South End Mittens

I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape. Something waits beneath it; the whole story doesn't show.
Andrew Wyeth

          As winter approaches, my thoughts invariably turn to working up cozy accessories for gift giving.  This year, I also decided to try my hand at designing a pair of mittens with a simple lace motif.  I do realize, of course, that the world probably does not need another pattern for a pair of knitted mittens.  There are thousands of designs out there for every weight of yarn and in every style:  Fair Isle, lace, felted, garter stitch, etc.  But taking the time to work out a “from scratch” mitten pattern was an excellent learning exercise for me, as well as a way to justify purchasing a pretty skein of Madeline Tosh hand-dyed merino yarn.  And I did end up with a pretty pair of mittens purposely done in a longer length to give them a comfy look and feel.  I'd intended to give them as a gift, but ended up wearing them out to dinner last night.  I'll have to cast on another pair today!  I have some great Rowan Tweed in a warm red that should be perfect for Christmas wear.  

I named the mittens for a quirky neighborhood in Charlotte, North Carolina.  South End has an artsy vibe—it’s a place that boasts an eclectic collection of quaint shops, restaurants, re-purposed industrial mill buildings, as well as a working antique trolley. These mittens are perfect attire for a taking part in a wintertime South End gallery crawl or for keeping warm at the trolley stop. 

          This mitten pattern is, in fact, the reason for my absence from my blog this last couple of weeks.  I’d set a goal for myself—to execute a pattern from start to finish, knit it up, and post my results.  Now that these tasks are done, I really have to get to work on sewing a costume I am making for a co-worker.  He’s a social studies teacher who plans to assume the persona of abolitionist John Brown and perform a monologue for his students, and I’ve been busy making a shirt and a vest for him to wear in this role.  I purchased the patterns for the historical garments from Past Patterns and was a bit overwhelmed when I opened the plastic zipped bag that each came in and found myself with an awfully large amount of pattern pieces, as well as detailed instructions that called for a great deal of hand sewing.  I omitted some of the handwork, as a costume for a teacher to use in a high school performance won’t come under the kind of exacting scrutiny it would if I’d made it for an historical reenactor.  (These folks are known for being sticklers for historical accuracy.)  Of course, in addition to making buttonholes, sewing together the vest front to the canvas insides to the lining and then attaching the padded inside panel, I’ll still be knitting in the evenings.  November is drawing to a close and before long the Christmas holidays will be here, and I really have to finish up some presents. 

After my mitten" photo shoot," my husband and I stopped for lunch
 at the Big Ben British Pub in South End yesterday.  



  1. Beautiful pattern! And love your pics :)

  2. the mitts are great, Liz ~ they'll look gorgeous in RED also (especially a Rowan Red!)

  3. Nothing to beat the job satisfaction of design and execution from scratch! Well done you! I'm still some way off knitting anything like this & can't begin to think how one would design the pattern but have progressed to knitting in the round with a circular needle to make a simple cowl and I can't get over how magic it is that you knit every round but still get stocking stitch! I'm waiting for something to go wrong but so far it hasn't! Miraculous! I kid you not! Did you knit your lovely purple jacket too? The mitts are perfect with it. E xx

    1. Hi, Elizabeth. Sorry I haven't responded sooner. I didn't knit the purple sweater, but I do like the color. Thanks, as always, for your ocmments.


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