fingerless

Wool And The Gang Lovisa Mitts

Wool & The Gang Mitts

About a million years ago, Wool And The Gang, a London-based yarn and knitwear company, contacted me about trying out some of their yarn. Yum! Yes, please! But as you know, I’ve been through a pretty crummy time over the last few months, and the timing of the yarn arriving to me was the worst you could possibly imagine. I decided what I wanted to knit almost immediately, but I just wasn’t able to get my mind properly into a knitting pattern.

Wool & The Gang Mitts

Until one day a few weeks ago when I picked up my half-heartedly begun pair of Lovisa Armwarmers, sorted out some minor sizing issues I hadn’t had the brain power to deal with, and knocked them out in a couple of days. Suddenly, the time for comfort knitting had arrived – I’ve done and planned more projects in the last few weeks than I have in a year. Knitting has always been my comfort craft, but distraction crafts have been better for me this year. I’m really glad knitting is back for me now, I missed it.

Wool & The Gang Mitts

So anyway. Wool And The Gang were kind enough to send me out two colors (Snow White and Space Black) of their Sugar Baby Alpaca, so that I could give it a go with some colorwork knitting. You know how I love colorwork, don’t you? I’m always on the lookout for yarns that knit colorwork well but give a drapey, snuggly fabric. Colorwork can often be more pretty, less cuddly, on account of the rustic yarns traditionally used. A sportweight baby alpaca seemed like a perfect one to try out.

Wool & The Gang Mitts

Full disclosure and all: you know Wool And The Gang sent me this yarn for free, to review, and I promise I’d tell you if I hated it – scout’s honor. But oh the yummy! The Sugar Baby Alpaca knit like butter, such a pleasure to play with, and made such a delicious soft fabric. I used 4mm needles for these Lovisa Mitts (pattern by Sarah Pope, available free on Ravelry), which have been in my queue foreeeeeever, and added an extra 4-stitch repeat to make them slouchier on my sadly not-thin arms. Alpaca is so perfect for something slouchy like this, it just sits on my wrists like a scrumptious alpaca puddle. NOM.

Wool & The Gang Mitts

I added these cutesy-pie vintage buttons (eep, tiny hearts!) and I love these mitts to pieces! (They look perfect with my new winter coat too, as an added bonus.) I’m really in love with the yarn – thanks so much for letting me try it out, Wool And The Gang! – and I already have a possible pattern idea for it. I haven’t written a knitting pattern in ages, but there’s something a-brewin’ in my head!

Frostweed Mitts: New Knitting Pattern Out Now!

Yay for new knitting pattern day! The Frostweed Mitts are here! The Frostweed Mitts are a super-quick knit in two colors of sportweight yarn: one color for the textured body of the mitts, one for the contrast trim around all edges.

I used Quince & Co.’s Chickadee, a deliciously bouncy, round, smooshy pure wool yarn that is so yummy, I would like to cover the whole world in it. YUM.

My samples were knit with one skein each of Dogwood (pink) and Egret (white) and with the yardage of Chickadee, I was able to get two pairs (easily) of Frostweed Mitts out of the two skeins: one pair with a white body and pink trim, another pair with that color placement reversed. Of course I can’t guarantee that all sportweight yarns will allow this, it will depend on your exact yardage and usage — but I only used approximately 5 grams of my contrast color per pair, so you can cut it pretty close and still get a second pair. The tiny amount of contrast color needed makes this a great project to use up little leftover bits as well!

Frostweed Mitts

Yarn:
Quince and Co. Chickadee
50g / 166m (181 yd) per skein, one skein each of main color (MC) and contrast color (CC).
Examples shown in Dogwood and Egret

Needles:
3.75 mm / US #5 in preferred needle type for knitting small diameters in the round, or size needed to obtain gauge.

Gauge:
24 sts / 38 rows = 4” / 10 cm in Frostweed Texture Pattern, blocked.

Finished Size:
To fit hand circumference (measured around knuckles) of 7.5”

Other materials / tools:
3 stitch markers
6”-ish length of scrap yarn
small yarn needle

The Frostweed Mitts pattern is now available via Ravelry, or you can just click the button above / in the sidebar to the left to purchase (checkout via my blog is powered by Ravelry, but a Ravelry account is not required). Happy Knitting!

(Thanks again to the lovely Carina for taking these beautiful photos!)

Introducing: Grace

She’s here, finally: Grace, a new fingerless mitten pattern. This is, indeed, the pattern I talked about submitting for publication waaaay ages ago, back in June. Sadly, it wasn’t picked, so here she is, all prettied up in my style and added to the Ravelry database / my Ravelry pattern shop.

I can’t pretend I wasn’t sad about my pretty Grace being passed over – actually, I think ‘devastated’ might be a better word. I was properly heartbroken, really really really felt like totally giving up on the whole thing, just wanted to lie in bed and stare at the wall … for about a day. At the beginning of that day, I thought I’d be very sad for a very long time. By the end of the day, I was even able to muster up a little pathetic chuckle about it.

And within a few days, I’d bounced back enough to start prepping the pattern to sell myself. Luckily, I had these beautiful photos to work with, taken by my lovely friend Holly, and I’m extremely proud to say that this is the best pattern I’ve written so far.

Because I was submitting under strict pattern guidelines, I filled out a few bits that I hadn’t done yet in any of my patterns: Grace includes both written and charted instructions for all lace patterns, a sizing schematic, gauge information for stockinette and the lace pattern, and both metric and imperial measurements. These aren’t huge things, and aren’t even necessarily reasons to buy or not buy a pattern for most people, but I take a lot of pride in taking care with the details. Some pattern writers are ok with leaving you to convert to inches or decide which increase to use, but I think it’s important to get that stuff right – who wants their knitters to have to fight with their pattern?

I’m really proud of this pattern, and if you buy / knit it, I hope you enjoy it. I s’pose I might be a little biased, but I think Grace is a very pretty and versatile pattern. The design features an easy-to-memorize lace pattern, a fully patterned thumb gusset, and a vintage-style buttonband (it was named after the always-elegant Grace Kelly). Knit in nearly any fingering-weight wool yarn and endlessly customizable with your choice of buttons, they can be knit to suit any style – soft and pretty like these sample pairs, dramatic in black, fun and peppy in a bright yellow or green, or classy and elegant in white.

In fact, though I should be working on finishing my next pattern and / or my WIP List Of Shame, I can’t help but want to knit up a pair in both black and white with neon buttons!

Grace is available to buy via Ravelry, where you can find out all the pattern information you might need before buying, or via my sidebar to the right (which is processed through Ravelry’s checkout system but does not require a Ravelry account). I hope you like it, and if you knit any, please let me know – I’d love to see them!

Flurries! (A new knitting pattern by me)

Flurries, a cowl and fingerless mitts set

When my laptop died, or passed out, I had just set up my first knitting pattern for sale on Ravelry. I’d been working on it in little bits for ages, had it tested by some generous and kind knitters, uploaded it and set a price and then a few hours later … pbbbt. Jacques (the laptop, obviously) just had enough.

So I never got to tell you about it! It’s been so long, I kind of can’t even remember where the inspiration came from initially, but I do know I’ve always loved thrummed mittens. I love the tiny little hearts of color polka dotting the surface and the endless adorable color combinations you could knit. However, I have never lived anywhere even remotely cold enough for thrums. I’d be sweating through them in minutes here in the southern-ish UK, and Holland was no different.

Re-creating the cuteness of thrums with stranded colorwork was a no-brainer: easy knitting and adorable?! Awesome. Reluctance to use a regular old ribbing pattern for edging led me to wee tiny cables, adding a little delicate detail to an otherwise very simple-and-quick knit. All together, it reminded me of the gentle quiet of the first snow of the winter: Flurries.

Flurries, a cowl and fingerless mitts set

This pattern includes instructions for a cowl and matching fingerless gloves set. You’ll need to know how to knit stranded colorwork and cables, but both are just about the simplest of either you could ask for, so this set would be a great project for beginners of either (or both) skill. The cabled edging and colorwork stitch patterns are charted only but, again, because the stitch patterns are fairly simple and intuitive once you get started, this might be a good project to learn that on too.

Yarn:
Rowan Pure Wool 4 Ply 50g/160yd per skein
3 skeins main color (MC), 1 skein contrast color (CC)
This amount will make full set of cowl and mitts.

Approximate amounts per item:
Cowl: 75g MC, 15g CC
Mitts: 50g MC, 10g CC

Needles:
Cowl: 2.25mm & 3.0mm circular needles, 16”/40cm
length
Mitts: 2.25mm & 3.0mm preferred needle type for knitting
small diameters in the round
Or sizes needed to obtain gauge

Finished Size:
Cowl: 10.5” tall and 21” circumference
Mitts: to fit hand circumference (measured around
knuckles) of 7.5”

Use the button above (you do not need to be a Ravelry member to purchase the pattern) to get your own Flurries pattern and knit away. Of course, if you do knit it, pretty please add photos to Ravelry or come back here to show them off. I’d love to see how your Flurries turn out!