Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Those Purple Smittens

I made a pair of smittens this week for a friend. She said she likes purple and orange. Well, I don't keep much orange yarn; I loathe orange. But purple? I can do purple. I started the first smitten. I made a solid purple with 3 rows of chain/DC alternating, to allow for some sprucing up later. I put a row of orange/purple eyelash yarn along the wrist opening.
What she wanted in a smitten was enclosed fingers. So I did that. I winged it, while Adam and I watched a Buster Keaton movie (black/white and silent) called The General. I think Buster gave me inspiration because this was a slight nightmare to design, never having done it before and wanting it to come out lovely. Here's the first one:
On the second smitten I decided to document the design. Here's the unadorned smitten, a simple DC tube with the three aforementioned rows.
For the fingers, I quickly realized I needed a base of stitches running in between the fingers, upon which to place the dividers. I decided to make these base stitches from slip stitches (around the edge) and chains (between the fingers). So, when I'd gotten the smitten tall enough that I wanted to begin the dividers, I started a fresh row 'round, in slip stitches, until I just passed the index finger.
Then I left the outer edge, did 3 chain stitches, and immediately connected to the opposite side of the smitten with a slip stitch, thus enclosing the index finger.
In the photo below, the index finger opening is on the right. I first worked my way around the bottom right, crossed the "great divide" up to the top, worked my way in slip stitches across the top center, then crossed back down using chain stitches, and have stopped there, where those chains attach again to the bottom. Here, I have openings for the three largest fingers.
And then I worked one more "bridge" with chains, and enclosed all four fingers. Tada! The smitten is still too short, obviously, and I now need to work a row of DC all around all fingers, in every spot.
Well, that's tricky, and while Buster was rescuing his lady-love from the Yankees, somehow I meandered around that finger-edge, snaking my way around until nearly all the edges were finished. Here, I begin this row of DC, near the pinky, I think.
These photos, however, are from the second smitten, completed without Buster Keaton's assistance, and I struggled a bit more. Fundamentally, you should DC as much of it as you can in one long snaky run, until you are prevented from proceeding by a wall. Then you should unwind a goodly amount of yarn (a couple of yards would be too much), and cut it off. This will allow you to pull your yarn through openings and finish off the small portions that can't be reached otherwise. In the photo below, you can see in the bottom center of the smitten, a small section that would have to be reached with yarn pulled through. This is not difficult. You just pull it through, use a neighborly bit of yarn to help form a loop from the loose yarn, and DC a few stitches. Proceed doing this until you've built your DC wall around all the finger openings.
Done With That! I decided to use a different, fuzzy, interesting purple yarn to fill in those chain/DC rows. I'm sure it would have been easier to incorporate this yarn as I made the smitten, but then that would have been easy, right? Haha! Anywho, I decided to attach the yarn on the seam, and basically chain around twice, using slip stitches both below and above each "post" I ran into. It gave it a seamless, full look that would not have been achieved if I'd simply worked this yarn in before, in DC. When I say I chained around twice, I mean that I chained the entire way around the smitten, and when I got back to the original spot, I did it again, right next to (or above, on the smitten) the first chaining.
Here are the finished smittens. I added another row of eyelash below the top edge. My friend likes to cook a lot, and I know she doesn't want eyelashes in her food :)
 I hope she likes them. These are sturdy, serious smittens, and that touch of orange is just in time for Halloween!


  1. Nice job, MK, those look toasty and cozy.

  2. You amaze me...such beautiful and unique work. Waytogo!


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