I finished making a pair of “Grandma mittens” this weekend. They tell a story of lessons learned. We call them Grandma mittens because they look like the ones that my great grandmother knitted for us in baby to adult sizes back when she was alive. She was a mitten-making-machine.

And then my mom found out I was learning to knit. So being the great and amazing daughter I am, I found this tutorial video, bought some double pointed needles (DPNs), and dove in. I had some Lion Brand Basic Stitch yarn from a mystery box I didn’t know what else to do with, so mittens they became! Mitten Start

I learned later that knitting with DPNs is one of the harder skills to learn in knitting and kicking off my third ever knitting project using them was ambitious to day the least. But I didn’t know that. I knew using four needles to hold 36 stitches felt ridiculous and quickly shifted down to using three. Four to three needles

I was glad to have a pair of Grandma’s mittens to compare my work to as I learned. I was glad to find that my unguaged sizing looked like it was going to be bigger than Grandma’s because they were made for kid-me, not giant-hands-me. Compare to Grandma Mittens

I tried two different decreases, neither of which match hers. I now think she did a K1-PSSO decrease, which I will try next time I make a pair. Grandma's Decrease My Decrease

I intentionally left the thumb undone on the first mitten until I finished the second. I figured that way I was more likely to finish both of them. Mitten Front before thumb Mitten Back before thumb

The second one definitely went faster than the second. Second Mitten start

And almost two months to the day after starting them, I finished my third knitting project and first pair of mittens! Mitten Back finished Mitten Front finished

For next time:

  • practice getting cast-on tension correct and keeping even tension throughout.
  • try a different cast on?
  • improve the decrease method. See if I can replicate Grandma’s mittens exactly.
  • Have a smaller joining hole where the thumb is attached.
  • Try out some color changes! Either a jogless join to get a color stripe through the palm or cuff, or a pattern like the ones in the AlterKnit book my mom gave me for Christmas.
  • Try different mitten construction styles. While Grandma mittens have a special place in my heart, there’s always room for new techniques!
  • Try a different cast-on to look better with the ribbing