I think one of the reasons that knitting continues to be something that I enjoy and want to continue with is that the craft is a constant source of learning. And it's a learning process that very much has to take place as a learn-as-you-go, which is also very satisfying.
It's not just that you learn new techniques (I <3 Magic Loop!) as you go along, or that you figure out how to correct mistakes (being able to unknit a few stitches still makes me really happy), but the community of knitting, and how we as people function within it is so interesting and (at times) satisfyingly methodical. Maybe this is stuff that other people get more immediately than I, but I still find it rather fascinating.
These mittens are a perfect example of that. Before "publishing" a pattern, one (of course!) must get it test knit by other knitters. It's the editor job of the knitting world, and so so fun!
Not only do you get a first run at a new pattern, but you can to participate in the art of creation. (And sometimes you don't even have to provide the yarn!)
Ms. HEB designed these mittens as a gift for a friend, and after several requests on ravelry, decided to publish an official pattern for them. I was lucky enough to win one of the test knitter positions.
As this picture shows, these mittens are awesome. They're perfect for surprise chilliness in relatively warm weather, and fit perfectly under light sweaters or jackets.*
Furthermore, they use up hardly any yarn. Two whole pairs can be knit up with one skein of plucky fingering, and it goes fast, and can be accomplished while writing a thesis!
So, test knitting. One more box on the "now I get it" knitting check list. If you're still on the cusp of the knitting life, come on in. The weather is perfect for fingerless mittens.
*In fact, I finally sewed the ends in on these when I was house sitting and suddenly there was all-day-long foggy, chilly weather and I had only packed summer clothes. Thank you, HEB mittens, for preventing pneumonia!