Firstly, I want to thank you all for your kind words and encouragement about knitting gloves for my pen pal in Afghanistan. I honestly had no idea that it could get cold, much less snow there, but you learn something new everyday.
I was finally able to start these gloves a few days ago and they have been a very speedy knit indeed. I have had to learn a few new techniques, such as casting on in the middle of round (technique here). I also decided to use lifted increases for this mitten rather than my normal technique (video tutorial here). I have to say that I am completely smitten with lifted increases - they are nearly invisible and don't leave marks of holes in their wake.
This pattern has a different way for creating a thumb than I am used to, but I think I may like this approach better. We shall see once I actually get to knitting up the thumb!
My brother heard I was knitting up these gloves and he so thoughtfully suggested I sew leather patches onto the index finger and palm for grip. I am so happy he came up with this idea because I was concerned about slippage with these mittens and leather pads would certainly solve that issue!
I'm still speeding through the left mitten, but I will keep you all updated as I finish them and sew on the leather pads.