Every once in a while the universe seeks to sort me out and make me humble. It’s that balance thing again.

Yesterday I ran an entire day of errands, did my real job and finished up the day by picking up the Hank-man for a sleep-over. (My sister has gone skiing in Whistler for a few days. While she sits in hot-tubs, glides elegantly down the slopes and drinks hot toddies, I am explaining to Hank why I have “funny shampoo”, how come my apple juice is wrong, why I don’t know the whole “Dora song” and how I really do think that despite these complex and serious problems, he can stay here for one night anyway. Mr. Washie and I are trying not to be bitter.) Things were going pretty darned well.

Last night I finished the MSF mittens and blocked them and gloried in my accomplishment. I got a good nights sleep and I got up this morning and somehow managed to get four children going and get them out the door to four different schools. It was “pyjama day” at Hank’s kindergarten, and therefore I did not have to convince him to get dressed, a big bonus, since my morning had already been thrown into confusion by the presence of someone to short to get themselves a bowl of freakin’ Cheerios while I drink coffee and stare into space. I am not a morning person.

Somehow, despite not getting any coffee this morning, Hank and I were able to get out the door and off to his school on time, leaving Joe to wrangle the other three off to their schools. I arrived back at the house, eager for coffee, a chat with Joe, and to take pictures of the MSF mittens that I’m so proud of. I stagger up to the door, reach for the doorknob and…It’s locked.

It is twenty degrees below zero. I have no keys and my husband has gone to work. (An aside here? This is a man that never goes to work at 9:00. Never. Ever. I can only conclude that the many years prior to this morning where he could not possibly be convinced to leave before 10, no matter how crazy he was making me, was all a ruse designed to lull me in to a state where I wouldn’t take my keys with me this morning.) I’m locked out. Without coffee, without my bank card, without anything. I stomp around for a while, bug my neighbour to let me use her phone to try and track down Joe….then give up, head for Megan’s school, have the office pull her out of class (mother of the year award again) get her keys and come back home. (I believe that due to the lack of coffee, the early hour and the temperature, I deserve to be forgiven for anything I may have said about Joe during this period of time.)

Once in the house, I made coffee, drank a few cups in rapid succession and fetched the MSF mittens to show you. I’m so happy with how they came out.

I took this picture of the beautiful matching fronts….


Then flipped them over and took this picture of the beautiful matching backs.


See it? It hit me like a tonne of bricks. (I would rather not discuss how it is that I could have blocked these without seeing it, but instead remind you that I am mostly blind in one eye and not very smart).

After sitting in stunned silence for the required amount of time, I have, after careful consideration accepted these three choices. You may choose.

1. Unravel the thumb on one of the mittens, graft the thumbhole closed in some sort of insane fair-isle grafting feat that will certainly involve hard liquor and curse words, then snip the threads where the thumb *should* be, unravel that part of the row, pick up the stitches and re-knit the thumb in it’s new and exciting location.

2. Knit a third mitten…one for the left hand.


3. Go into the backyard and begin heaping up snow until I have a pile at least 4 feet tall. Compact this snow into a firm heap and begin the tedious process of digging out a wee channel that will lead to a small interior room in the snow mountain. Then I will retrieve the mittens from the living room and take them out to the snow house, where I will remain until spring, lighting a small fire to warm myself while I drink myself stupid on screech, eat chocolate and use my very sharpest black handled scissors to snip the mittens into a thousand tiny little pieces that I will feed to the fire while aggressively and incoherently cursing my stupidity , sucking on icicles and trying to think of a reason to go on.

229 thoughts on “Choices.

  1. Did I forget to mention I have TWO right hands? Those will fit perfectly-thanks?
    Not going to work, huh? Then I think you should go with #2. That way, maybe some day in the far, far away future, you could make another left to match. Or send the “extra” to the lucky winner and let them deal with it. You’re call. Hope the day goes better.

  2. Stephanie…If you knit a 3rd mitten, I will happily *buy* the extra one from you so that I can mount it in a shadow box and display it as mitten art. I’m serious. No joke. They are beautiful, even if they are both for the same hand.
    Send some screech my way, if you dare. My cat made short work of a sleeve I was working on and found himself locked in the basement till I could calm down. 🙂

  3. All I could think was “Oh, OW.”
    I’d say knit a third mitten, but this is coming from someone who had to knit four gloves to achieve a pair that matched so you may not want to take my advice.
    Just drink a large quantity of screech, eat a bunch of chocolate, and go and do something else for a while, until the killing rage has subsided.

  4. Well, in the Latvian mitten book it mentioned hanging mittens up to prevent bad things from happening in your house. So why don’t you send one mitten each to two people, with the intent of hanging by the fireplace to prevent the house from burning down, and thus spread the love around a bit more?

  5. Oh my. Those are two *gorgeous* right-handed mittens. Any doubly-right-handed person would be a fool not to fall in love with both of them immediately! Maybe you could add option 4: put out a wanted ad for a person with two right hands? I admit that it took me a second to realize what the problem was – you’re not the only one. Oh, poor harlot…
    Thankfully, this just means that the MSF fundraiser goes on, right?!

  6. Wasn’t it Elizabeth Zimmerman who warns to give 3 mittens as opposed to a pair, since one always gets lost?

  7. Oh. My. God. I would be so pissed! My solution (and you prolly aren’t going to like it) is to knit TWO left handed mittens!

  8. Dear Stephanie,
    Am aghast. And while I dont recommend building a snow fort I do recommend a shot or twelve of Screech. And liberal amounts of chocolate.

  9. I am honored to post the 1st comment on your fabulous knitting blog! Harlot- whatever option you go for: 1, 2 or 3… you will be needing alcohol of some type. Probably the hard stuff. The problem with knitting is that we get into the knitting zen space (which is actually a good thing) and then we make these little, bitty errors and don’t notice them because we are in the aforementioned zen zone. When we have left the zone, we notice the mistakes and then we become so darn pissed that we are catapulted far, far away from the zen space. It is the most ironical and confusing part of knitting. In the zone… out of the zone…All I can say Harlot is peace out and have a joyous weekend!

  10. Personally, I’d go with #3.
    However, knitting another mitten might give everyone enough time to donate more money to MSF.
    Silver freakin’ lining, right?

  11. I really, really like the third choice. However, I fear this is why the Irish have not prospered in the last millenia, – you should go with one. They are beautiful and you can do it.
    On to the book, I will go to Amazon and purchase, but what would be really good is a copy signed by the author. Is there anyway to work that out?

  12. Thing is, those mittens are beautiful and even with the misplaced thumb, superb to anything I could make. I just don’t speak Latvian… Though I agree with everyone that said you should knit another one…Gives people more time to donate!

  13. I think #2, definitely. The winner can then wear a pair, *and* hang up one by the fireplace for good luck…actually, the spot in my kitchen is picked out and all ready.
    Plus, the right mitt is the one that would wear out faster, correct? If you are right handed. Just select a right handed winner. :o)

  14. Steph-
    I’m tempted to tell you #3. Not only do I think it’s kind of funny (ok, it’s not all that funny), but I know exactly the emotion you’re searching to express. I have (once or twice) taken my sharp sharp scissors to a nylon scarf or other nylon knitted item (it’s always nylon) and dropped it down the trash chute – later to claim that the project was stolen from my car (I don’t even own a car!) or whatever.
    But, I think the best idea, would be to knit TWO new mittens (that is if you have enough yarn). AND in a fit of selfless love for mankind, give one pair away for MSF and then put the other on ebay, with proceeds towards, none other than MSF. Good eh? Selfless is good against insanity….

  15. Whistler?
    You mean, the place where my exH flew halfway aroudn to world in order to take our son for a ski trip last week, braving 20-hour delays and plan changes, just to find that the mountain was rained out 5 out 7 days, and they could not, in fact, strap boards to their legs and fall down mountains on purpose?
    The place where my darling (vegetarian) son learned about ramen noodles and Canadian pizza? That Whistler?
    The one my son (who NEVER gets sick) came back from with a really bad cough and a low-grade fever?
    I hope my ex used up all the bad travel karma – maybe by refusing my offer of a notarized letter from me, permitting our son international travel, and getting stopped at the border for it. Maybe by having the first leg of his return flight delayed 24 hours by the NY blizzard, or the second leg (in NY, which is on the OTHER coast from the son he travelled, as I said, halfway around the world in order to meet) by an entire *week*. And rumor has it that he didn’t find *any* ski facilities in downtown Manhattan.
    In any event, I think his trip was of heroically horrible proportions, the stuff of song and legend, and that any bad travel karma relating to Whislter was well-and-truly used up by that series of events. So I’m sure your sister will have a great time.
    Sorry about the lockout. You guyz sure do have drastic w***her up there…

  16. How bout you send one mitten to each of two people? That way it is up to them to make the pair. I will nominate myself for one of the mittens. I think I am up to the task. I will get some screech just in case… and then all other projects will be uncerimoniously tossed aside to make way for the MSF mitten. I will even blog about it to show its progress!
    Am I coming off as too desperate? Oh well…
    Seriously though? I feel for you. My day was similar on Wednesday. Though I didn’t have a mitten catastrophe to cap it all off!
    Glad you survived the Hankster, Dora song, shampoo and apple juice not withstanding.

  17. Perhaps it is the screech that caused the problem in the first place?
    Fashion statement/wall art seems to be the way to go. Maybe you should just send out one mitten to two different people and indulge in the screech until amnesia sets in.
    They are beautiful, though.

  18. Oh, Harlot.
    I saw the picture, gasped and about dropped my mug of coffee in my lap. I want to offer words of consolation…but they escape me at present.

  19. I frightened everyone here in sleepy, post-prandial Cubicle-Land when I yelped! I was looking so closely at the first picture for errant white stripes, that when I scrolled down to the next one it lurched off the screen right at me.
    OMG!! This must be a cosmic joke, because you have accrued so much good karma from $55,817 worth of good deeds that it really isn’t fair.
    Curse you, Mitten Gods!! Leave our Harlot be!!!

  20. Oh, Steph.
    Yeah, sounds like my Wednesday, too, without child.
    We all know, whatever you decide, will be good.

  21. Those two mittens are still a work of art. The universe got even with me recently and even though this probably isn’t going to help..i’ll try anyway. I had recently designed and knit a cardigan/jacket for a friend that is a lovely alpaca blend with two lovely colors. A deep rich black, and a lovely camel with black mixed through it. After a few too many times of ripping back some hard earned knitting progress on the back due to picking up my work on its needles, squinting at the black fabric worked in stockinette, not bothering to check the lay of the yarn at the top to actually see if i were knitting or purling, i’d start in merrily knitting like a fiend – in the wrong stitch! I finally got smart after ripping for about the fourth time, and put a safety pin on one side for reference,finished the back, and completed the rest of the sweater without mishap. This weekend eager to block and complete my project I noticed that the two fronts were a little off in the armhole area. “That’s fine” i thought to myself, I always have to fudge with the armholes a little bit, and was okay until I noticed that the left side of the cardigan was a whole 2.75 inches shorter than the right side…. so, without even a whimper (not too loud anyway) i ripped that #%$!-ing side completely out. I will recast and reknit the entire left side of a very large cardigan/jacket this weekend. I’d told my friend I’d bring her new jacket to her this weekend. I don’t think I’m gonna make my deadline….

  22. You have made me feel less inadequate, both as a knitter and as a person! I, myself, would have either sobbed for hours or called my husband to take it out on him.
    The mittens are lovely. Well done. Knit a third one and call it a day.

  23. Poor Harlot… do you still have the link to the website that tells you how to swear in Latvian? If not I might just have to go looking for it. Knit the third mitten, it might take longer but it is less stress inducing than the whole fair-isle grafting thing. Good luck. Hey and don’t feel bad – I locked my keys in the car this morning and had to call Hubby at work to come home and let me in. Needless to say we were all late this morning.

  24. I can *so* relate to the “sitting in stunned silence” part. What happens during that time is an evil mixture of disbelief and anger with a twinge of self-hatred thrown in. Been there…will be there many times again!
    I vote for option #1. But know that this comes from someone who too chicken to cut into their own stranded knitting.

  25. I’m anal. I’d have to knit TWO more mittens, making sure that each resulting pair had the >>> <<< symmetry that you worked so hard to achieve.
    My heart goes out to you. And I’ll gladly help with the extra knitting.

  26. Ow, ow! Recovering from food poisoning here in Seattle, the laughing-slash-groaning HURTS every one of those interstitial muscles pulled by horking my brains out. Unbelievable! (and yes, all ski areas in the Pacific Northwest at least South of the Border are CLOSED due to lack of snowpack), I like option 3, having been in a cave myself the past few days. Screech, in any case. Janet

  27. Oh Stephanie — What a total drag! Okay, my solution, although probably not the best one, is (1) if you have enough wool, then (2) give 2 people one mitten each and the wool and the pattern to knit their own second mitten. Then each winner can choose — good luck charm or knitting challenge. Good luck with your choice. And remember, you’ll laugh about this someday…

  28. Maybe this is where your idea for a purple line comes in/back? As a nod to “The Great Mitten Accident of Ought Five” you graft across the whole palm and reinsert the thumb with purple yarn. I think I have some purple Old Kroy if you need it.

  29. OUCH! Very sorry. Very, very sorry. My rational brain says option 2, but my irrational brain is in complete sympathy with option 3. Oof!

  30. I didn’t even realize they were two rights until I read the comments. I was looking for some piddly detail thing, like missing a stripe or something. If it makes you feel any better, I finished the first mitten I was going to donate (which I had already knit twice) and then realized I put the thumb hole too high up. So if you put your thumb all the way in, then there is not enough room at the top for your fingers. I was depressed for DAYS. I need to re-rip and do a totally new pattern to ease the pain.

  31. Oh, no! Steph!
    You know that horrified inhaling noise one makes when confronted with something awful? I just made it.
    I would probably try redoing the thumb and ruin the mitten, myself, so I don’t know if I can recommend it. Is it possible to tink back at this point, or did blocking make that impossible?
    I think you need some wine and chocolate stat, then you can contemplate the mitten. Or go play the llama song some more.
    Oh, Steph!

  32. My first thought was yes, knit a third mitten, as per Elizabeth Zimmerman’s instructions. But then, I remembered she was talking about the kind of mittens that aren’t hand-specific. So I don’t know . . . I believe that picking option #2 will set the winds of fate such that the lucky recipient will receive three mittens, then promptly lose the one left hand mitten. Then s/he may also be driven to take up residence in a small snow hovel. Maybe you should wrap both right-hand mittens up with a bottle of screech, and send the whole thing to the lucky winner. After drinking the bottle, I’m sure the recipient will be able to think of a creative new way to wear the mittens.

  33. Oh my word. I offer *hugs*, chocolate, and the posy bracelet, once it is finished. The “glittering garden” bracelet is still going to “the-organization-that-shall-not-now-be-named”, aka TSF.

  34. Oh, ouch.
    And I will say that it took me intirely too long to see “what” the problem was so believe me it’s not just you.
    As for my choice for a solution… DEAR LORD anyone but 3!!!!

  35. okay, ideas are starting to flow… How about donating them to MSF — I bet those docs see lots of people who have lost a hand through war or disease… in your name and the winners.
    Or, put them in a shadowbox as art… I’ve seen much less accomplished knitting hung as art in galleries and homes.
    Also, my husband and I regularly lock ourselves out of our house, each time swearing we are going to get that extra key made to keep outside… still haven’t done it. Why, I do not know.

  36. Steph, while the concept of the igloo and screech sounds promising right now, I can assure you that it would pale in the not-too-distant-future. Imagine … Joe would be feeding the girls *ice cream* and **twinkies** in your absence, computer innards would adorn the dining room table, Mr. Washie would be so bereft at your absence he would disintegrate, and *gasp* your coffee cups would be rearranged. This, my dear, is a calamity of utmost importance.
    Drink the screech … ponder the mitten dilemma a bit more … the universe will provide an answer.
    I’m sure.
    Or you could find a couple of one-armed winners.

  37. No, no, no huddling in a snow fort with liquor – that should be saved for a weekend away with your husband – kind of a snow hotel thing, see?
    And I fear that the snip/reweave/graft/repair approach can only end in alcoholism and madness, and you’ll only have to re-knit it anyway.
    What you do is make two *left* mittens and then you have a pair for yourself while the other pair goes out into the world to spread love. Hopefully in my house, but anywhere really. Or two to give away, if you are feeling particularly generous.
    Of course, that is easy for me to say……
    You were worried about what you would do when the mittens were done – obviously, the universe has answered.

  38. I think you should put the project away so you don’t get too angry, and then in a few months, pick up the project again and knit two left hand mittens, maybe for christmas next year, you could give one pair away! You have half of a future Christmas project already done!
    One time, after I quit smoking, my brain was in such a fuzz that I locked my keys inside my car, with the car running, three separate times within a month. 2 times were in my work car, parked, running, in a bad neighborhood in Detroit, and the third time was at my best friend’s wedding rehersal. It was terrible.

  39. I’m a dyslexic- i’m actually the special kind that reverses physical things not just numbers or letters. I have absloutley no concept of left and right or anything like that.
    What does this have to do with the MSF?
    I STARED at them for a long time trying to figure out what in the heck their probelm was. I couldn’t figure it out untill I gave up and started reading comments about knitting a third mitten.
    What you need to do is just think like a dyslexic (screech will help this)- the MSF look perfect to me! 😉 Then, you will stop having mitten stress and can send them on their way to their new home (where it sounds like the mittens will fit right in on places of honor on people’s walls!)
    That, or I vote for knitting 2 more of the opposite kind (see? I still dont know which way the thumbs are facing) since you know you’re going to want to knit another pair anyhow!

  40. Gotta confess, I laughed out loud when I saw the thumbs. But, I never could have knitted them in the first place. TAKE THE WEEKEND OFF. Wine, screech, chocolate. Work on something else. Then make a leftie. After all, most of us are right handed, so the right is going to wear out first. Gift all three. I have often wished for this option for kitchen gloves. Actually, I would like to buy rights and lefts separately, because the right always gets holes sooner. My sympathies. I hate it when I screw up. Betsy

  41. Stephanie, if I were the one who’d done this, it’d be option #3 all the way. No debate. But you are the queen of symmetry and matching pairs, and have ripped out many miles of yarn in your life. . .I offer option 4. Rip out the mitten that was supposed to be the left one back to where the thumb is inserted. See? You’re already halfway done the second mitten. . .and I’ve been wondering. Do they sell Screech down here south of the border?
    Elizabeth in SE Pennsylvania, where it was 5 degrees (Fahrenheit) this morning. To you that sounds positively springlike, but for us that’s Real Winter

  42. If you knit two lefties then you’ll have two pair! 🙂 One for you and one to give away!

  43. First off, I’d like to quell any rumours that I fell out of my chair laughing when I realized what had happened. This is SO NOT FUNNY, although sometimes people do react to tragedies by inappropriate laughter.
    Stephanie, listen to me: The lucky winner of these mittens was NEVER GOING TO WEAR THEM. NO Harloteer would dare risk losing them, getting them dirty, snagging them on something, or allowing one single pill to sully their surface. They were ALWAYS GOING TO BE WALL ART, always.
    C’mon, Harloteers — would anybody have actually used this amazing feats of beauty as mittens? No. Hell, no.
    So given that, they are perfect just the way they are. The lucky winner (me, I hope) will in fact mount them in a shadow box, with one upside up and one upside down, and NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW that they are not mirror images of one another.
    In fact, if you want to just send them to me I will swear on a stack of mittens that I will never tell.
    Really. It’s the least I can do.

  44. Oh dear,
    I have been reading your blog for some months now and am finally driven to comment. I’d vote for the good luck charm option. Think, 2 people will each have a single mitt hanging in their home, and will be forever telling the story of why they have only 1, and your fame will live on for generations.
    Actually, burn the offending one, knit another, and we’ll all try to erase it from our minds…

  45. I’m sorry. I have to say it. Two wrongs don’t make a right, but two rights make a wrong, and three rights make a left.
    By the way, it took me a full minute to figure out what you were talking about.

  46. I’m so sorry – I tried not to laugh but those beautiful little righty mittens made me cackle out loud in the office. I think it is time for two lucky winners to start a new holiday tradition and start hanging mittens by the chimmney with care.

  47. Oh. my. god. I thought my day on Tuesday was bad (frozen out of the house that I am housesitting in the Arctic during a blizzard and not knowing a soul in the neighbourhood) but this, this takes the prize for sucktastic-ness. It took me a few seconds to realize when I looked at the picture. I completely second (or third, or fourth, is it by now?) the idea to send one mitten to each winner with yarn to knit the matching left or display as a work of art. OR (maybe taking the ‘art’ thing a bit far) you could just graft in ANOTHER thumb on both! So you could switch it up and wear either right OR left depending on how you were feeling! Too much of a good thing? Anyway, they’re fabulous – you can’t let the mitten-gods take that away from you.

  48. Wheras I just roared the kind of gut-level laughter-of-recognition-of-what-should-have-been-forseen-as-inevitable which goes with seeing a friend glaring up (nothing broken) out of the pit into which I have so fallen (look for my initials scratched on the stones down there.)
    I am not a nice person.
    Therefore listen to me:
    a) This is a pisser. However (and it’s easy to miss this) there is nothing actually wrong with either mitten — they’re both beautifully knit. It’s not being actually DONE that’s maddening. (Graft and snip and weave if you like — it might actually be more fun to knit a third [fourth] mitten, but you’ll do whichever is the more satisfying solution.) Therefore
    b) You’ve earned the right to cast on something new. Whatever you want, yea even unto a poncho. It’s the weekend. Cut yourself a break (and a brownie and break open a bottle of yellowtail.) Because
    c) You got a terrific post out of it. Thanks to Ken’s gift, this isn’t a catastrophe, it’s an instant great story.
    d) By the way, lest you ever doubt the love of your blogees, this is the first time I’ve ever seen anyone tell a locked-out story where everyone else didn’t immediately try to top it. Good job. Now go hit that stash. You’ve got 48 hardearned hours to knit on whatever you damn well please. Lace?

  49. OMG. I am so sorry. I’d choose 2. But not today. Another day. A nicer, warmer, friendlier day. Make more fuzzy feet today.

  50. Steph, chocolate is already packed up and ready to go as soon as I get get the post office. If I hadn’t already sealed the box, I would add more to assist in this meltdown. Actually, forget work, I will go down to the post office right now and mail out the package the fastest that the USPS and tha Canadian postal system can get it to you. And think of the mittens as works of art. See, now need to reknit.

  51. Oh Stephanie,
    I am just dumbfounded. I can just imagine your dawning horror when you flipped the mittens over…
    I think knitting a third mitten may be the way to go…or giving one mitten each to two people…but you don’t seem like the type to leave a project undone.
    Maybe putting them away for a bit is the best idea…
    >> and a bottle of Screech.

  52. I can only commiserate on the mittens, but maybe I can help on the lock: we got one for our front door that opens either with a key or with one of two combinations of your choice. That way you’re never locked out, and you can give a second combination to a contractor and then change it on them as soon as their job is done (this once proved very useful for us.) Besides, Joe would have great fun setting it up–gadgets and guys, you know, and a chance to spread screws and other various pieces on the kitchen table while he sets the numbers and installs it, right?

  53. I have to admit, I had to stifle the urge to start laughing. Until the thought of how I’d feel if such a thing happened to me cut right through the laughter. (For of course, this happened to you, you didn’t do it yourself.)
    Although I love the idea of you and the igloo, I wouldn’t last until spring without more laughter, so I think you should… um…. knit another pair of lefties. I’m sorry.

  54. Aww Stephanie I’m so sorry. The mittens are beautiful, I don’t know what to say. I don’t want to suggest knitting any more because I can’t even begin to imagine how much work it must take to make them. Do whatever sounds best to you. Take care.

  55. Ok, now that I know why I didn’t get to read more from you yesterday, I can see the gods were playing mean tricks with all of us. But the good part is that it will all wash in the end.
    And as your many loyal readers have testified, not a one of us would do anything but treasure your beautiful mittens, even if we do have a left and a right hand.
    (oh and yes, I would have tried them on, even if I didn’t wear them out of the house… Just too tempting to skip!)

  56. I am so glad to not be the only one to have knit two for one hand. I made my husband two pair of gloves because of this error. He loved it!

  57. I’d go for the screech no matter which option you choose. Can you just rip one out to below the thumb and reknit? (“Just”, she says.) I have to admit, I laughed also. It’s a little like gawking at a big accident as you pass it on the freeway.

  58. Um, ouch Steph. So sorry. While I’m sure you are capable of grafting, snipping, and fixing, I’d say to knit a third mitten. Then you’ll have a keepsake for the experience of fundraising for MSF, and a constant reminder of the generosity of knitters.

  59. Ouch! Earlier this month I posted a wishful ditty entitled, “If a person has two left feet…” …might they have two right hands? I was seriously, hopefully contemplating the possibilities for a time. This was after discovering that I was making a second right-hand stupid mitten and wracking my brain for a way to make it work. Arrrrgh. Since I caught it mid-gusset, I know only a fraction of your pain and even that was excruciating!! If Choice #1 doesn’t work (I’d try), you can fall back on Choice #2 and, well, let’s hope it doesn’t come to #3. I’ll bet you’ll go off and knit some Fuzzy Feet.

  60. I didn’t have time to read over 50 comments but I just wanted to suggest undoing 1/2 of the inside of one of the mitts and just knitting the inside from the thumb up. I know it would be horrible but not as hard as knitting two whole other mitts.

  61. Um, you could turn one inside out… they have pretty, if rather different, patterns on the inside? In fact, I recall reading some knitter’s blog the other day where she was admiring the wrong side of a colour pattern.
    That’s *got* to be frustrating. 😛 I feel for you… I really do!

  62. Argh! I can’t in the archives find where you got the pattern for those mittens from?! Who cares they are two right mittens, I am SO drooling over them and would LOVE to know where I could get a pattern for them form – please tell me there’s a whole book of Latvia mitten patterns? Please?

  63. I’ve been reading you for a while so I have to add a comment because this is your best blog entry ever. I think there is a karmic payback somewhere here. Perhaps you should have gone without sleep in order to finish Uncle Tupper’s mitten in time for Christmas. And I’d like to tell you, as horrible a situation as I think this is for you, I’m halfway tempted to keep the picture as a screensaver. But to cast my vote – knit two more. This will be your way of balancing out the universe. But get drunk first – oh yes – this is necessary.

  64. (1) Ditto rams’ post. Put away the mittens, drink, and knit something FOR YOURSELF for a few days. Whatever the heckdang you wanna knit. Treat yourself. You deserve it.
    (2)When (and ONLY when) you feel like looking at the mittens again, I vote for a variant of #2: knit a third mitt, give a complete, balanced pair to one Harloteer, package the third mitt with yarn and instructions and either give the kit to another Harloteer or sell it and give the profits to MSF.
    (3) To add to the fun and the MSF profits, put together instructions/charts, and sell the pattern, with profits going to MSF. (I would buy this in a hot second. I know I have the photos and can figure it out, but I’ll go *blind* staring at my monitor enough to count those weensy stitches.)
    (4) Drink the screech anyways. Eat lots of chocolate. Go stare at your stash for a while until some shameless hussy waggles its fibres at you. Drown your sorrows in yarn.
    Meanwhile, I will point out that I love those mittens so much that I have already spent some time going blind staring at my monitor, on the assumption that the only way I am going to get a pair is to knit them myself. Lovely work, Steph. Simply stunning. You’ve outdone yourself, and the two right thumbs just endears them (and you) to us all the more.

  65. I thought that it would have to be my own dirty little secret that I laughed out loud at those mitts, but after reading the comments, I can see that I’m not the only depraved lunatic out there who would find something so tragic…so funny!
    But in all seriousness, I like the idea of ripping back to where the thumb is supposed to be–you don’t have to worry about the symmetry of the ///\\\ and it’s not as dangerous as trying to do the crazy fairisle grafting.

  66. Oh dear. I am soo horrified on your behalf.
    Let me offer you yet one more suggestion:
    Turn one mitten inside out. Voila! It now fits the left hand! It’s a new fashion statement! 🙂
    Unfortunately, if you’re like me, you’ll opt for knitting another mitten – or two. With lots and lots and lots of chocolate on hand.

  67. I thought you were left-handed – what is this right handed bias?! I feel your pain and wish you luck with the grafting.

  68. I was going to suggest what Tree suggested:
    Don’t knit another mitten, for the love of (insert deity).
    Give the mittens to two people, with yarn to make a second. We know you’re hoarding a lot of Kroy. . .
    Many of your readers would find it fun to copy your mitten to make their own second–it’d be like a collaborative project.

  69. I’m so sorry, I fell on the floor crying for you, my whole family came running to see why I was crying, I showed them the pictures, they too feel the horror of your pain. I completely understand the igloo and scissors solution.
    But lets have calmer heads prevail. Knit a left hand, store away a right hand for many years later, and give a set of latvian left and right to your first daughter for a wedding present, to remind her that LIFE has it’s ups and downs, and every – EVERY problem can be resolved with beauty and love – even two right handed latvian mitten.

  70. You know, this puts knitting two right fronts on a baby sweater in persespecitve… that was at least easy to fix.
    I’m for framing both of them as art and giving them away that way…

    There is another option nobody has mentioned. The winner can reposition his/her left thumb. A true Harloteer would consider this.
    I think I might be able to help, actually. I have a single left mitten that never got a mate. It’s red and black and kind of chunky wool with a Swedish pattern. Kinda close.
    Yes, start a new project. What will it be? Oh? More Latvian mittens?
    I vote for ripping back. It’ll be done (again) in a couple of days and your balance will be back.

  72. Although 3 is by far the funniest option, it would only be acceptable if you could find a way to blog from your igloo. Besides that, I think you should go for knitting two matching mittens and make go for two sets. So funny you had to take your daughter’s keys. I love you Harlot 🙂

  73. Okay, I’ll be the bad person here, while everyone else offers there colsolation and help:
    I am cracking up.
    I’d be cracking up if it was myself too though. This is really just too funny for words. 🙂

  74. #3. All the way. (and I agree, it must be the downfall of the Irish society, but I still say #3)
    But tell the truth, Steph. You did this just so you could show us how easy it would be for you to rip out a thumb and add one as an “afterthought” when it would have caused the rest of us to bleed wool.

  75. Don’t feel too bad Stephanie. After 25 of knitting, I still consistently knit 2 right hand mittens. Every time. Every, every time. I have a lot of leftover right hand mittens around. My grandsons don’t care if they match, thank goodness.

  76. Oh no… took me a minute or two to see what was wrong….yup, I am mostly blind in one eye too..LOL.
    I think you need to take a break and breathe :-). The mitten can wait for a spell. :-)anyone lucky enough to receive it certainly won’t mind not wearing it until next winter.

  77. Oh Steph. I’m so sorry! If it were me, I’d definitely go for the snow cave and scissors. But for you, I’d vote for #1. Or rip half a mitten and reknit from the thumb, as suggested above. But first, have a drink or three. Have Joe give you a massage. Leave the mittens for the weekend. Start something else, anything you want to make. Anything but mittens.

  78. I must be in the same place you were when you knit the second one, because it took me a while to notice that the thumbs were the same. What I *did* notice was that it looks like one of the thumbs has the lighter colored stripe in a different place in the darker colorwork pattern…
    then I notice that your mittens were 1/4 of a set for a spider… 🙂

  79. That. Sucks. Ass. My burning rage would melt all the snow, so that fact that you still have some fluffy white is a good sign. These mittens can be rehabilitated and go on to lead meaningful, productive lives. I say knit two lefts and we’ll never speak of it again.

  80. I’d ship the extra mitten off to the person who wants to shadow box it, have a nice stiff drink and some chocolate, and knit the oppisite one.

  81. What a horrible thing to happen. But there might be a way around it…
    So, what we need to do (and I am afraid to knit mittens, but I would learn for this task) is to start a knitted swap-along…
    Half of the people make 2 left hand mittens and the other half make 2 right hand mittens. Then when it is all said and done, they swap 1 of those 2 mittens and receive a corresponding rightie or leftie. So, you have mittens that won’t match at all. It will be a bit of fun and frivolity in the knitting of what looks, at least to me, to be a very complex task.

  82. As I sit here drinking tea out of my newly-arrived TSF mug, all I can think to say is: it’s nice to have proof that you’re mortal.
    I vote for option #2, twice. Then you’ll have two complete pairs of mittens – one for yourself, one for the lucky recipient. Or something like that.
    I agree with Kim, though. Take a break, knit something else (more fuzzy feet?) for a while, and come back to the MSF when the desire for screech is a little less strong. 🙂

  83. OH NO! I feel your pain! I know what I would do. AFter the pouting, whining and crying, I would knit another one. It takes too long to unravel and fiddle. But that’s just me.
    Okay. This situation deserves it.

  84. Before I read any further I have to say that it’s astounding that you have EIGHTY EIGHT comments and your post hasn’t even been up for an hour and a half.
    Stephanie, you are a dear, sweet person. Whatever you do, we will understand. I myself would be weeping uncontrollably for weeks.

  85. well i have just got to vote for #3 on that one!!!! mua ha ha ha ha JUST KIDDING. i say knit a third. fuck the ripping and the reknitting and use the “other” right as a christmas ornament.

  86. I have done exactly the same thing and I ended up knitting a third mitten. Fortunately it is the sort of mistake you only make once. I hope…

  87. I didn’t laugh. I made that same horrified gasping sound that came spontaneously when I discovered that The Daugava (my Latvian cardigan…twisted braid and all…size XL!) needed to be frogged due to large-ness-beyond-that-which-was-necessary.
    I know your pain.
    The mounted-in-a-shadowbox idea sounds fantastic….but knowing the cost of such framing, I suggest (if you have remaining yarn of course) that you knit a pair of lefties and double your pleasure, double your fun. You DO knit for the enjoyment right?
    Actually, there is yet one more option. I read somewhere (I NEVER remember my sources) that in some cultures it is common to knit TWO thumbs on each mitten. NO, SERIOUSLY! The extra thumb is tucked inside the mitten. When the first thumb wears out, the second is turned back to the outside and the user switches the mitten to the other hand. This even lengthens the life of the palm because the position of the hand is different.
    At least witht that option there would be no regrafting of a hole. You would have to snip and knit a second thumb, but just think what a conversation piece the double-thumbed mitten would be for the recepient.

  88. Whee! My TSF mug just arrived – a present from DH, who bought it *despite* thinking that we’ve got way, way too many mugs… …thanks for the design and work for that charity!!!

  89. I’d like to support the motion to send out two prizes containing one mitten plus yarn and pattern to make a leftie to match. So many readers seem so tempted to try them that this would push them to do so. You’d be enabling more knitting and freeing yourself to knit for yourself (which you deserve, especially after raising over $55k for MSF).
    I didn’t notice at first either. I thought maybe you hadn’t missed the top white stripe on the 2nd one thus making them not match or something.

  90. LOL Stephanie! I�m an Argentinian knitter trying to learn some English and some knitting reading knitting blogs. Yours is one of my dayly reads. Must I tell you that option #3 really teaches you how to sodomize yourself in English!!!

  91. I have been reading this blog, without comment, but with TRUE JOY for a long time. Today I just sucked in air (think dying fish). I didn’t notice at first either, was looking for some miniscule little stitch mistake that everyone but me would be able to find…. and then…. it hit me and I couldn’t breathe! I’m trying to decide if I would have just stared in horror or lost all control. They are gorgeous, a true work of art, I could NEVER manage that… therefore, I think any decision (except the digging) will work.

  92. Well, there’s a new fad for miss matched sock:
    So, mismatched mittens! What a great idea! Surely you have in your basket of lone sock soldiers a couple of lone mitten soldiers waiting to go along with a latvian MSF.
    Alternately, there’s that whole Michael-Jackson-one-glove thing you could play on.
    Or I like the art thing. I would hang a mitten by my fireplace.
    Of course the only answer here is – do what you want! They’re completely beautiful.

  93. They are so gorgeous, it’s a shame to cut them into millions of pieces.
    I’m afraid this is their way of telling you to make yourself a set too. Those mittens, they’re always up to something. I mean, maybe that’s why I can only seem to find the left handed ones when I look for mine.

  94. Thanks for being human Harlot…
    Now…I would put them on e-bay AS IS and see how much more $$$ you could raise for MSF…in fact, when bidding, people could have to state whether they want one or two…I’m in for twenty bucks for one…

  95. Hello – I have to say I agree with those that say – do two left mittens. The whole lock out thing has happened to me…it really spoils the whole day. Sorry that happened to you.

  96. some days you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bug. Today’s your turn to be the bug.
    put them away. go take a bath, drink a lot, and then you can decide what to do.

  97. I immediately emailed my mother with the subject line POOR HARLOT – she called and we weeped and laughed together. You are amazing!

  98. I can’t say anything new at this point, everyone else has pretty much summed it up. If it were me (I laugh here because the chance of me ever finishing one mitten as beautiful as those and getting to the second one is slim to none at this point) I’d either knit up a third/fourth, or rip back to the point of thumb-ing and move it over. Anyway it works out, even if you mail one mitten to two people, they are beautiful; and you have material for your next book!

  99. After reading about the horror of two right hands, all I can think about is the movie “Best in Show” in which Eugene Levy’s character has two left feet. I know it is Not Funny, but it’s really funny. I recently had to rip an Icelandic sweater back to the armpits because the sleeves were positioned so that the wearer would have had to have one arm in the regular place and the other arm coming out of their breast… That sucker may become felted bags.

  100. I woke my husband up at 8am (NOT his normal waking hour on a Saturday morning!) by screeching “OH NO!!!!” when I saw that picture.
    The poor half-awake thing could not see what was wrong until I put my hands palm up…
    I vote make a left hand mitten, if you have the yarn, and put the second mitten up for auction. You get to have all the fun of another mitten and MSF gets more $$!

  101. While I can understand the “stunned silence”, perhaps this was a situation that called for “that noise”?

  102. Dear Stephanie: The two-right-Latvian-mitten feat has driven me out of lurkdom. I was so enthralled by how well they matched, right down to the opposing braiding, that I looked at them 2 or 3 times before I noticed they were for the same hand. Coincidentally, last night I discovered an inherent mistake in my own knitting that prompted me to just put the painstaking lace project I am working on AWAY and OUT of my sight. I was so horrified I went outside and stood in the rain.
    I think you should just separate the pair and give 1 mitten each to 2 lucky winners. They are Art, with a capital A.

  103. Well Kiddo, I’ll tell you what; the very fact that you did not go immediatly to plan #3 and were able to think rationaly long enough to write the blog entry at all speaks volumes for your self control. I’d still be out there snipping them into bird nest contributions and cackling like a fool. Whatever you decide to do, we still think you’re best.

  104. Snip.
    Oh, what the heck… More Screech.
    For what it’s worth, I’d love ’em (and *wear* ’em) as is! (thumb tucked in and all)

  105. Why does your life always sound so much like mine. And why are we only locked out in the coldest of weather? Here’s the thing-make two more mittens, both for the left hand as penance. What you do with the second pair is up to you. What you should definitely NOT do is decide to make them for yourself. You would never make that last mitten. Time to gift another mitten pair. C’mon, you knit fast enough!

  106. Oh, shit.
    Get drunk, eat lots of chocolate, then decide what to do.
    I’ll bet you would get a lot of bids if you auctioned off that extra mitten, though.

  107. I posted yesterday about my Harlot withdrawls since you didn’t post, but after this I don’t begrudge you at all.
    I have to be totally honest though. I laughed my ass off. Then I showed it to all my officemates and we all laughed our asses off. I apologize now, but I really couldn’t help it. What a horrible thing! But Oh OOOOH So funny. My most humble apologies, and my deepest thanks for the hearty laugh and the sore cheeks.
    I think you should split up the pair and send them to two lucky recipients. I would totally hang it on my wall at work for good luck or by my door at home, even though I would have to pay $10 for the hole in the wall when we move out.

  108. Let’s get our priorities straight here. The first issue is NOT how to fix the problem, it is to assign blame. Obviously, this is someone else’s fault, not yours. Possibly your sister’s, since the fact that she was taking off skiing, leaving you with a small child so recently traumatized by the fish-toilet incident certainly must have weighed heavily on your mind. Or, possibly your neighbors, since sending you that picture of the baby crying probably damaged your psyche and you might require years of counseling to overcome it. Or, (creatively enough) maybe it was Joe’s fault, since the intuitive part of your mind sensed that he was about to lock you out in horrendous weather, and the rational part of your brain, trying to squelch that horrible image, also accidentally squelched the thumb-orientation part of your brain.
    See, isn’t this more fun than actually dealing with the problem?

  109. You know how the rarest, most valuable stamp in the world is improperly printed? (It’s true–or at least it used to be.) I think the two-right-hands MSF are destined to be the most coveted collector’s item in knit bloggerdom. I say, auction them on EBay, with the proceeds of course going to the cause.

  110. Sooooooo……who’s feeling smug about having stashed an unseemly amount of Kroy now, hmmmmmmm?

  111. I think you should knit a new left-handed mitten and find someone with no left hand to whom to give the spare mitten. Or perhaps someone would volunteer to make a nonmatching, same-size mitten to go with the extra right mitten, as an intentionally unmatched set. (I would, but it’s taken me nearly a year to knit a pair of plain, ribbed mittens.)

  112. Oh no! I can so relate to this, it’s the kind of error I make on a fairly regular basis, but with really simple projects…And though the mitten kit idea is great (where you send the winner a mitten and yarn to knit its mate), I would never in a million years be able to make anything that complex and beautiful!
    Best of luck with whatever you choose to do, and thanks for all your efforts on our behalf!

  113. send them as is – i would take them as the are.
    especially if the color pattern on the other side is as pretty as the color pattern on the “right side”
    or i would use them as wall art. and she doesnt have to mount them in a shadow box- whoever gets them can do that.
    you are a magnificent knitter and i would probably go blind trying to knit those.
    and im sorry that you got locked out of your house- that sucks monkey balls.
    i send big hugs your way. and know that there are many who would gladly take those mittens the way they are.
    they are stunning.

  114. I just have to say that my office mates think I’m absolutely nuts. I sat staring at my computer screen trying to figure out what in the world could be wrong with the mittens but it wasn’t until I read option 2 that I figured it out! Then I started giggling… a lot!
    By the way, I like the ideas that others have posted. Use this, um, design feature as a way to make more money for MSF. 🙂

  115. Ouch. I’m so very sorry! I feel less insignificant now having knit half the front of my sweater in the wrong color yarn. Misery does indeed love company. Have a drink, take a break and knit on 🙂

  116. Yet another person who feels extreme distress and sympathy. I go with promo-ing the two mittens on ebay with the money to MSF. It seems that we’d pay major money to own two right mittens knitted by the Harlot. It is a limited special edition which will never ever occur again without being given the “igloo treatment”.
    Maybe if you leave a note on one, a sweet daughter will take it out and surreptitiously “lose” it. It will never darken your doorstep again (unless all of Canada knows a Harlot knitted mitten when they see one).
    Harlot readers should unite and send Stephanie a programmable coffee machine that turns on by itself in the morning. BTW, if you choose the igloo, unless you get internet access in there, whose blog would we read religiously?!

  117. Poor harlot! 🙁 It took me a sec. to figure out what the problem was. But I must say, they are quite lovely. Whatever you decide to do, it should involve a large amount of alcohol. You’ve earned it. 🙂

  118. Wow. That’s a good one. That’s better than lodging a dpn in your hip. 130 comments. We do love you, Harlot.
    Doar’s Travelling Song
    Come on, v�monos.
    Everybody let’s go.
    Come on, let’s get to it.
    I know that we can do it.
    Where are we going?
    To mitten number three.
    Where are we going?
    To mitten number three.
    Where are we going?
    To mitten number three.
    Where are we going?
    To mitten number three.
    Mitten number three.
    Mwah. you’re the best knitter I virtually know. Maybe you’re even the best grafter. Can’t wait to see what you decide.

  119. Oh God that is so funny — and just like something I would do!!!! I am a notorious mitten/glove loser, so two righties would work out perfect for me –since I always lose the left –(because it’s the one I take off to hand the money thorough the drive through window). And they are gorgeous to boot — don’t kick yourself too hard!!

  120. I am unlurking just once to offer my deepest sympathies. They are both amazingly beautiful, and I hope someday to make something half as nice.
    Designate one mitt as an ornamental item. Then have more coffee, your choice of alcohols, and a tasty assortment of chocolate. Take a deep breath, knit a third, and auction the ornamental item. It really is that lovely.

  121. Stephanie, unravel the 2nd glove and reknit. It’s not going to be that bad! Just seclude yourself with some chocolate, a bottle of wine, and good music. That mitten will finish itself up. Good luck!

  122. I must have been dumbfounded by how awesome the MSF look because I stared at them for several minutes and couldn’t figure out what was wrong with them… I kept wondering if there was another forgotten line of a certain color that I was just not seeing. Then, I read your options for handling the situation… perhaps I need some Screech, too.
    Hopefully, getting a few shots into you will either help with the solution or make it so you don’t care. *grin*

  123. I honestly didn’t notice what you were talking about at first. I checked to make sure the stripes were all where they belonged, and that upon completion of the second mitten you hadn’t realized that you missed a stripe. Then I looked at patterning, and that all seemed to work.
    So between the constant playing of the Llama Song, and my not noticing two right mittens, I have been laughing myself hysterical. You should take it as a compliment that you are so frequently my source of laughter, and it is rarely laughter at your mistakes.

  124. My idea is similar to Marlene’s ….. knit a left-hand thumb onto both mittens. The spare thumb could be tucked away – OR – leave it hanging out and store a spare house key in it!

  125. I can’t stop laughing.I’m sorry.I know it’s not very sisterly or supportive.That’s so very funny.Just the sort of thing I do…I just keep quiet about it.

  126. oooooh, that’s soo saaaaaad 🙁 That would jsut about break my heart! (but then again, I’m apparently *quite* fragile.)
    I like the idea of knitting left-hand thumbs on to BOTH and storing your house-key in it! INGENIOUS!
    I think it might take you less time and stress to maybe knit a third! THAT WAY, you can keep the third one as a souvenier!

  127. Oh, poor Harlot. This calls for pulling your book back from the publisher and adding this episode; it deserves a chapter unto itself and would make the book even more reading-worthy than it already surely must be… Ouch-ouch-ouch.

  128. It took me a few minutes to figure out what the error was! The mittens are amazing. I have 2 left feet, but that does not help you does it? I am right handed, perhaps I could wear one and just keep my left hand in my pocket?

  129. It is immensely reassuring to find other people couldn’t see the the matter was, either. Maybe not so reassuring to hear I may never get over knitting right-handed pairs (it was mittlets, and I wanted to make an additional pair anyhow).
    Chocolate. Maybe felt something by hand or by needle, watching out for stray body parts (yours or belonging to others… say your hot-tubbing sister?)
    Then knit two lefts and ponder how you made more than twice as much in contributions as you had dared hope and the scrutable workings of Fate.

  130. I can bet I will do thing some day. Here is what I suggest you (or I would) do:
    1. feel the pain — store up the rage (in a kind fashion of course, because YOU are the Yarn Harlot)
    2. when you can face it — make the next 2 lefty pair
    You have produced something so beautiful that the universe is telling you 1 pair is not enough.
    ps. I’m sure we will remember to check our thumb placements now.
    so sorry, they really are beautiful! Julie

  131. I apologize for not having the time or stamina to read through all the previous comments(145+) to see if this has not already been addressed, but I vote for a 4th choice: Knit two more mirror images of the two completed ones. Then you can keep one for yourself. Ay? They are stunning, even though they match in an unfortunate way. I admit that I did not catch it myself just from looking at the photo – I had to read the rest of the story. Chocolate is in order no matter which choice you finally make.

  132. well, this just shows how human you are… not superwoman, just human like us : ) Sorry about that… happens to the best of us… I ordered your book off Amazon this week, if that helps any : ) If you have enough yarn, I’d say knit 2 more mittens, you know… for the other hand.

  133. Oh Harlot!
    Dear Stephanie.
    I’m SO there! … well, not that there. My most recent trip to making one more to make a pair only involved baby socks.
    I really like the knit two left mittens and either a) keep one, which you so very richly deserve or
    b) donate THAT pair to folks who pony up more for MSF so we can watch the number mount…or
    c) simply auction the spare pair on eBay w/ proceeds to MSF.
    I’m guessing that option b nets more money.
    Of course, the option of turning them into display models for our walls WOULD be easier.
    Have some screech. You’ll feel better the day after tomorrow. Tomorrow, you’ll have a hangover, but we won’t tell. It WILL be Saturday, so no one has to go to school.

  134. Oh. gawd. I am soooo sorry.
    100% honest reply? Well…I am a major slob. I lose things left and right. If I were to win those mittens…I would A) Lose one Immediately. B) Damage them. C) Feel paranoid and guilty when I wore them because they are too beautiful to do either to.
    I honest-to-God-I’m-not-kidding…think you should sent out both of them to two different people. They ARE art, who ever said that above, and you could bestow beautiful ART on two people at once.
    I know, I’m weird. but that is my 100% from the heart answer.
    Oh, and steph? You rock. Seriously.

  135. You could
    o Knit Two More, both left handers and thus make two pairs.
    o Go to your local veterans’ organisation (you have veterans North of the Border, right? 😉 and give them to two veterans who have lost their left hands 🙂

  136. Oh, the lockout thing is horrible. Brrr. Did Joe survive the aftermath?
    If it were socks, I’d turn one inside out (btdt, handspun with cables…). When I’ve done the two rights with mittens in colorwork (yup, you aren’t the first, though mine weren’t nearly as lovely as yours), I’ve snipped and raveled just the round at the base of the thumb, grafted the mitten hole closed, opened a new hole in the mitten, reinforced it, and grafted the thumb back on.
    What a life you lead!

  137. I suggest going with number 2 as well..except twice. So you end up with two pair. What a pain in the butt! Dont worry I probably wouldnt have noticed the mistake until I put the side by side afterwards too!

  138. I say rip out the one with the messed up thumb (there is a line of white in the wrong place on the thumb, btw) back to just below the thumb and fix it. You know you have to.
    But I also think this should wait until next week. Step away from the mitten for a few days and it will all be fine.

  139. There should be laws against something that beautiful being anywhere near scissors. Make two more for the other hand and you will have a second pair for MSF proceeds.

  140. Oh my gosh, a picture worth 1000 words. There’s that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach when it hits you. Argh! But they are absolutely gorgeous. And you do know that those of us who are becoming fearless knitters are learing some of that from you. If you can make such mistakes and still knit such beautiful things then there is hope for us newbies. We *know* it’s okay to screw up and then fix it because you set us such a wonderful example. Thanks for sharing your mistakes as often as you share your victories. We love them both.

  141. *bwahahahahahaha* This, by the way, is the reason why my neighbours have a copy of my house keys.
    In the dictionary under “over-extended” it says, “See: Stephanie.”
    It’s your punishment for not spinning on Tuesday. You know this, right?
    You should do #1 and come over to my place for a thumb cutting party. I’ve only got … ohhh … four mittens that I need to do this to. Remember at Starbucks when you were afraid of my thumb cutting plans? Yeah…I’ll provide the Scotch. 😉

  142. I already have a pair of all black mittens. I’d be pleased to wear the left one of that pair with the right one from your (strange) pair. Wouldn’t bother me a bit. What do you say, Stephanie? (Wink, wink) I just solved your problem.

  143. yet another lurker lowering the cloaking shields. . .I immediately gasped in horror AND spewed a mouthful of ginger ale all over my desk and computer. Yep.

  144. Stephanie,
    I share your horror, anger and need to down hard liquor and chocolate. Stay out of the snow. In sympathy I’m making another donation to MSF (USA) in your honor.
    Holly in CT

  145. Put me in the cracking up camp. I am LAUGHING OUT LOUD, Stephanie. But, in my other role as consoling compatriot, if you will send me your address via email I will send chocolate.

  146. Think of it this way: Your ability to make mistakes proves that you’re not some sort of Perfect-Knitting Alien Humanoid From Mars. Those people who do everything perfectly the first time will always have to wonder, “Am I REALLY human? Or am I some sort of machine?” They will also perform potentially painful experiments on themselves in order to determine the answer. You can spend that time drinking coffee instead.

  147. OK, here’s a different suggestion. These mittens obviously don’t have a frontier, so since they were originally part of a fundraising *thing* anyway, how about auctioning off the (currently unmade) left mitten. And, bonus, you get FREE with your highest bid, the right mitten! And lucky you, you could do this twice!
    Other than that, I’m totally sorry about the error, and I would also want to be in a snow hut with a gallon or two of screech. Screeching, no less….

  148. SO… being the Yarn Harlot, surely you have enough wool to make two more beeeeauuuutiful latvian mittens. Eventually. And therefore will be able to keep one pair for yourself as a reminder of fundraising incredibly well done.

  149. I dunno,
    am I the only one who after getting to your punchpicture laughed out loud and am still giggling in delight? This – to me – is just so funny I could burst. Sorry, but you really made my evening 🙂
    I absolutely sympathize with the coffee thing tho! I have to prepare TWO coffee makers in the evening so that in the morning I can just stumble in the general direction in the kitchen and press two buttons (which is often hard enough, chances are I only manage one..)….

  150. Oh no! I can completely sympathize with “sitting in stunned silence,” that’s about what I did when I saw only the picture! While #1 would probably provide the most entertaining/horrific stories for the blog, I think the mitten kit idea would be the sanity saver…with plenty of screech too. Sant�!

  151. Me, me, me – I want to knit 2 lefts to match and donate! I was looking all over for a pattern for these anyway… and I’ve only got about 3 things on needles at the moment. I just ripped and restarted a guy sweater that I had done on #2’s in the round , with a pattern that began “cast on 378 stitches…” because *I didn’t do a gauge swatch* and it ended up comically huge and I ran out of yarn for the neck (and it was obvious – truly this little “I think I can” neck on a tentlike sweater with intricate fisherman patterns. *sigh*

  152. I’m so far down on the comments I’m sure you won’t read this- but Stephanie- wow. Bummer. I literally gasped and put my hand over my mouth when I saw the picture. That sucks. It sucks so bad I used both “bummer” and “sucks” in the same comment, and I graduated college and everything.

  153. Can I join you in your snow house? I’ll bring my own booze and everything! I can even contribute something to the bonfire to keep us warm. If our hands get cold we could each stuff both hands into one of the right-handed mittens!
    So sorry for your day…. sounds like a good day for a long nap to me!

  154. I got a forward with this comment today: I’d give my right arm to be ambidexterous….. Hope there’s no amputation in your future.

  155. I’m not sure if anyone else suggested this, but I think you could make major $(Can) for MSF if you auction the mitten on ebay. If you don’t have an ebay id, I’d gladly volunteer mine. You would be able to bask in the glow of the cash you got for MSF while drinking the screech (what is that, btw?) and eating the chocolate (if you like chocolate, I have some I Have to send you – it’s amazing. Dark chocolate with cocoa nibs, just like in the movie Chocolat)and knitting mitten 2.1 (don’t think of it as mitten 3!)
    *hugs steff*
    Remind me to tell you how i did decreases on One side of the toe on my very first pair of socks…in alpaca – so yeah, like i could really rip back and do it again. New knitter + tiny needles + alpaca + mistake = frog thewhole damn thing.
    Okee, I’ve wasted enough space in your comments. If it’s any consolation, you made me laugh out loud with your snow house image.

  156. ohhh nooo!!!!! how awful ..looks like something i would do….for example, just now tried to write you an email and i can’t seem to send it…v.stupid but my computer says it doesn’t recognise you….i tried to tell it you were the one weeping over mittens in the snow, but the wicked machine just sat there…help? (as if you had nothing else to do!!!!)

  157. Igloo-Cam, anyone?
    I don’t know what Screech is, but I’ll belly up to the snow bar and have some with you.
    You gave me the nerve to start my first fair isle project and it is half done. Luckily, there are no appendages for me to worry about.
    I’ll give a an additional $25US for one of those mittens. No need for a second one, cause it would never leave the glass case. Will you autograph it?
    I still love ya. Even if I’m #177…

  158. i’ve done that to – it is so easy:-) I chosed to rip the second one down to thumb and redo it:) worked like a charm.
    good luck to whatever you decide
    and thank you for the laugh:)

  159. Snow palace. Screech. Scissors.
    If it were me, that’s what I’d be doing. But those are beautiful. I think you should knit TWO left mittens to go with the two right ones.

  160. After all these comments what more can I say, we are all feeling your pain…oouch!
    I go for the sending out 2 left hand mitten kits with the right hand mittens and my darling 13yo son reckons you should “just” unravel it and knit it again. (this from the left handed child who when taught to purl AGAIN last week gave up and is knitting a garter stitch scarf because he doesn’t have to concentrate too much on it!)

  161. Oh, Stephanie-
    Ditto, ditto for sympathy. I hate it when I’m reminded that I’m human. It’s like when my husband plays golf and he says, “Don’t hit the water, don’t hit the water,” and his brain must hear, “hit the water, hit the water.”
    Your brain was focusing on symmetry, and that’s what it gave you.
    You may not want a mitten (or pair) to remind you of your mistake, but if I had one of those gorgeous mittens, I’d hang it up and tell folks that it was an antique, over 100 years old from Latvia. Definitely a collector’s item.
    Best wishes,

  162. I couldn’t stop laughing!
    O boy! that would never happen to me (don’t tell my husband I said that). In Dutch, someone “with 2 right hands” is a very talented person. Are the mittens for you?

  163. Sweet and fabulous Harlot – a mitten haiku for you:
    My advice, dear one?
    Rip it to reknit the thumb.
    But, don’t knit wrong twice!

  164. THANK YOU!!! I just did the same damn thing with a pair of fair isle mittens on size 1 needles! That was a few weeks ago and I still haven’t processed the grief sufficiently to make a third, hopefully CORRECT mitten. (I did cast on, however, in a feeble show of defiance to show the knitting gods that I won’t be thwarted that easily, however the the nascent mitten still languishes because I can’t bear to face it yet… I told you it was a feeble attempt…)

  165. the mittens are GORGEOUS!!! please don’t snip/unravel & start over, my father is an amputee, a one-sock man. i agree with something i read waaaaay up at the top—-donate to a veteran or two. it would be greatly appreciated; all that beautiful hard work is NOT for naught.

  166. obviously this second mitten is trying to start a second round of giving!! What charity shall we choose, Harlot? I bet we could each donate a knitted USEABLE cast off to our local chapters of salvation army or whatever seems appropriate (I would probably give to my kid’s school) or maybe just more money to a charity of your choosing. even the same charity is fine, God knows they still have lots more work to do. We have already shown what a powerful group we are. p.s. I have ordered my copy of your book. Wish it were autographed!!

  167. Oh and if you are looking for a way to torture the yarn, after you cut it into little snips, instead of burning it, go to the I’m knitting as fast as I can blog and observe what happens when wool meets Clorox!!

  168. I made a cup of coffee, hoping to still the sinus headache I know is coming, read your blog, stared at the picture, over and over, reread.. and couldn’t find a problem. Inquire as to who has two right hands, award the mittens and climb into the igloo to ride out all ridicule and wait for spring.

  169. The mitts are perfect the way they are. They are a symbol of your rightness. When you realize you are the SCTV of the knitting world and give up the notion someone is going to wear them on their hands, all you have to do is make an i-cord and you’ve taken the meaning of idiot mitts to a new level. Around your neck, they would be an albatross, but any Harloteer would wear them as a MonuMental medal. It’s a hurdle for you.

  170. We both agree that you should knit two left handed mittens and then auction off the “lesser” pair mercilessly to the highest bidder thus ensuring your supply of screech for the foreseeable future…hic…

  171. I usta think that knitting should be relaxing, fun, and meditative. I’ve been struggling with the neck of my sweater….the armpits of my sweater….the little hole left after I turn the heel of my sweater….oops, I guess I meant sock. You see what I mean. And to see you, the Harlot, the Goddess, the one who could knit before she was even born, do that….well, it restores all my faith. Knit a third, send the extra to the mitten art lady. We love you.

  172. Got a bright idea. To save your sanity and tons of work, I say, why not frame each mitten in a couple frames, get a little brass plaque inscibed “Mitten without Borders” with your name and date, one going to the lucky winner and one to be presented by YOU to MSF.

  173. Oh, Stephanie…..what a sad day. Just goes to show life sort of snowballs on all of us at some point. It was your turn, that’s all. The mittens are gorgeous, truly incredible. I liked someones suggestion to knit two left handed ones, send one pair to the lucky recipient and auction the other at ebay for charity. Go for the gusto, after recovering. I myself probably would have heavily self medicated with what ever beer was on sale at the time, as obviously, I would have been going for quantity, not quality.

  174. Ohhhhhhhh…Stephanie. As soon as I looked at the picture my heart sank for you. I like the idea of sending a mittens to two homes. The story will become a legend I am sure.They are just gorgeous mittens.

  175. What a laugh I had. I am knitting my first pair of mittens maybe. The first I knit on size 2 needles and I had to try to clock it and stretch it over a bottle so I could get it on my hand, and then I swtiched to size three needles for the second half. Well, okay its odd. So I started the seond mitten on size 3 and it fits okay, but is much larger than the other. Then I am laughing at your thumbs (I’ve never even finished a pair of course) and after that I knit an inch and a half past where the thumb should be, and had to frog back. I don’t know when I will get a matching pair done myself. But I wouldn’t have even been trying without your example!

  176. Oh honey. Darling. I sympathize with you even while I laugh so loud my dogs nod in agreement that I have at last disappeared around the bend. I vote for the snowhouse.

  177. Dear Stephanie,
    I have been reading your blog for about a month or so…I began just about the time you started the mittens. I really enjoy your writing and look forward to your updates. I was blown away by the beauty of the fronts of your finished masterpiece but the backs are such a gift!!! I laughed from deep,deep down in my belly and it felt GREAT to experience such a connection with you. OH MY GOD, I can see myself doing EXACTLY the same thing. It has to be a condition of the creative right brain being tricksy with the analytical left brain. We can be so taken by the miracle of what our hands and eyes create that we end up down the wrong garden path (way down the wrong garden path) with no idea of how we got there.
    Thank you so much for giving me a warm moment during a dark time (I will save the political rant).
    Kind Regards,

  178. I have done this before! I knit two more- the other hand and had two pairs of mittens instead of one;-)

  179. Llama, llama, duck. Right, right, fuck. The mittens are beautiful, the icicle image is priceless.

  180. Oh, dear, oh, dear, oh, dear. I have done the very same thing. I vote heartily for #1, BTW, because if you spend too much time correcting the problem, you will drown in self-recrimination.
    Just don’t let Hank see them: “Why are your mittens wrong?” {{{Hank}}}

  181. Oh my. What a dilemma. Isn’t it great that you could turn it into a fabulous piece of writing! Can’t wait to see what you decide to do about the mitten.

  182. I have not read all of the 200 plus comments, so maybe someone already had this idea.
    Stephanie, first of all, we feel for you at that moment of recognition.
    But, if you knit another mitten, I will increase my donation to MSF by 50%.
    If you knit another pair to match the first two, I will increase my donation by 100%
    Anyone else?

  183. Ouuuuuch. Go get a reaaaaally good bottle of wine. Get a glass, open the bottle, pour, drink, relax. And make more mittens…because you really should have a pair of your own if you’re going to go forgetting your keys when it’s 20 below zero…
    And anyway, your mittens are so freaking GORGEOUS, how could you not have your own pair? But not without that reaaaaaally good bottle of wine. Cheers…
    Lee Ann

  184. If it makes you feel any better, I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with them unil I read the comments.
    Better luck next time,
    Valerie (who has knit two right cardigan fronts more than once.)

  185. My Heart Dropped. They are so beautiful.
    Time to bite the bullet… After a good stiff drink, start the ripping… In a few days, you will feel like picking them up again.(OK, maybe a few weeks!)
    And what does this teach us?? Humility and patience?? In my case I would scream…”Oh No, Not Again!!!!!!”

  186. double your pleasure—knit two left ones and have two pairs. Although that sounds a bit boring to me. At least you didn’t lock yourself out of your house while you were in labor. Don’t ask how I know that one.

  187. Unfortunately, I live by the words of my Mom, a former home ec teacher:
    “When in doubt, rip it out!”
    Screech will soften the blow.

  188. Okay, my reaction is sick, but here goes: there’s no chance in hell that my name woulda been drawn to get those gorgeous things, but now you can delay that drawing, thus letting me cling to the very faint hope that maybe, maybe, maybe I *will* win them. Cuz of course you’ll have to knit a 3rd mitten.
    2nd sick reaction: I’m glad I’m not the only person who knits two mittens for one hand! [though, needless to say, none of my effort has ever been even a fraction as beautiful or complex or extraordinary as yours]
    Hang in there, Muse McPhee; you know we love you all the more for this!

  189. Dearest Harlot,
    I was flabbergasted and felt your dismay.
    My DH would like you to know that we have wonderful hand surgeons at Jewish Hospital in Louisville KY and that he is sure they would be able to move a thumb. He also said “She can rebuild it, she has the technology!”
    I however got out my borrowed Latvian Mitten bible/book and read her suggestion on fixing mistakes…page 17. I quote: “If you discover an error in your knitting, rip it out and knit again.” Also “RIP! It is a soul purifying experience which never takes as much time or trouble as you’ve imagined it will.”
    If you have been brave enough to have ever cut a steek, (note I have not)then you should be able to cut and graft.
    My favorite suggestion however is to tuck the thumb into the mitten and cut and knit a new thumb in the right place. Thus creating a two way mitten.
    Just don’t cut it into tiny little bits!
    I believe in you Stephanie!

  190. Oh!!! But just remember to focus on those adorable paired braids, going in opposite directions. And I’m for option 2, with the extra mitten donated to MSF. Considering the donations that have poured in, they might like it as a memento.

  191. Hows about knitting a third and donating the extra to someone who only needs one? Perhaps your local hospital or hospice could have a suggestion? Or an elder?
    Nonetheless, they are truly works of art and love and just beautiful. The care and kindness that you knit into them shines through,

  192. Upping the ante.
    A set of .999 fine silver one of a kind handmade stitch markers as another MSF prize if you either a) Auction the orphan mitten or b) knit 2 more mittens.
    Hell, you know I’ll end up making the damn stitch markers anyway. And besides, option b gives me one more chance of winning something made by you!
    PS – check out my newest post full of entrelac goodness!

  193. I say knit two right-handed mittens, and put one pair in a box clearly marked “Christmas Presants for 2005”.
    Get started now, why not? Save yourself the aches and pains of this last December.

  194. OMG!! Your writing is just tooo funny!!! Well, it’s all about that whirwind mother syndrome. We’re constantly trying to do it all, and, consequently, we’re overwhelmed. Sometimes just can’t see the forest for the trees. Hang in there! The mittens are gorgeous. Put them away and someday knit the lefties…or consult your EZ books and do the mistake thumb or whatever she calls it…maybe the afterthought..whatever, gotta run, run, run…..! thanks for the chuckle

  195. I just want to thank you for keeping me amused. I’m sure you will probably find me amusing as well–I managed to do s tupid human trick in the kitchen with a knife, so now I have a stitch in my left palm and I had to wear a splint for a few days. The stitch comes out tomorrow. Horray! Just keep in mind that you’re not the only one to do stupid human tricks!

  196. I’m so sorry about that deceitful thumb. And about Bruce the fish. And about the baby next door making that noise. Um. I can’t do anything about any of those things. I’m going to go donate some money, because my yarn diet has left me with $67 in my checking account even though I get paid on Thursday, which is very close, you know. Thanks for being such an inspiration in so many ways.

  197. Hello, my name is Katrin and I live in Iceland. I read your blog every now and then (enjoying very much). You have all my condolences on the mittens, it has also happened to me. I knit a pair of lopi mittens for my daughter�s boyfriend. Don�t understand how it could have happened! What did I do, you may ask. Well, they were supposed to be fulled, and I managed to squeeze the other one into the right shape. He didn�t notice at all, and LOVES the mittens!

  198. They’re still a very beautiful pair of mittens and you’ve inspired me to take up your harloty ways (Though I feel like just a little yarnlette by comparison). I’ve now got three projects on the go: a neck cowl knit from beaver fur (yep, I’ve made all the jokes) a plush teddy bear and a whacky “fun fur” dog sweater.

  199. Uh-oh! No blog entry all weekend. This must have seriously knocked the wind out of your sails! Waiting with baited breath to hear what you decided to do!

  200. I’m sure that as the 225th commenter I am not saying anything original, but I’m going to say my piece nonetheless. This is a sign to continue the good works and knit a second pair. Period. The End.

  201. Okay, I sat here for two minutes staring at the picture of the mittens before reading down further. I couldn’t figure out for the life of me what was wrong. I’m so used to trying to find the tiny errors knit bloggers are bothered by in their patterns. I thought maybe one of the little black diamonds was off, or maybe not. You see, I am not very particular about my knitting, but I like to challenge myself to see what more experienced knitters see…
    boy was i feeling silly when I read that there were two right hands! I didn’t even pick THAT up! lol.

  202. Please don’t choose option #3! Drink yourself into a stupor, if need be, but then come back and read all the supportive suggestions. Myself, I was in such awe that it took a moment to see the problem.

  203. Oh, Stephanie!!
    Thanks for the hearty laugh. Haven’t had much to laugh at lately – my beloved mom (a knitter) is quite sick and I am not sure she will improve. While I wouldn’t have wished that mistake on my worst enemy, I am so glad you shared it.
    What else can I say but
    llama, llama, fuck!

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