The First Mitten Is Done, & Now I’m All Fired Up

The First Mitten Is Done, & Now I'm All Fired Up

The first thing I have to report is that I finished the first mitten.  I have to say, other than wishing I could have used different yarn (I can’t afford to buy 100% silk laceweight yarn right now, so using what I already have is necessary at this time) because the alpaca fuzz obscures the pattern too much for my taste–I’m pretty happy with how it came out.  It’s so delicate and airy and not at all what would have come to mind when thinking of mittens. I guess these kinds of mittens were worn for fashion reasons, because I’m not sure if these would actually keep my hands warm if it were below freezing.

The palm side of the Lady's Fancy Mittens.

The top side of the Lady's Fancy Mittens.

Now that I’m done with the first mitten, I’m on the prowl for a new project.  I’ve done some preliminary internet searches, and I came across what I consider to be a quite decent sized list of Victorian pattern books that people have taken the time to scan in every single page of each book and they are now available to download as pdfs. Genius!  All the books are ones that are in the public domain, probably because they’re so old. I also managed to find a  handy needle conversion chart, so now I know exactly which needles to use when I read the pattern instructions.

The last thing is that I went ahead and ordered two more sets of needles. I chose to order the two smallest sizes.  The needles arrived in the mail on Friday, and Holy Crap!

The penny is there for scale.

The top needle is the smallest size I’m used to using (size #1), and I like to make socks with them. It’s 2.25mm in diameter. The last two needles are the new ones. The middle one is a size 000-000 and it’s .75mm in diameter. The bottom needle is the one that’s really freaking me out. I am completely and utterly terrified by it. It’s a size 0000-0000 and only .5mm!

Also, I just want to say how glad I am that I decided to become part of this blog.  I’d never really given much thought to Victorian patterns before, but now that I’ve decided to go all in I find my interest in knitting has skyrocketed. Not that I’m not always excited to knit, but it’s like the heady excitement I had when I first learned how to knit and knit successfully is back!  I’m happily spending hours pouring over Victorian patterns and daydreaming about making delicate silk undergarments. I’m so excited about all the knitting projects that will be ahead of me this year and I’m even starting to think about continuing on with Victorian knitting even after 2010 is over.

7 Responses to “The First Mitten Is Done, & Now I’m All Fired Up”

  • I’m so impressed by this mitten! It really looks great. How long do you think it took you to finish? I have never really knit with a needle smaller than size 8, so I’m completely in awe… I’m so glad you decided to take this on – it’s been fun getting to see how it goes.

  • That mitten looks great. I am not sure I could knit with those tiny needles. Can’t wait to see what else is coming. What did your mom think?

  • Laurie,

    I’m guessing the mitten probably took 12 hours total to make. I’ve just started the second mitten and now that I know what to expect, it’s going a little faster.


    I don’t know if my Mom reads this blog, so I think she doesn’t know yet. I plan to finish the second mitten and then send them to her as a mother’s day surprise, along with any other Victorian project I’ll have finished by the time May comes along. I’m hoping to start a pair of stockings next, and maybe some lace edging with the super tiny needles.

  • So, so lovely. Truly heirloom quality! I think those would suit my mild Seattle winters. I feel like I am too much of an oaf to think about wearing something so delicate, though. :D I can’t wait to see what you come up with next.

  • Do you follow Franklin Habit at the Panopticon? He has a love of deciphering olde fashioned patterns. He’s put together a few for Knitty. ( I’ve knit the Pence Jug and it’s quite charming. And good for holding my quarters.

  • Beautiful job with the mitten! I have antique silk mittens and the 1886 book they were knit from. They are really really old but surprisingly the mittens are extremely warm. They actually ‘heat up’ while wearing them!
    I am working on a pair similar to yours in silk and alpaca with a 0000 and they are turning out quite nicely. I can already tell they won’t be as warm as the antique ones but hopefully as pretty. Thank you for sharing. Best wishes!

  • Fantastic web site. Lots of useful information here. I’m sending it
    to a few pals ans also sharing in delicious. And obviously, thanks in your sweat!

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