I was surfing around blogs and free pattern sites, looking for a pair of convertible mittens that weren't too fussy. I checked magknits and wow -- perfect! Just what I wanted! I didn't even realize it was a new issue.
It's so cold in Michigan right now (yeah, I know Canada is colder -- Canadians seriously rock) that I wanted super-thick mittens. I used a strand of thick, prickly Jamieson's shetland in blue and a strand of baby alpaca in green to soften it a tad. I did some gauge swatching and realized I'd have to change the pattern to accommodate the hefty fabric I was working with. I cast on 28 stitches and worked from there.
I wanted the mittens really thick so I stuck to a size 7 needle (6 on the cuffs). This produced an almost pre-felted fabric, but it's not really stiff -- just right for me. I did have to knit more slowly than usual with the thick yarnage on smaller needles, but it wasn't difficult.
I did single ribbing around the slit, as the fabric was too thick in double ribbing to contract much. I changed the top of the mitten by mistake (misplaced the directions), so it's a bit pointier than in the original pattern.
I adore these mittens. They're perfect for keeping my hands warm while I'm driving, while allowing me to manipulate the keys and grip the wheel. In fact, I never blocked them -- just put them on as soon as I was done.
My next pair will be in the yarn called for and knit as directed. Then I plan a pair in alpaca . . . .