On grafting in the round, and finding the best in a lost mitten

I am a thirty-something adult who still loses mittens. I have far too much faith in the depth of my pockets, and I am always surprised when they fail me. Like, when I’m out for a walk, I’ll pop my mittens into the pockets, and then I get home to sadly discover one mitten had fallen out of a pocket mid-walk, never to be seen again.

The upside to being a knitter who lost a hand-knit mitten – I can simply make another one, or another pair. The simpler solution would have needed more yarn, and I did not have enough to make a mate for the now lonely mitten.

So. I set the lone mitten aside, grabbed my needles, found the pattern, and I started a new pair. I was able to use a beautiful skein of yarn by a local dyer, one that had been lamenting in my stash for years. These new mittens were a perfect opportunity for this yarn to shine.

I’m remaking the Michelle’s Mittens pattern. I made this first for my best friend, then I made myself a pair. They soon became a favourite – they were warm enough for most cold, Canadian winter days, but not nearly as bulky as my beloved thrummed mittens. These mittens are double thick – there is an outer layer made in sock weight yarn and an inner liner in worsted weight.

I was almost finished my second outer layer when my lazy knitter brain kicked in – I still had one complete mitten from the first pair, outer layer and inner liner all in tact. Could the liner be saved? Could I save myself having to knit a liner?

After texting back and forth with my friend Victoria and after googling ‘grafting in the round,’ I discovered that, yes, I could indeed be a lazy knitter and simply graft the already knit liner to the new outer layer.

Step one. Cutting. Always a scary step. I found the first round of the liner, and I cut.

Step two. Carefully picking out that first round/cast on round.

Step three. Now that I had the liner separated from the liner, I frogged. I pulled back two rounds on the original liner.

Step four. Cast on liner to new outer layer. I basically followed the pattern for two rounds.

Step five. Went to Interweaves and followed their excellent instructions for grafting in the round.

Step six. Admiring my handiwork – while it might not have been the prettiest, and the tension is OBVIOUSLY off (but that will just block out, right?) I was pretty impressed at how it came together.

Grafting in the round was a little more fiddly than I was expecting it to be, but once I got into the groove of it, it came together quickly. It is a little more tricky than, say, grafting a toe of a sock. When grafting a toe, you are grafting two ends of a spiral together. When grafting in the round, you’re grafting together two spirals. A little more tricky. For me, the most important thing to remember with my set up was making sure the thumb placement was where I needed it to be. It would be no good to attach them in a manner where the liner wouldn’t line up with the outer layer.

All in all, I’m pleased not only with how it finished but also with the final fit, and that I was able to save myself hours of knitting thanks to the original liner. A silver lining with this silver coloured liner.

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