 10:35 am

    Genius! – I do like Mano’s its so nice and cuddly, a perfect choice for warm and very pretty mittens.