Just to be contrary, instead of knitting a plain thumb in a single color, I continued the pattern on one side and alternated colors every stitch and offset them every row. Just to be contrary. The end product was nice, but it was a little fiddly (especially considering I have made only two pairs of colorwork mittens before). I've put project notes on the thumb alterations on my Ravelry project page.
The snow was pretty.
I needed to mail these off in a hurry, so instead of washing them and shaping to dry as blocking I steamed them, which did help even the stitches and smooth the surfaces. I took them outside immediately to photograph them in the fresh snow, and although it's not something I really planned, throwing hot mittens into cold snow really snugged those stitches up!
The perspective in some of these pics is a little misleading, as the two mittens really are the same size. Really. They are. I know this because I had to work to make it happen. I knitted one mitten and thumb and started in on the second mitten. Knit knit knit knit.... I got almost up to where the thumb eventually goes on the second mitten when I couldn't look over the problem any longer - they were just not the same size.
Look at the lighter pink designs on the first, finished mitten (looser) and on the second mitten (tighter).
First mitten, size 1 (2.25mm) needles, 10 stitches per inch.
Second mitten, size 1 (2.25mm) needles, 11 stitches per inch.
You really can't tell, even stacked on top of each other, just how bad it was. That one stitch per inch made a pretty big difference, though.
With much growling and gnashing of needles, I ripped the second mitten back to the ribbing and started the colorwork again with my next needle size up, size 2 (2.75mm) double-pointed needles. This time it went well although I was careful to keep knitting tightly on the 2s to hit the same gauge I got on 1s before. It's not like I knit these months apart, either - I went from one straight into the other. Knitting is full of surprises. Beware! Gauge strikes again!
Yarn: Knit Picks Palette (2-ply, 100% Peruvian wool, fingering weight) in cotton candy (the lighter pink) and fucshia (the darker pink)
Needles: Size 1 (2.25mm) double-pointed aluminum needles for the right mitten and size 2 (2.75mm) double-pointed aluminum needles for the left mitten. I did, however, switch back to size 1s for the thumb on the left mitten and tried to knit loosely.
Yardage: Final weight was 45g, which is 208 yards of yarn. Based on remaining weight in skeins, I can estimate that I used 104 yards of fuchsia and 97 yards cotton candy which does not add up to 208... So, somewhere in there.
Mods: The thumb patterning was my big modification, but I also used the same shaping on the top of the thumbs as called for in the mittens. I also grafted the mitten tops with 6 stitches left on the top and bottom (total 12). This cut the mitten a little bit shorter than the pattern called for, and involved grafting, but I wanted them to be a little less pointy at the tip.
Some clever people on Ravelry have adjusted this pattern to worsted weight yarn, which I might try too!
SpillyJane's contest with these mittens required people to email her a picture of the finished pair of mittens in February and she'd send a free pattern of our choice. I emailed my snowy photo and the free pattern I chose was her adorable Swedish Fish Socks - so look out for those, eventually!