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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Knit. . . Wifie's Tiki fingerless mitts

So, a month ago I spotted that Grannyg (of most excellent New Zealand podcast Crafternoon Tea ) had published a pattern called Tiki. It is based on the iconic New Zealand Tiki. Some of you are probably wondering what a Tiki is so I will quote from the Tiki pattern:

"In New Zealand Maori mythology, Tiki is the first man who created the first woman and bore children with her. He appears all through Central Eastern Polynesian culture in carvings but for us in New Zealand he is found in pendants known as Hei-Tiki. These pendants were traditionally carved in greenstone or bone, although in recent times all manner of materials have been used.
A Hei-Tiki is a powerful good luck symbol, representing ancestors in human form. The tilted head indicates thinking, hands are for strength, mouth indicates powerful communication, heart is for love and the loins are for fertility."

My "wifie" (or civil union partner if you prefer!) saw the Tiki design on ravelry over my shoulder and immediately pronounced that she would love a pair of the Tiki mittens! I needed no encouragement to buy the pattern, but only once I had bought and downloaded it did aforementioned partner realise that the mittens were full mittens. "Wifie" wanted fingerless mittens, didn't reckon it gets cold enough round here to warrant full mittens, and remarked "You could make those fingerless, couldn't you?!" It seemed somewhat sacrilegious to cannibalise the pattern no sooner than it had been downloaded, but I mentioned it to Grannyg on ravelry and she gave her blessing!

First step was to dye up some green sock yarn using food colouring from Morag at Vintage Purls. Next I knitted up a Hei-Tiki pendant to test out my colour choices. . . Grey Regia sock yarn and the lighter green that I had dyed worked well together. Originally, I tried with two shades of green but they were too similar, but the grey and green combo worked well (it's the two colours used in the published pattern, so I guess it was a no-brainer!)

So far so good, except "Wifie" wasn't keen on the Tiki's eyes. So I offered to try making them grey instead of green! 

Thus I started on the fingerless, grey-eyed Tiki mitts! If I had worked at them consistently I definitely could have got them done in less than a week of evenings, but I got distracted onto several other projects (including my new-found fascination for knitted graffiti!) and so they took a month from start to finish. I finished them yesterday and here they are. . .

Tiki mitts - back of hand

Tiki mitts palm
If I can find some suitably sized paua shell buttons I might try attaching those for the eyes. . . But overall I am really pleased with the mitts, most importantly "Wifie" loves them and it's great to have such a very New Zealand-themed pattern at our fingertips (only NZ$5 to download from ravelry!) Thanks Granny G!

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