These are the quintessential winter mittens. I mean, look at that pastoral wintry scene! Don't you just want to see how warm that fire is inside, and lounge with a book and hot toddy by your side?
As you can see, I marked one thumb of my Winterland mittens by Wenche Roald with the year I made them.
Four sweet years of hard, relentless wear... I biked in these mittens, sweated in these mittens (thus the red bleeding into the white), stacked wood in these mittens. They didn't have that "spare me I'm handmade!" fate... they were my utility mittens. Why? Because they were just so warm (a seriously intense gauge) and such a slim fit. They didn't get in the way of anything!
However, the thumb eventually couldn't take it.
The wool I used was from a farm in Poland, dyed goodness knows when, of mostly unknown provenance! Needless to say, there was no nylon anywhere near that yarn (if you want socks and mittens to last, you need some nylon in the mix).
Luckily, I had saved leftover yarn, and it was time to make a-mends! Always do this, my friends. I'll often give away or sell the remainder of my yarn after a project BUT I always keep a small ball of each color to do repairs. Believe me, it has saved me countless times.
First I charted out what the thumb looked like and when it started decreasing. I suppose I could have re-downloaded the pattern, but lazy.
Then, I threaded one end of a circular through the right leg of every stitch in the row on one side...
...and then the other.
Then I cut off most of the top of the thumb (leaving a good record in case my chart was wrong)...
...and unraveled until I had everything cleanly on my circular, ready for using magic loop.
A bit of knitting and voilà! You can see how bright and white the new yarn is, haha. No matter, I love this reminder of what the mitten has been through, and the new life it will surely have in Maine!
See my Nicolas and Sonya In the Night mittens on Ravelry
And now for some HOUSE UPDATES! The long summer, fall.... and WINTER(?!) of our deck renovations are finished! First it was the screened porch and some of the deck. Then we realized we should just bite the bullet and do all of the deck when we installed the mudroom. That's her on the right, isn't she the sweetest thing?!
The concept was this: Install the mudroom onto the house as a no foundation/no insulation addition. Post and beam styling, open rafter ceiling, large plate glass windows, french doors and a black metal roof. Tiled flooring with a heated undermat as well. All the materials were chosen so that it could double as a sunroom in the winter, and happily, it easily reaches a delicious 72 or more on a cold sunny day.
Let's start from the inside of the house! This is the view from our hallway, which used to have boots and shoes strewn all about.
We shingled the inside of the room, like we did in the screened porch. This is a nod to the classic houses in Maine, covered in gorgeous (but a bitch to maintain) cedar shingles. We're basically pretending that the outside of our house is not vinyl siding while being inside our additions.
The ceiling is so lovely...
...the tiles are faux wood. We need to decide if we'll have a low table in front of this window, not sure if a plant would make it at night.
The French doors take up one whole wall. These will probably be difficult to open when a pile of snow dumps on the deck! But we decided to deal with it, after all there are only 3 other doors AND a window you can use to leave the house if necessary.
The deck is made of gorgeous douglas fir, a splurge. We stained it even more orange than the fir, because we really wanted to maintain it's unique shade as long as we could. (All wood grays out over time in the sun, but in different tones).
In the Spring we get to have some landscaping fun! We're pretty wiped out cash-wise, as you can imagine. Barring disasters (which of course WILL happen), the next big expense will be our closet re-design. Did you know we still have all our clothes in wardrobe moving boxes?! Can't wait for that next step!