Monday, February 06, 2012

Owl Mitts Pattern Review

The blog has been relatively quiet the last week or so simply due to time and other responsibilities - but that has not stopped me from crocheting. Most of my readers know I crochet from my heart (or my own patterns *laughs*) but occassionally I'll find a pattern that I simply must make.

The pattern I am reviewing today is called "Owl Mitts" and was published on Ravelry by Erika Ward.

I belong to a Rav group which frequently challenges the members. I chose this pattern to fulfill several of the challenges/requests on that forum which is why I needed something with an owl, something I could make in Ravenclaw house colors, and something functional (no laughing - I am aware I'm a total nerd). I always have issue making something that has no purpose - even decorative crafting has a purpose.

The idea of these mitts is to replicate the cabled owl often seen in knitting - only in crochet. Of course, being crochet is a lot more appealing for challenges because it works up much faster than knitting (at least for me). Now, I admit that cabling in crochet can look a bit more bulky than what cabling in knit does - but cabling in crochet definitely draws the eye more and appears to be more distinct and raised.

The pattern itself is only available as a Ravelry download, but it is free. If the pattern is available elsewhere, I'm not aware. There is no yarn recommendation on the main pattern page on Ravelry; however, it does state to use an H hook. I normally use 1 hook size bigger simply because I crochet relatively tightly, but this time I decided to use the recommended hook which actually worked out great for me. Does this mean that someone who crochets looser may want to use 1 hook size smaller - I don't know.

The average Ravelry rating for this pattern is 4.5 starts with a relatively easy difficulty rating.

The pattern itself is relatively easy to read although there are some places in the pattern that could use editing, such as the Owl Cross stitch pattern. This pattern references reaching behind two stitches you just made to do a front post treble crochet around two stitches you skipped. The skipped stitches are listed as fpdc; however, when you are doing your first Owl Cross pattern, these two stitches do not exist. They are plain dc's and you must "guess" which you are to do the fptr on. The first mitt was a guessing game; however, once I did the stitch pattern a couple times, I knew I had guessed right. I could see someone easily guessing incorrectly and not seeing the mistake until 4 rows later.
Another issue I had visually with the pattern is that all the owl pattern rows are listed back to back with no spacing between the two. Because I do not print my patterns, I had to really watch myself to ensure I was reading the right owl stitch pattern and not picking up information from the one next to it.

I do like that the pattern states the Owl Cross stitch pattern is going to look messy. When I did my first one, it looked like my owl was road kill. Seriously - it looks mangled. That little note was enough encouragement for me to finish the next couple rows and hope that it worked out. It did.

The decrease in the pattern is a little odd but it does work. It shapes the mitts a lot better than I think a standard dc-decrease would. Of course, it looks odd working it throughout the mitt, but once you put it on, you'll see that it does actually shape the mitt well.

Now - my last statement regarding the pattern is that I know I struggle with crochet cables simply because if you have any more than 2 stitches involved, you can get some pretty hefty holes in the pattern - and this pattern has that. I can't count too much off the review for this because 1. its how crochet cabling works, 2. once you are wearing the mits, the large gaps between row 2 and 3 actually fall nicely together and you don't see the hole, and 3. its still a really nice pattern.

This does not go against my review, but I would liked to have seen some more information on resizing the pattern, although I have a feeling the size of the owl would not permit you to go much smaller without having to swap out the yarn type, hook size, and dc counts.

So, let's wrap this up.

I do think I could see myself making these in the future as gifts. They are cute and comfortable although I do think there were a couple technical elements within the pattern itself (referencing fpdc's that didn't exist and not adding spaces between certain directions in the pattern) that really take away from the instructions and make it a little more of a challenge for a less experienced crocheter. To take all this into consideration, I need to average out the rating. I'd rate it 3 for simplicity and the pattern. 4 for speed, aesthetics, and practicality. Which comes to just a hair over 3.5 balls of yarn.

My overall rating for this pattern is 3.5 balls of yarn.


florencefrazier2002 said...

Very cute!

gelfling50 said...

I am about to attempt to make these for my grand daughter but am puzzled by the owl cross stitch ...I don't seem to be able to find much info on it.....would you happen to (and I know this request is bold of me) .....could you possibly send me detailed instructions on how to do this stitch...I thank you for your time either way this request goes I love having access to this review...ty....

Silvie said...

Gelfling50 this will show you how it is done

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