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Pat's Knitting and Quilting

November 3, 2009
Roving to Mittens

While at Rhinebeck, I just had to buy this tiny 2 oz. braid of Hand Painted Roving - knowing full well that I had no idea how to spin. It is 80% Leicester Long Wool Lamb and 20% Kidd Mohair from Lakeview Farm where they raise endangered English Leicester Long Wool Sheep.


Without having a clue about what I was doing, the very next day I started trying to spin it with a spindle I had bought several years ago - I used this book and just dove in. Here is what I ended up with after 2 days of spinning - lace wt. to bulky wt. and everything in between - you can laugh :-)

1st handspun

I knew 2 oz wouldn't be enough for anything, but was driven to make something with my new yarn, so I decided to pair it up with some stash yarn and make some mittens.

salt and pepper mittens

Pattern: Salt and Pepper Mittens by Robin Hansen from Favorite Mittens.
Yarn: 2 oz. Handspun Leicester Long Wool/ Mohair and 50 grams Elann Highland Chunky color 201. I used every little bit of the handspun to make these - I've never come so close to running out of yarn - actually had to cut off a cast on tail to finish the last thumb round!
Needles: 2 at a time on 1 40" US 8 circular needle
Size: Adapted for my bigger yarn by using the directions for child size 2-3, but knitting the length of women's medium making a perfect WM mittens. Cast on 39 stitches.
Modifications: Adjusted thumb so it was symmetrical - mittens are interchangeable.

This is the absolute simplest form of colorwork - just a one/one alteration of color that never stops. Because of the uneven number of stitches, the pattern wraps perfectly around the hand with no visible join.. Robin's special way of increasing for the thumb gore keeps the pattern smooth there too.

salt and pepper mittens

I am so glad I decided to knit with my funny little skein of yarn - I LOVE these beautiful and thick warm mittens with their soft airy mohair halo and lovely muted colors -My hands will NOT be cold this winter!

I don't see spinning becoming a new obsession anytime soon, but it sure was fun to give it a try.


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