Gold creek mittens

White and gold stranded knitting mittens

This project tackled a few items on my to do list:

I had a few false starts as I toyed around with pattern ideas, initially borrowing a cuff from a magazine pattern that was working up waaay too wide for me, then over-working a pattern idea which meant that it didn’t work on row repeats and it caused headaches with floats, before re-working the pattern to have a 10-row repeat and a maximum of four stitches in one colour so there was no need to catch floats.

Designing knit mittens

Working on stranded knitting technique

This was my first project where I’ve tackled stranded knitting by holding one yarn in each hand. I’m a continental knitter (I hold my yarn in the left hand) but I’ve read that the two-handed style isn’t hard to pick up and can help with managing yarn tension. With my false starts, I got some practice learning to throw the second yarn with my right hand English-style, but with hindsight I should have practiced a little longer before diving in to a project.

Halfway through the first mitten I realised that using my normal yarn hold (wrapping the yarn once around my little finger and then over my index finger) on both hands was at least partly to blame for wonky tension between my two yarns. Contributing to the problem could have been that I was learning, and that alpaca yarn has a different feel to the wool I normally knit with.

I relaxed the hold of my normal (left) hand to only drape the yarn over my little finger and then over my index finger, while I kept the right hand yarn in my standard hold. Now things were flowing along much more smoothly!

The first of my mittens turned out a touch smaller than the second but who’s going to know that when I pop them on my hands?

Knitting the thumb for mittens


Through some miracle, I completed the mittens with just 1.2 metres (4 foot) of the cream remaining. If I had correct tension on the first mitten, I would have needed to use the golden brown yarn for the thumbs.

I used half a skein of the golden brown yarn, so all up I used 1.5 skeins or around 150m (165 yards) of 8 ply yarn.

And the yarn, my goodness is it soft! And warm! And nicely floppy! I want more but I’ll need to wait until sale time, and I need a specific project, before I buy some more.


I used 2.5mm (US 1.5) circular needles needles for the cuff and 3mm (US 2.5) circular needles for the hand, switching to short double pointed needles for the thumb.

Top of the hand of stranded knitting mittens

Palm of stranded knitting mittens