I designed a new mitten!
Yarn: Cascade 220 solids and heathers
Pattern: Hickory Mittens (straight to Ravelry with you!)
Needles: size 3, 4, or 5 US or size needed to get gauge
Gauge: 28 (26, 24) stitches and 28 (26, 24) rows = 4” [10cm] in colorwork pattern. Finished mitten size is determined by gauge/needle.
Size: Unisex adult S (M, L)
I used Cascade 220 for these because it’s a fantastic sturdy yarn for mittens and because chances are, you have some of it laying around. The motif outlining only requires 50 yards and all the contrast colors less than 40 yards, so chances are, you can find the yarn in your stash or you’d only need to buy the main color skein.
The chart for these mittens is in black and white, using symbols for the colors, which means that if you have a set of markers or colored pencils, you can have a grand old time coloring in the chart and testing color combinations.
It’s a little bit of a challenge, and a whole lot of fun. There are up to four colors per round, which means they’re not a good first colorwork pattern. That said, if you can strand two colors, you can do four. It just requires a little organization of balls or butterflies (check out this video) of yarn. Take special care to make nice loose floats and you’re good to go.
For once, there’s no lining! These mittens don’t need it. They’re plenty puffy and warm with all the stranding that’s going on inside.
Thanks, everyone! Let me know if you have any questions that aren’t addressed on the info page.
I’m not even doing any actual Christmas knitting this year, but I’m knitting like I am. This week alone, I’ve finished 4 projects. I think my favorite is this pair of mittens.
Pattern: Horatio and Oren by Barbara Gregory
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Tweed in 5302 (ivory) and Rowan Scottish Tweed DK in 007 (charcoal)
Needle: size 2.5US for the mitten and 3US for the thumb
Gauge: 21 sts = 4″, so larger than the largest adult size in the pattern
I changed these a bit to suit my fit taste and the yarns I had on hand. Without even realizing it, I chose an Aran weight yarn for the contrast color. It looked like it was the same diameter as the charcoal, but it’s nowhere near as squishy. So, I ended up with a larger gauge and figured I’d line the mittens.
Since the mittens were quite large and I wanted them to stay on well, I cast on fewer stitches (4/5) for the ribbing and increased before I started the colorwork. They’re actually really comfy like they are and stay on fine, so I think I’ll leave them as they are.
Do you do like I do and use a larger needle for the thumb? I could see in the pattern photos that the sample knitter had the same issue that I do- knitting a very small circumference makes for a much tighter gauge than knitting a larger one on the same needles. I went up half a needle size for this pair and could have gone up more. I went up two full sizes on mittens I’m currently making and that did the trick perfectly.
The pattern is very fun to knit and the product couldn’t be lovelier. I recommend it!
The mittens are shown laid out on our Christmas tree, which we cut yesterday at the coolest farm. The people at Pieropan Christmas Tree Farm practice “stump culture” to grow trees repeatedly from the same stump. Some of their stumps are more than 50 years old! Isn’t it strange to see someone cutting a tree that starts at eye level?! It was so interesting to look at the landscape that’s created by these trees growing on trees.
I love it when a fellow wool person has a baby and I can make hand washable baby clothes without worrying that they won’t be loved. In my book, there’s really nothing better than a fat baby tummy covered in smushy wool, so cover babies’ tummies I do.
I can’t say enough good things about these overalls. I mean, could they BE any sweeter? The pattern is clear and simple and the end product is a delight. After I made these, I was shown a blog post about knitting a crotch gusset, which can only be a good addition, when one considers how much diaper sits in between a baby’s legs. The more room there, the better. These are knit at a pretty loose gauge, though, so the fabric is plenty stretchy to function well as written, I suspect.
Patterns: On the Go-veralls and Top Down Bonnet
Yarn: worsted weight 2 ply, 8 oz. and 558 yards- half the skein made both the pants and bonnet
Needles: US size 7 for the overalls and 3 for the bonnet
Size: I made the 6-12 month size in the overalls, but a bit stubby. They’re 16″ tall, including straps. SO TINY. I made the baby size in the bonnet.
I’m really pleased with the random coloring of this yarn. It’s made from scraps of at least 4 different colorways of Hello Yarn fiber. One ply is super soft stuff like Merino and Rambouillet, and the other is stronger stuff like Falkland wool and Corriedale. I chose the fibers based on color and had no problems with the combination of breeds. I figured if the shorter fibers puffed up, that ply would just be chubbier. The yarn was finished gently, with just a soak in lukewarm water and no agitation. I spun and plied it it a bit loosely, hoping for a light and puffy yarn, which was the result. The fact that I got a whole pair of overalls and a bonnet out of 4 oz. attests to that!
Oh, hey, and there’s a whole new website! I’ve tried to move all the important stuff over from the old one, but I did ditch my blog posts from before 2007, as it really wasn’t that interesting back then and I doubt anyone ever looked. If you notice something that you loved is missing, let me know! Something happened to the blog categories (as in, they didn’t make the transfer). I’ll work on that. All the patterns you used to be able to download from my site are now available only on Ravelry. You can access them through the Pattern menu above. It seemed redundant to host them here as well as Ravelry and an informal Twitter poll indicated that pretty much everyone thinks that is exactly what Ravelry is for.
I plan on blogging a whole bunch, including about the building of our new studio. If you’d like to read about it, you can update your RSS feeds over in the sidebar.