This week I did something I’ve always wanted to try, but never did.

You know, sometimes it’s nice to stretch yourself. While I’ve knit multiple colors of stripes, it’s only lately I’ve attempted more complicated color knitting. After I learned to knit holding one strand of yarn in my left and one in my right.

I first learned (or more accurately taught myself) to knit with the yarn in my left hand. I’ve watched folks who knit with it in their right hand — including some knitting teachers who seem to think it’s the only knitting method.

Frankly, after watching them it always looked to me as though they had to stop, hold the needles with both hands, wrap the yarn, then pick up the right hand needle to finish the stitch. It seemed to take an awful lot of concentration and seemed slow. I felt validated when watching speed knitters who knit with the yarn in their left hands. Of course I learned to multitask while knitting, reading a book, and watching TV, so I may be just a teensy bit nonobjective. Maybe. 😉

Anyway, a while ago I decided I should learn both methods. So, I found a video, and tried it myself. No, I’m not about to completely change. It has come in handy for entrelac, and now two-stranded color knitting.

And this week I finished my first Norwegian mitten! Well, technically it’s from the tiny northern Norwegian district called Selbu, and called a Selbu mitten.

Back of Selby mitten showing Norwegian stars

Back of Selby mitten showing Norwegian stars

The colors are supposed to be bold, like back and white. I had brown and white, so used those.

The thumb is surprisingly comfortable. You see, I’ve often wondered how comfortable a Norwegian thumb gore would be, since I’ve almost always made side seam or normal thumb gores. Confused? Don’t be: check out my recent article on knitting instructions for mitten thumbs.

Anyway, you can see how the thumb gore (the wedge-shaped part below the thumb) interrupts the palm pattern:

Norwegian thumb gore interrupting palm pattern

Norwegian thumb gore interrupting palm pattern

And don’t miss the third Norwegian star on the thumb!

The inside of the thumb matches the palm pattern:

Norwegian thumb inside view

Norwegian thumb inside view

And, yes it is a big help to hold one color in each hand, knitting with both hands. So, I have found a very useful reason to learn to knit both ways.

My mitten is for a left hand, so now it’s on to the right hand mitten!

The pattern is from Folk Mittens: Techniques and Patterns for Handknitted Mittens by Marcia Lewandowski.



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