Archive for the ‘Gloves and mittens’ Category

Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show 2014

Anyone with even a tenuous connection to any Australian knitters on Ravelry would know that the Bendigo Sheep and Wool show was this weekend. This year, I got there first thing on Friday morning. It’s the first time I’d been on a Friday, and although I was mentally prepared for pointy elbows and doorbuster sale-style stampedes, it was all rather polite and calm (and cold!).

My approach to the show has become a running joke, because I can easily walk away from the Bendigo Showgrounds without any yarn in my hands. I think a lot of this comes from what is sold at the show; I’m not a spinner, and tend not to knit with semi-solid and or variegated yarn. Because of these rather strong knitting feelpinions, there are only a few stalls selling things of interest to me. This, therefore, makes it easier for me to walk away empty-handed. In spite of all those knitting dietary requirements, I ended up coming home with a few purchases this year.

Bendigo 2014 haul

Prior to the show, I’d been considering knitting myself a new set of mittens. My old mittens have provided me with many years of good service, but they’ve begun to look quite tatty. They really didn’t have much of a chance, given that one of the yarns I used was Malabrigo Worsted. They pilled like nothing else soon after the first wear, and it’s been all downhill from there. Before I knew it, the show was upon us and there was no time to make new mittens. So, I did the next best thing and bought some yarn at the show to turn into mittens, hopefully in time for next year’s show.

Instead of the soft and pilly Malabrigo, I bought for the exact opposite. Jamieson and Smith 2ply Jumper weight is rough and robust and perfect for a pair of mittens that will likely get knocked around. I’ve wanted to try this yarn for an age, so when I spied The Purlbox‘s stall, I made a beeline for the neat rows of lovely heathered colourways. Eventually the yarn will become a pair of Snowdrift Mittens, another pattern I’ve wanted to knit for a while.

Besides the yarn, the only other knitterly things I picked up were a couple of vintage knitting pattern booklets from Onabee. Nothing particularly exciting of note, but The Sock Book from Paragon has quite a few men’s sock patterns in there that may result in socks for Matt at some point.

So, that’s Bendigo for another year. Probably quite modest by most other’s standards, but one of the most extravagant Bendigo outings I’ve had for a while.


Matt’s fingers have been suffering this winter. While I’ve been getting by just fine with my Herringbone Mittens, Matt’s gloves gave up the ghost in Japan. In their stead, he’s been trying to survive with a pair of fingerless mitts I made for him in 2006. Fingerless mitts seem to be fine when it is barely cold, but as soon as the weather even marginally resembles Winter, they are completely insufficient.

Matt's old mitts

He was well overdue for a pair of knitted gloves, particularly because I’d promised to make him a pair after I made my Dad a pair of Knucks a few years ago. In what can only be described as perfect timing, just as I was starting to look for glove patterns, Ozknitter pointed me in the direction of a nifty mitten pattern that would do the trick.

Matt's mitts down

Matt's mitts up

Podster Gloves by Glenna C.
Sock yarn from the Bendigo Woollen Mills bargain room (equivalent to Heirloom Argyle)
2.75mm needles
Start: July 2010
Finish: July 2010
Modifications: different yarn, larger needles, added rows to the thumb gusset
Ravelryed: here

The largest size offered by the pattern were for small mens’ hands, so I used 2.75mm rather than 2.5mm needles and added two more rounds to the thumb gusset. With these modifications, they fit pretty well.

podster thumb

By far the best part of this pattern is the podster thumb. It has a little flap so he can flick his thumb out and use his iPhone (iPhone touch screens are unresponsive to gloved fingers). The pattern calls for part of the flap to be knit separately and then attached to the thumb, but was a little unclear about how to sew it down. I ended up using a whip stitch which probably wasn’t the best option, but it’s pretty secure and the dark yarn hides a multitude of sins. The long cuff is also really good, and can be easily tucked under jumpers or jackets.

So far, they’ve been worn nearly every day since I snipped the last end off. Nothing says success than that.


The first finished object for this year, with photos taken with the first of this season’s tomato crop during the first heatwave for the year.


Herringbone Mittens with Poms (PDF) by Elli Stubenrauch
Scraps of Malabrigo Worsted, American Beauty and Lincraft Balmoral Tweed, fawny colour
3.75 mm and 4.00mm needles
Started: December 2009
Finished: January 2010
Modifcations: lengthened hand and thumb sections, left off the pompom
Ravelryed here

To anyone who saw the photos being taken today, they must have wondered what on earth that girl was doing, wearing mittens and toting tomatoes when it’s hot outside. These photos make up for any slippage in our standing around the neighbourhood, right?

Given the weather, it might be surprising to know these mittens were borne out of necessity. It seems I don’t have that much in the way of proper winter clothes, an issue that will become most apparent when we’re in Japan next month (!!!). The mittens, while not solving all the winter wardrobe deficiencies, will hopefully keep the winter chill off my fingers somewhat.


It pleases me greatly that the mittens were made from yarn left over from other projects. I was concerned about whether I’d have enough yarn for the mittens, and whether the yarns would go together, but both concerns were completely ill-founded. There is still some Malabrigo left, and the yarns worked up together really well. Using the Malabrigo at the edge of the cuff might not have been the wisest choice, as I suspect it’ll pill or even felt a bit.

There’s been a noticeable slow down in knitting on account of the warmer weather. So much so that it took a concerted effort to get the thumbs finished and ends woven in and I’ve been contemplating doing some sewing instead of knitting. The horror!