Increases (Stitches and Residents)

I’ve been making a pair of Bella Mittens (and they’re quite lovely) from the free pattern on Ravelry but you can find them on Marielle Henault’s blog by clicking here. I really like the way they’re knitting up and the yarn that I bought for them at Halcyon Yarns in Bath is really soft and a pretty color. I’m quite pleased.

One of the things I like best about the pattern is the way that Marielle does her increases in the thumb gusset. I’ve made a bunch of gloves and mittens and never were the directions (at least it’s my perception) so clear. And she has designed using M1, one is a left-leaning increase and one a right-leaning increase which makes the added stitches look so pretty on the finished garment.

The left-leaning increase or M1L is made by using the left needle to pick up the stitch between the two needles from the front to the back and then knitting into the back of the stitch. Thus adding a stitch.

The right leaning increase is just a tiny bit different – you pick up the stitch from the back to the front and then knit into the front of the stitch. Notice how each different increase leans slightly to the left or right … cool, huh?

The end result is a really nice looking gusset (once you’ve increased a few times, you’ll see the pretty pattern developing. This can really be used in any mitten or glove pattern where there are increases for the thumb gusset and they make the piece look so professionally done. Imagine caring about the garment that you are making?! 🙂

So, now that you’ll be practicing your increases, the residents in our home will also be increasing. My brothers all arrive with their wives, families and dogs on Thursday evening. We can hardly wait – although our dogs will be a bit less comfortable with all the cousins around. My eldest daughter is also coming with her boyfriend and dog. We’ll be ten adults, three children and eight dogs. One brother and two sisters (I’ve told you before how I don’t like the in-law tag, right? I believe that my brother’s wife is my sister and that’s just that. Having been an in-law for almost 30 years, I never was made to feel an equal in their family and I don’t want that in my family) … as I was saying, my oldest brother and two of my sisters, happens to be the two newest ones, have never been to Maine. So, we’ll be eating a lot of lobster and touring our old stomping grounds from when we were kids. The house will be full of fishermen and women, knitters, dogs, dirt, laundry, cooks, dish washers and lots and lots of love.

I feel so blessed to have my family growing exponentially after the age of 50 … and it’s just not my kids who are adding those family members! Maybe that’s the coolest part of all. One new sister by marriage and a new big brother and sister by miracle.

Life is good!

Gone knitting!

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