I was off for four days starting last Friday and ended up having much of this time to myself. The weather was quite frigid, snowy and windy, so I decided to take this time to tackle a pair of mittens. I had
purchased Robin Hansen's "Ultimate Mittens" a while back and hadn't made anything from it yet. It is a huge book with all kinds of traditional mittens and gloves from Maine and beyond. After perusing it for a while, I decided to make the "Candlelit Windows Finger Mitts."
Candlelit Windows refers to the "x" and block pattern and they are called finger mitts due to the index finger being separate from the other three fingers. In Maine, these are apparently also known as "shooting gloves" as they allow hunters to keep their hands warm while still having the dexterity to pull a trigger. I am not a hunter but definitely appreciate how much easier it is to do things out in the cold with these on.
I used Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool for the brown color and some variety of Araucania (though I'm not sure which one as I lost the yarn band) for the contrasting red. Honestly, these probably wouldn't have been my first choice as far as color combinations go. I would have preferred something with a little more contrast. Also the red was just slightly larger in gauge and therefore looks a bit more pronounced in areas. But I was determined to use yarn that I had on-hand and this is what I came up with. And keeping that in mind, I'm pretty happy with them.
After finishing these and wearing them a bit, I thought they may be a little big. But after getting them wet out in the snow (shoveling/ice removal from the roof!) and then drying them by the wood stove, they did seem to snug up a little bit and seem just right now. Plus I remember reading that part of what keeps your hands toasty in a pair of mittens is having a little space between your skin and the fabric that traps warm air. And I can say that they do a great job keeping my hands warm. With the 2 color stranded pattern, they are double thick and keep the wind out nicely. Plus, being wool, they even kept my hands warm when they were soaked through. Couldn't ask for more than that!