Archive for the ‘mittens’ Category

AccessoryFest 2010: Helping Hands Mittens

1960s Wool Plaid Mittens

These started as a stashbuster but at the urging of several friends, I wrote up the pattern to contribute to the Help for Haiti effort on Ravelry. I will donate all proceeds of the mitten sales to Haitian relief efforts for as long as the pattern is available. To be honest, I feel conflicted about urging people to buy things because portions of pattern sales will go to charity. If the cause is compelling, we should not be goaded into supporting it with cheap or free items. Perhaps I sound cynical; I do not mean to be. All I’m saying is that the best way for any of us to help in the earthquake relief and rebuilding efforts in Haiti is to give directly to reputable aid organizations doing good work. Buy my mitten pattern if you like the mittens, but if you really want to help, bypass me and give directly to aid organizations now. And, perhaps more importantly, give again in March. And in July. And in September. And in 2011 and 2012.

And of course, enjoy the mittens!

This pattern is available as a Ravelry download for $6.00. For the lifetime of the pattern, all proceeds will be donated monthly to Partners in Health’s Stand With Haiti campaign.

1960s Wool Plaid Mittens

Difficulty

Intermediate

Skills used

Reading a chart, knitting in the round, knitting with two colors, increasing, decreasing, picking up stitches.

Sizes

S (M, L)

Model shown in size S.

Finished measurements

Circumference: 7.25 (8.5, 9.75)”
Length: 8.5 (9.5, 10.5)”
Thumb top length: 2 (2.5, 3)”

Gauge

26 stitches and 28 rounds = 4″ in stranded stitch pattern on US 6 (4 mm) needles

1960s Wool Plaid Mittens

Yarn

Berroco Ultra Alpaca [50% alpaca, 50% wool; 215 yd (197 m); 100 g skein]; color: #6289 Charcoal Mix (MC), #6201 Winter White (CC1), #6234 Cardinal (CC2), #6294 Turquoise Mix (CC3), 1 skein each.

Needles

US 6 (4 mm) circular needle, 32″ long or 1 set US 6 (4 mm) DPNs

Notions

Stitch markers
Waste yarn
Tapestry needle

1960s Wool Plaid Mittens

Min Ulla Set

Min Ulla Set

What was that bit about not having winter accessories to wear together? I am happy to report that problem has officially been resolved. Thank you for all of your lovely comments and encouragement along the way.

Min Ulla Set

Let me introduce the Min Ulla Set! The scarfhat, and mitten patterns are available as Ravelry downloads for $6.00 each. The set of three patterns can be purchased for $15.00.

Min Ulla Set

Pattern: Min Ulla Scarf, Hat, and Mittens (Ravelry link)

Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca in #6289 Charcoal mix and #6201 Winter white, 4 skeins each color for the entire set

Needles: US 6 (4 mm)

In early October, I approached Berroco, Inc. with a swatch and sketch for this design and the company generously donated the yarn for the project. As I mentioned before, I tried this pattern out on a hat with Harrisville Designs New England Shetland leftovers, but it was clearly the wrong choice. Can you imagine how long it would have taken me to knit this at a fine gauge? I still have not yet finished that sample hat! I really wanted a worsted weight yarn, and one with a bit of a halo to it as well. Berroco Ultra Alpaca was a great choice because the yarn is smooth enough to show off the stitch definition but soft and fuzzy enough to make a really warm set.

Min Ulla Scarf

This Scandinavian-styled scarf is made in the round as a tube, its ends grafted together in the finishing process. Symmetrical about the center point, it is comprised of many very simple peeries of small repeats, along with a few more complicated snowflake and XOXO peeries. The scarf pattern is given as a series of10 charts. I broke the pattern up this way to make it a more portable project since smaller charts are easier to read. Although the charts may seem complex at first glance, upon closer examination, one will find that at the level of the individual round, the patterning is quite simple. After a while, the charts should only be truly necessary for the XOXO and snowflake patterns, or when starting a new peerie. Trust me, it’s true.

Min Ulla Set

The hat is knit in the round with a contrasting liner tacked to the inside of the brim for extra warmth. I could not decide on a brim pattern for the hat, so I included four different versions in the pattern. Two versions include small peeries like the sample hat shown, while the other two versions feature traditional snowflake patterns. Between this scarf and the other projects I’ve made with snowflake patterns, I was feeling a bit burned out on snowflakes by the time I started the hat; therefore, I settled on a version with peeries only instead. In the end, I think I prefer the look of the small peeries to large snowflakes at the brim. Each version of the hat is topped with a lice stitch, spiral crown.

Min Ulla Hat, Version A

This is the first pair of worsted weight, non-thrummed mittens I have made in a long time. I seem to have forgotten how quickly mittens knit up when not done at 10 stitches per inch! Amazing! Each mitten took me a day – a day with plenty of distractions too. I think I still prefer tightly knit mittens over worsted weight ones; however, these will certainly prove at least as warm as finer gauge mittens I’ve made because of the lining!

Min Ulla Mittens

Although I love lined mittens, my one complaint is that a lined thumb renders it practically useless. The last two pairs of lined mittens I’ve made have featured keyhole thumbs in the lining. Bonus? Not having to knit a second thumb.

Mitten with keyhole mitten liner

More photos can be found here.

Finally, I have one last pattern coming out in the next week – Hedge Fence Pullover – and then I swear, I’ll be done for a while. I have a baby to deliver, you know.

The wool bag lady

Earlier this week, Beatrix discovered the household stash of winter accessories and dove in for an afternoon of dress up.
Oh hi, my mom's a knitter

Aside from illustrating that she is a really big fan of red, Beatrix’s dress up game highlighted a problem I have as a knitter: I cannot seem to knit matching (or more accurately, not clashing) hats, scarves, and mittens. When planning a new winter project, it has never occurred to me to consider anything but the yarn choice. Before selecting yarn, perhaps I should ask myself, “Will this look awful with my bright red coat?”* Chances are, it will. I rarely care.

I wish I didn't have to dig these out already

My favorite pastel orange Kid Classic scarf looks awful with my Winter Sunrise Hat, Pam’s mittens and the bright red coat, but I wear them together because I love them all so much. I realize this makes me the wool bag lady. When spotted out in public, I am THAT woman, instantly recognizable as “knitter”. Normally, I can live with this. After all, everyone knows that people with matching hats, scarves, and mittens are wearing store-bought cotton (or worse, acrylic), and they are justifiably freezing their tails off. I may look a bit eccentric come winter, but I am warm. (Score one for knitting.)

Wool bag lady

Still, it bothers me a bit that I cannot seem to stick with a pattern long enough to eke out both a scarf and a hat. By the time I finish the scarf, I need at least a year’s hiatus from the pattern. And after the instant gratification of a hat, who wants to slog through six feet of scarf? My mission this fall is to come up with a scarf pattern that will be interesting enough to continue on into the hat. It has to be possible, right?

If not, please understand if you see me this winter, wrapped up in my clashing wooly goodness. Just assume I’m only out to buy cat food.

*Hm… maybe Beatrix is not the only one with a penchant for reds.

Chevron Love Mittens

Back in the Great Mitten Swap of ’08 in Boston, Julia Vesper made Maritza the most divine pair of handspun, hand-dyed, hand knit (and lined) chevron mittens. No one could leave them alone! We were all so very jealous of that lucky Maritza! You can imagine how excited I was to test knit her beautiful Chevron Love Mitten pattern last month! When she told me to pick any eight colors of the Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport line, I floundered. I think it’s safe to say that I have a problem with this yarn. Did I not recently write about this large Nature Spun remnant stash consisting only of reds/oranges and blues? What colors do you think I picked for my mittens?

Knitterly Things Chevron Love Mitten kit

As if I could resist…

A finished pair! 

Pattern: Chevron Love Mittens by Julia Vesper (pattern available on Ravelry, kits sold out but soon to be available again in the Knitterly Things shop)

Yarn: Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport

Needles: US 2.5 (3.0 mm)

 

Chevron Love Mittens by Julia Vesper

Aren’t the chevrons just lovely? The mittens and the free matching hat pattern also warm my stashbusting heart. This is a fantastic way to use up scraps. I would recommend Julia’s clear, straightforward patterns to anyone. Also, the color pairings she put together in her kits are truly inspired. 

Thumb gore

Although I have yet to block my mittens, I am thrilled with how they turned out. I should say, I had intended to soak these in a large wool wash this weekend to pack away my winter woolens, but then it snowed. Lesson learned. Never pack away wool before summer.

Finishing

New stripey sweater

My thrumming adventure has been partially interrupted by a striped, stashbusting sweater for Beatrix that I started over a month ago. I decided to pair up some Knit Picks Merino Style with the Debbie Bliss Merino Aran that Nova sent me last year to make a toddler cardigan. Sadly, I had to set this aside for a few weeks because I ran out of yarn – both colors, in fact (yes, that was great planning). Unfortunately, I only needed a few yards of each new skein so you will likely see these colors again soon in some hat or another.

"stwipey sweatah", complete with cwazy hair

Pattern: Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Seamless Yoke Sweater from Knitting Without Tears

Yarn: Knit Picks Merino Style in Hollyberry and Debbie Bliss Merino Aran in #06

Needles: US 6 (4.0 mm)

New stripey sweater

I regret that the severe yoke decreases show in spite of my careful blocking. I used three evenly spaced decreases to form the yoke and if I were to do it again, I would probably place four less aggressive decrease rows in there. Also, I skipped the back neck shaping and ended with a 2×2 rib collar. The knitting was terrifically mindless, the yarn was soft and I feel certain Beatrix will outgrow this far too soon for it to pill. I would neither recommend KP Merino Style nor DB Merino Aran for any project one expected to last, however. These are soft and fuzzy yarns, categorically not durable ones. Still, I am happy with the results.

Stashbusting sweater, done

Its initial reception was not good, unfortunately. Beatrix maintained, “I don’t wike stwipes!” Fortunately, a two-year-old’s preferences seem to change as quickly as her moods and this morning, she deemed it acceptable attire.

Returning to the thrumming activities, I happily report the mittens are done!

The last of the thrumming

And what a lot I have to say about them. I decided to go overboard on these to create the most densely packed, tightly knit, wind-proof mitten ever.

This is what 600 thrums looks like

Contrasted against the Yarn Forward mittens I made for Aaron last winter, these mittens pack an incredible amount of sheep. I made the 2008 pair with Lamb’s Pride Worsted on US 6 (4.0 mm) needles and each mitten contained 161 thrums. Of course I counted, you wouldn’t have? My only complaint about them is that the wind cuts through them on the coldest days. Consequently, I knit the 2009 pair with Ram Wools Selkirk on US 2.5 (3.0 mm) needles and nearly doubled the number of thrums. Each mitten contains exactly 300 thrums. I hope they will be sturdy enough to protect my aunt Therese from the bitter cold of watching early morning ice hockey practices and games.

Sheep explosion

Yarn: Ram Wools Selkirk with who knows how many ounces of Blue-faced Leicester

Needles: US 2.5 (3.0 mm)

For the cuff, I cast on 32 sts, worked 3” in 1×1 rib. I increased to 42 stitches, thrummed every three stitches, every fourth row. After a few rows of thrums, I added one pattern repeat below the thumb to make a little more room. There are 252 thrums in the mitten body and 48 thrums in the 24-stitch thumb. I worked three K1, K2tog decrease rows at the mitten top and one at the thumb top.

Now with twice the thrums!

The sheer volume of material stuffed inside is astounding to me. You can see the contrast with the old pair. On the whole, I cannot say thrummed mittens wear well. As you can see, Aaron’s pair (oh, who are we kidding? they’re really mine) is in dire need of a shave. They pill and fuzz all over everything. They also grow with time, as the wool inside packs down.

Last year's mittens, for comparison

I cannot so much as turn a door handle wearing thrummed mittens, much less wrangle a toddler. However, I do not fear for my extremities when it’s -10 degrees during my 5:30 a.m. runs. That’s really all that matters, right? Therese will only be able to wave and clap with her new mittens but isn’t that all one needs to do at a hockey game?

Mitten torpedoes