Friday, August 12, 2011

Bunny mittens!!

These were a huge hit with people on campus and my friends on Facebook, so I'm excited to be bringing them to the blog audience at last...

Before I get down to the subject of knitting, I want you to meet two special somebodies who are very important to me. They are a bonded pair of house rabbits, known formally as Cinnamon the Mocha Bunny (right) and Olorin the Little Gray Bunny (left). She is a mini-lop, while he is a Netherland Dwarf mix. They have lived with us for quite a few years now, long enough for many legends and stories to spring up about them. For instance, the phrase "Cinnamon the Mocha Bunny" is fun to say in a wide variety of circumstances, or even at random, and can be sung as the lyrics to ANY tune imaginable (trust me, my husband and I have amply demonstrated this!). And Olorin happens to be Gandalf's name in the language of Westernesse, for those of a Tolkienian bent...

I could go on and on about the charming personalities and funny antics of my beloved furry creatures. But for purposes of this blog post, the salient point is that they are different colors. So when I found a pattern for Bunny Mittens from House on a Hill Knits, I knew in an instant that I had to knit them as a tribute to Cinnamon and Olorin. And so I did, using 6 different shades of KnitPicks Pallete yarn (black, white, bison, marble heather, lipstick, and teal), and adding features that appealed to me from two other patterns: the Latvian braid and hem from Deep in the Forest mittens by Tuulia Salmela (a pattern waiting eagerly in my queue for just the right moment to arrive) and the side outline and lining from Fiddlehead mittens by Adrian Bizilia (which I had already made and enjoy wearing quite often). As with my Fiddleheads, I used KnitPicks Andean Treasure (100% baby alpaca) for the lining, which feels deliciously yummy and soft next to the skin. The following photo gallery tells pretty much the whole story of how they were made, step by step. I am proud of my colorwork on this project, and feel particularly smug about the fact that I paused to weave in all the hellish ends neatly before picking up stitches for the lining, even though my hard work and attention to detail will never show. But that's what pictures are for, to commemorate events and accomplishments hat would otherwise go unnoticed. As always, click on any one of these images to view an enlargement.

Between the double layer of Peruvian highlands wool from the stranded colorwork and the thick, cushy alpaca lining, these mittens are phenomenally warm and essentially windproof — just the ticket, in other words, for my chilly walks to & from work in the dead of winter. And even apart from keeping my hands from freezing off, they make me ridiculously HAPPY just to look at, because it's like having lots of little Cinnamons and Olorins along on my adventures. I am particularly fond of the gray bunny on each thumb.

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