My new pattern, Scandes Mittens, has some optional pom poms that I had a great time making. I used the Clover 1 3.8″ pom pom maker (the pink one in the small set) and yarn left over from the mittens. You can use pom pom makers that are two disks, as well, including homemade ones. Colors are up to you! To make the pom poms, I started on one side with a layer of one color on the left and and another on the right, both in rounded hills, meeting in the middle. I then went in and created a central rounded hill in a third color, totally filling up that side of the pom pom maker to bursting. I filled the other half with the natural yarn to bursting, cut all the threads, and tied the pom pom off. You end up with a pom pom that’s one half happy round shapes and the other half a solid color. So pretty! Trim to neaten and try to control yourself so you’re not trimming them down to nothing, which is something I have a hard time not doing. I leave enough of a tail to tie them on with a bow on the inside, double knotted, so they can be removed for washing the mittens.
The fall issue of PLY Magazine has been released and I have a new handspun mitten pattern in it.
Triangles, zigzags, chevrons, BIG triangles, triangular stripes, triangles for your head!, and generally pointy designs. They’re everywhere! I want them all. I want them to be mittens. I want them to be handspun. So, when Jacey asked me to write a pattern around the use of color, triangles happened.
The mittens shown above are knit from handspun semi-solid Spunky Eclectic “Dijon” on Shetland and Hello Yarn “Gobbler” on Cheviot, but the world is your oyster as far as choosing colorways for these. The simple patterning will look great in subtle colors as well as super brights. I have been loving spinning 2 ply striping yarns lately and the pattern covers how I split and spin fiber for 2 matching striping yarns (1 for each mitten) from one 4 oz. bag of fiber.
I chose these particular fibers because I wanted a springy, squishy yarn. Shetland and Cheviot are crimpy and puffy yet strong- perfect for these mittens where I wanted the graphic patterning to be softened somewhat by both the color and the slight fuzziness of the fiber.
Size: Adult S (M, L, XL)
Actual Measurements: 8.5” (9”, 9.5”, 9.75” ) circumference and 10.25” (10.75”, 11”, 11.25”) long
To Fit: Choose a size that’s about an inch larger than your hand, measured around the widest part, not including the thumb. When in doubt, go larger. My 7.5” hand is equally at home in 8.5” and 9” mittens.
Gauge: 6.5 (6.25, 6, 5.75) stitches and 8 (7.75, 7.5, 7.25) rows per inch. Stitch gauge is more important than row. No one wants a tight mitten!
Needles: size 2 (3, 4, 5) US for mitten body, size 3 (4, 5, 6) US for thumb, if desired. Finished mitten size is determined by gauge/needle. I find that my knitting is tighter in very small circumferences, so I use a larger needle for my thumbs. If this is a problem for you, too, going up a needle size helps a lot.
Yarn: 120 (130, 140, 150) yards of each of 2 colors. I’d recommend spinning 2 oz./ 174 yards of each in case you need to do any yarn surgery to make the mittens match.
For now, the pattern is only available in PLY Magazine, so snap up an issue! It’s a great magazine.
I received my copy of the magazine today and discovered an illustrative photo on page 89 wasn’t the correct one. My instructions to spin from “the numbered end” make a lot more sense if you see this, instead-
It’s easy to grab a bunch of yarn with colors that sing to you, but when you’re doing colorwork, particularly colorwork with fine lines, small stitches, or many colors, knowing the value (relative lightness or darkness of a color) is important, too.
Taking a black and white photo is a great way of finding out the values of the yarns you’re thinking of using. The person who chose the yarns below is good to go. She’ll be able to create a wide variety of color combinations in her mittens that will contrast both in color, which she can tell by eye, and value, which is seen in this photo. I think this photo trick is great because you might be surprised by what colors have really similar values.
The reason you can see a gnome in this mitten, with its million sts. per inch, is because Cheryl used colors with different values. See?
For the Hickory Mittens, I definitely like a lot of contrast between the values of the main color and the second main color (the motif outliner). As for the contrast colors, there are some different, wonderful, options.
You can see that in this pair, that there is a darker value outlining each motif, and separating medium value colors from each other:
In this pair, there are two with dark values (charcoal and maroon) chumming it up in the diamonds, but note that the outlining color stands out against the background, and check out that cream:
In David’s pair, there are similar values right at the center. It creates almost an optical illusion of depth at the center of the mittens:
I think they’re all great combinations. Take note that there are differences in values in each pair, just that you don’t need to have a certain number of each to make awesome mittens.
I know that people at Mitten School had iPhone apps that took b&w photos, but I can’t remember the names. The new Flickr app has a filter that works well. Very handy for in-store comparisons. For these photos, I turned my DSLR to B&W and just looked at the screen. Works a treat!