Preparing to travel from Australia to the north of the northern hemisphere in the Australian summer takes quite an effort of imagination. At a theoretical level you know it's going to be cold, but while you're complaining about Sydney's heat and humidity you just can't make yourself feel the cold in your bones.
This is how I've felt while knitting these fingerless mitts.
I know my hands will be cold when I'm in Europe, and I know I'll be grateful to have them, but I just haven't been able to work up much enthusiasm or feel any sense of urgency for their need.
What I've ended up with is a somewhat adapted version of Friends of the Forest Mittens by Katrin Silvius. I've omitted the bobbles that were a feature of the original pattern and added a simple yarn-over motif to the part of the mitt that covers the back of the hand, as this is most frequently visible. I like the proportions of the mitts very much - particularly their length - and am very pleased with the texture and colour of the yarn (Rowan Tweed).
I've discovered in knitting these that I really like to have access to both written directions and charts when knitting lace - even for a simple pattern such as this one, which had only written instructions. It's particularly useful to be able to check back and forth between the chart and the words, especially when the start of the pattern repeat varies from row to row and the number of stitches varies through decreases.
Nevertheless, they're done and I now have a warm hat, warm mitts and a wide choice of warm scarves ready for my trip.
This small project has reminded me just how much I like knitting with Rowan Tweed - the tweedy colours, the grabby quality of the yarn, its extremely tactile quality. I think I'll have to save my pennies (or rather, pounds and pounds) to buy enough to be able to wrap myself in a Rowan Tweed cardigan of some kind.