Detail from a handwork bag, possibly my first cross stitch from the first or second grade.Thank you for all your comments about the mittens and your questions about them. I used for all the embroidery my old trusty embroidery yarn that comes from the Renaissance Dyeing. Their quality and colors are just so high that once I came accustomed to them, I have never found anything that has come even close to the them. And really it is the beautiful color palette that makes the embroidery almost radiant.
When embroidering mittens, I very often draw the design on paper first to see the size and shaping and then while drawing I will also think about the stitches. There are few stitches that feel "right" to me, it is almost like when you write, you have your favorite pen or pencil that you reach for. Chain stitch is my stitch, although I do like blanket stitch almost as much. When I have decided the main lines of the design I will draw it on the cloth with yarn and needle. I usually never draw on knits, woven cloth is different, but since the designs intended to embellish knits are usually small and simple, it is not necessary to transfer the design with any other media but yarn and thread. Once I have the basic shapes on, I will fill the empty spaces with stitches. Very often I end up embroidering with different set of colors than what I first envisioned. I like to keep the process flowing and open and flexible and try not to make too hard boundaries, after all the process has to be interesting and also fun or enjoyable.
Since I use small gauge often or use twined knitting as back ground, I don't use any backing material. I like to keep the knit fabric as much as possible the way it is although it is bound to get a little bit stiff after all the extra yarn that is put on the surface.
Detail of a Teddy Bear's Cook Book coverI know my process sounds easy but it very seldom is. It involves lots of ripping and redoing, I can start out ten times before I am satisfied and even then it is some kind of a compromise between obsessive me or healthier, forgiving me. I don't mind labor, I don't count how many times I make a mistake - and sometimes when I finish finally something, I feel a bit stupid of being so obsessive over something as small as mittens or socks. I mean if I was making a wall hanging, the process would seem understandable, but at times I wonder if all this work over mittens is healthy...
Detail of a Silk Ribbon Embroidery (really don't know how to do it)Why line twined mittens? The yarn I used for the twined mittens was my handspun and it is not soft and nice wool, but something on the coarser side. I have very thin skin in my hands and get deep cuts from the freezing temperatures, so I really cannot wear anything hard on my hands plus when it is -30 C outside, really one layer is never enough. I think that the twined mittens with lining are warmer than these double knitted mittens, the main reason really being the fact that twined knitted fabric is dense while the normal knitting lets the wind blow through more easily.
I knitted the grey mittens with the blue lining both mittens at the same time. The motif on the outside with blue is knitted in grey in the inside. I guess this technique is called double knitting. My English is not correct, it must really be quite bad and elementary school like often (Finnish is my own language), so please forgive me for misusing the terms at times. I try to check what I write, but am blind to the mistakes often.
I guess this answers most of the questions from the comments. I know the embroidery book list is something I have promised to make, but before I can do that, I need to organize my stuff a bit.Right now I am knitting socks. Loving every single minute of it. But more of them next time.
Wool with you,