While on the quest for the perfect mitten pattern, I've decided I might have to purchase a pattern: either singly or a book. I usually have such great success with free patterns, but this is #2 and it's mostly a let-down.
I kept with size 2 needles, but this time I tried a purple Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino - a yarn I've been dying to try. It felt so much better on the needles! I'm fine with the cuff. I think it's long enough and has enough stretch to keep the mitten on the hand. I also like the hand evern though the tip is more pointed than I would like. But the worst part is the thumb. The thumb looks so terrible I don't even want to look at it. I had high hopes for it because it was worked differently than the last one but I think it's so hideous the way it sticks out from the side of the mitten like it was a last minute addition and has no business being there. I wish I could just take if off and seam up the side and have a thumbless mitten, but I think that would look wretched as well.
So I have this mitten I found at my mom's house in her old Singer sewing machine that no longer actually houses a sewing machine. The sewing machine stand (?) is a safe haven for loads of miscellaneous little odds and ends. The mitten was knitted by Helen Noise (one of my grandmother's friends) for one of us kids, but I don't remember it ever being worn by me or my brothers. Now that I'm older and a knitter I can appreciate it for what it is: a perfect mitten. It appears to be a 32 stitch cast on and starts with a 2x2 rib. From there the hand and thumb is started together, simultaneously. I can see the bar increases make their way up the length of the thumb. looks like there are six stitches including the actual increases. Then a row is knit plain. On the third round two more stitches are added giving the thumb 8 stitches. This is repeated so when the thumb is started there are ten stitches. Here the hand breaks and goes its separate way. The top of the hand is rounded not pointed which I think entailed a sharper decrease: no alternating rows of decreases and knitting even.
If I were to recreate this I would attempt to use circular needles and form the thumb increases in the middle of on of the needles. I'm going to look around for another pattern, but if it comes to it, I'll attempt a recreation.
The mitten itself is also a good lesson in not using acyrlic yarn. The right side is dusty and fuzzy looking (no doubt because of its 20-year hide out in the sewing machine drawer) and the wrong side is sharp and pristine.