morphing mittens into wristwarmers

Last year I purchased these wonderful mittens:

They were sold when knitters and divers supported a good cause and I had intended them for a dear friend.

The pattern is Octopus Mittens by Emily Peters.

Unfortunately the mittens were too tight. For her and also for me, especially the left one:

See how the fabric stretches around my hand? It’s too close a fit, it will make the hand cold. Here, let me point out my protruding little hand bone (“connected to the yarn bone connected to the knit stick connected to …“:

Too tight 😦
cold hands 😦

But these mittens are so darling! With the octopus and the cause and the colours! And the yarns! Let me tell you about the yarns.

The green one is Unicolours from Dutch brand Handdyed Wool. Colour Golf Green. Beautiful dreamy green!

The brown is Cephalopod Skinny Bugga!, colour Ghost Moth. Skinny Bugga! is a darling yarn amongst knitters for years. When the two-woman company traversed into two one-woman companies they both took Skinny Bugga! with them. That’s how great the yarn is.
This one is from Cephalopod Yarns which has stopped dyeing only last July but check out their logo:

Cephalopod yarn and a misty green for octopus mittens? Yeah baby!
You understand I wanted to keep these for myself and was adamant to adjust them into something wearable.

Nelleke, please prepare yourself, because I took scissors to these mittens…

I opened the top of the left one and unravelled it. At the straight part I then bound off. This mitten was so tight I was going to wear it upside down, so the narrowest part would be around my wrist.
Mittens to mitts

I also opened the thumb, it had to go.
The cuff has a double layer and that makes the mitten too narrow to wear it as the top around my hand.
Mittens to mitts

So I undid it and folded the hem back out again. Instantly more give.
Mittens to mitts

This is how I’m going to wear it. It sits nice and comfortably around my hand, no tightness whatsoever.
Mittens to mitts

I do have to fix the thumb gussets. But as of yet did not have any idea how.

First the second mitten: I opened up the top and unravelled. This one is loose enough to wear around my hand as is. That’s good because I’ll have at least one octopus facing me the right way up.
Mittens to mitts

Because I want to match the mitts I decided to knit a border on top of this one in the brown that came from the unravelling of the tops.

Now I turned my attention to the thumb gussets. For a moment I thought about making them into little pockets, to carry my ear plugs and Hydrocortisone pills in (the two things I need to take everywhere. Which is why I’m talking about pockets when talking sweaters. And why my bra is often bulky. Not in a good way)

Deciding against little “wristpockets” because I’ll drag them through soup and tea I now knew the extra fabric had to go. So I unravelled all the stitches that made up the gusset and stared at it for a bit.
Then I cut through a lot of them. Just not the bottom three or four rows. They could be long floats on the inside.
Mittens to mitts

The rest now were long enough floats to cut through the middle and weave them in, closing the gap in the mean time.

Some chapters of audio book Harry Potter (read by Stephen Fry!) later and the surgery was done. Only need to snip away the remaining bits from the woven in ends.
Mittens to mitts

Look on the inside before snipping away the excesses:
Mittens to mitts

Finished. Here shown how they were knitted, bottom up mittens:
Mittens to mitts

And here’s how I wear them, wristwarmers. The left one got two rows of green and one row of green purls before I started on the brown border. I used every cm of brown I had. It’s still a bit shorter than its brother but that’s fine:
Mittens to mitts

Celapholod wristwarmers.
One has a double layered cuff, one just a simple bind off. But they are long and will usually live inside the sleeves of my sweater/shirt.

The fabric is lovely and souple, being of fingering thickness yarns. The yarns are both soft, the Skinny Bugga! especially. I’ve been wearing the while typing this and I just can’t stop. Can’t stop wearing them, can’t stop typing.

They can do with a blocking, it will even out the stitches I added, especially the brown top on the left one.
But we’ll see if I ever get around to doing that. I think we can all be proud that I wove in all the ends!

Love my mitts! Loved this adventure. Loved this dyer.


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