I cast on for these just before flying to Portland for our long weekend of food and books. I thought that airport security might have mercy and not confiscate my needles if they were obviously attached to a work in progress. The needles turned out to be fine, it was my apparently threatening chest and ponytail that got searched (in St Louis and Portland respectively).
Pattern: Plain Jhaynes from knitspot
Yarn: Zealana Kia Ora Kiwi Laceweight in Wintergreen
Needles: US1 (2.25mm)
Duration: 8th May to 18th May
Mitten #1 was completed on the two flights out. I had to use a safety pin as a stitch holder for the thumb, and that was less than optimal. Mitten #2 got as far as the thumb divide on the flights back but I was distracted by a Scott Sigler book, Infected. Also the flights back were only four hours, not six.
The yarn I used is far thicker than the pattern required, and while my palm size is "large" by the pattern’s standards, the medium mitten fit perfectly. And since when is an 8 inch palm circumference large? I picked up two extra stitches around the thumb to close the gaps and decreased them away in the first couple of thumb rounds. These are also longer in the hand than the pattern suggested.
I love the fact this yarn is made from 30% Brushtailed Possum fur, harvested in New Zealand. That breed of possum is an Australian animal introduced to NZ as a fur crop, but it got out and since it has no natural predators, it’s harming the kiwi birds by stealing their eggs, and it competes for food with the native species. Using possum fur products encourages hunting, which helps the local animals and birds. The knit fabric is soft, light, and warm. It looks a little like the cat has been shedding on it because there are visible possum hairs, but in my house everything has cat hair on it eventually and the possums saved the trouble of that tantalising cat-hair-free step which never lasts. I have more of this yarn to use for a lace scarf.
While the yarn claims to be "laceweight," at 217yds/40g that makes it just over 542yds/100g, so I’m calling this a light fingering weight yarn. The other two fibres in this are merino (40%) and cotton (30%). It doesn’t feel like it has much stretch in the yarn itself but the fabric stretches nicely. It’s a splitty yarn too, certainly on metal needles, but I like the results and you get used to watching for stray plies.