I spent the better part of January making mittens and ended up with 10 pairs for Afghans for Afghans’ winter campaign.

Mittens_2013_01_31_for-Afghanistan

I should have photographed them at a different angle so you can see there are 20 individual mittens there, it would have been a more impressive-looking pile.

Pattern: Basic Mitten Pattern by Ann Budd, as published in “The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns”
Yarn: Black Water Abbey 2-ply Worsted, 100% wool, 3.75 skeins Jacob (brown) and .47 skeins Navy
Needles: US size 5 (and 6)
Size: 2 pairs each of 5 sizes (ages 4-6 through men’s small)
Started 12/29/2012 and finished 1/31/2013

I made 2 pairs size 4-6 and 2 pairs size 6-8 using size 6 needles, and because my gauge was exactly between gauges in the book I made 1 pair at each gauge’s stitch count (hence the different shapes for the smaller mittens), at which point I decided the stitches were a little loose for a cold wind. I slightly felted those first 4 pairs and made the remaining using size 5 needles and also switched to 2×2 ribbing for the cuffs. Better pairs: 2 pairs size 8 to women’s small, 2 pairs women’s medium, 2 pairs women’s large / men’s small. The needle change had the added benefit of working out to the exact gauge specified in the pattern. Then I ran out of steam and also hit the campaign’s deadline so I stopped at 10 pairs.

The Black Water Abbey yarn I have isn’t colorful but it is a great wool for cold conditions. I bought it for a sweater for me that never materialized and I’m glad to have decided to donate it. A4A was happy to have the mittens. I have yarn left so I’ll make some more again.

In February I volunteered to pack donated materials. Here are two boxes of hats we packed that day:

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Behold the variety!

And a box of mittens; mine are at the bottom of this box.

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While packing, I had to weave in the ends on a couple of pairs and had to reject a few. Among the rejects: one adult-size pair had thumbs so tiny that a ballpoint pen wouldn’t fit in there, two pairs were obviously acrylic, and two pairs were lovely but worked in an openwork lace pattern that didn’t fit with a4A’s needs. Those last 4 got donated to an American charity (don’t know which one).

Current campaign: 500 pullovers. I started one but got sidetracked with other knitting. For those of you who are donating to this or any charity: please check the campaign’s guidelines, weave in your ends, and make sure your garment fits a human body (we had some odd, not-head-shaped hats, too)!

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