Amazing what a little steam can do, isn't it? The left mitt is how it came off the needles, the right one has been steamed and lightly stretched.
There is a big difference to the look and feel of the steamed mitt. It's softer and more pliable now that the kinks have been steamed out. Brenda asked how I knew the fibre would stretch - it wasn't actually the fibre itself (although most natural fibres will stretch and soften with some steaming and blocking).
I purposely made these smaller than I wanted because of the kinks in the wool as it unravelled itself from the dyed blank. I could see in the resulting fabric as I was knitting that it was kind of scrunched up, and when I gently pulled it, the stitches straightened up and stretched a bit. So I knit these to come JUST to the tips of my fingers and thumb, then steamed them and stretched them so they were the size I wanted. It also evened out the stitches, and as I mentioned before, softened up the wool/mohair blend, and made them feel wonderful. I wore them with my green sweater and green Chuck Taylors on the 17th. They were a perfect match. (I also had jeans on, in case anyone thought I went to work in only a sweater and Converse running shoes...)
I really love these. Next time I see Wellington Fibres (Knitter's Frolic, probably) I may just pick up a few more - they would make spectacular gifts.
In case anyone is wondering - I used the mitten pattern that lives in my head, with 2.25mm needles and 64 stitches around. I used a side gusset thumb (I hate those palm placed afterthought, straight across thumbs - seriously - whose hand is shaped that way?)
I knit them both at the same time, using two sets of dpns (I have way more sets of 2.25mm dpns than any sane person needs). I would knit a few rows of one, then the other, since the two strands of wool came off the blank at the same time. This also ensured that the thumbs were exactly the same size and in the same place.
And please note - you don't have to have a mitten pattern that lives in your head to use the mitten blank -Donna of Wellington Fibres will provide you with a mitten pattern when you buy the blank. I used my own because I don't have to look at a pattern that way. It's the same with socks - the pattern is in my head, so as long as that stays intact, I'm good.