Digging around in my closet/studio today, I came across one of a pair of mittens I knit...maybe 4 or 5 years ago. It brought back a lot of memories and prompted this mitten knitting tip. I finished one mitten and loved it. The size was perfect, the pattern was not too intricate to be demanding (sorry it doesn't show up well in the photo), and I was determined not to let 'second mitten' syndrome get to me before I had finished both. I jumped right into the second mitten, and in just a few sessions, it was finished. I was very pleased with myself, until I realized I had made two identical mitts, which meant that either I was going to have to wear one mitten with the lacey stitch pattern on the palm side or I was going to have to grow a new thumb on the far side of my little finger. The sad ending of this story is that I frogged the offending, duplicate mitt, but I never knit it again. Don't cry for me, but let my sad story remind you that not all mitten or glove pairs (or even some socks) are created identically. Check your pattern and REMEMBER when you get to the second half of the pair. If you are doing mittens that are the same on both sides, chances are this isn't going to be a problem. If you are going for something fancy with lace or color or cables on the back of the hand (where you can admire it), you are going to have to beware. The same is true if the thumb of your mitten grows from the palm side rather than straight out the side of the mitten. Knitting mitten is fun and they make a perfect gift for all the cold hands you'd like to keep warm. If you haven't knit a mitt before, you can check out our class, Introduction to Mitten Knitten, that starts September 24.
If you tend to forget this important design detail before you get to the second mitten, you can get chummy with knitting mittens 2-at-a-time using one or two circular needles. This is a technique popular with many sock knitters. You can learn the technique in the Toe-Up Socks class, if your are interested. This class starts December 8.