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Project: Bella's Mittens

Ten years ago, the first instalment of the Twilight Saga series of movies was released. It sparked my interest in Ruth Cross because Bella's Long Cable Mittens came from this designer. Ruth Cross had since closed her store for ready-to-wear and made-to-order knits but released this pattern afterwards. Unfortunately, the website is no longer up (it was still up a few months ago) and I'm unsure how you will be able to obtain the pattern.

There was an influx of copycat patterns after the release of the film. Nancy Fry's pattern is arguably the closest to the original pattern, as it is knitted flat and stitched together. I used Subliminal Rabbit's pattern the first time, which was already a huge learning experience because I had to learn how to knit cables, knit in the round, increase/decrease stitches. Prior to that, I only just for the hang of knitting stockinette scarves without accidentally decreasing or increasing stitches.

On the rare occasion, you can find Ruth Cross mittens appear on eBay. Last year, I found a preowned pair of them and snagged them. I probably overpaid for them, but I couldn't complain: they were in very good condition and it was mostly shipping I found expensive.

Left: Ruth Cross mittens (the pair I purchased)
Right: My copycat pair I made in 2009, still in good condition

Now with the official pattern, I can recreate the mittens and replace them when they get old. Perhaps I could alter them to be shorter, as I've noted in my Ravelry post of my first pair of mittens: that it'd be cuter.

Ruth Cross has specific instructions on her knitting method, which describes combination knitting. It was a slight learning curve to alter my way of knitting but once I got the hang of it, I found it was less strain to my wrists. I might wish to continue knitting this way in the future.

I knitted the left mitten last year but I finally finished when I picked up knitting the right mitten recently.
Back of hand horseshoe cables

Palm stitching
I casted on differently from the pattern by using the magic loop method (same cast on as my first pair of mittens). I didn't realise that the cast on instructions were on the last page and I just casted on with my preferred method.

I had no issues following the pattern aside from having to learn twisted stitches to achieve the palm stitch. When I knitted the left mitten, I referred to external sources to get the correct method. However, when I returned to finish with the right mitten a couple of months later, I followed the pattern's instructions and failed to replicate the stitch.

I went ahead and did a few swatches to figure out where I went wrong the second time: you need to go through the first stitch to get to the second stitch, which I failed to do on the right mitten. It's more like a k2tog or p2tog but instead of slipping both stitches, you must go back to the first stitch to do a k or p respectively. I wished it had been explained explicitly there because I went ahead to the second stitch and back to the first, which gave an entirely different effect.

It's a beautiful effect nonetheless but it wasn't the same stitch.

Left: Incorrect (going straight into second stitch k1 or p1, then back onto the first)
Right: Correct (k2tog or p2tog, and without slipping stitch, k1 or p1 with first stitch)
Overall, I would say as a novice, the palm stitch and combination knitting technique was challenging BUT achievable. The yarn I used was King Cole Merino Blend DK in Mink.


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