mittens

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!

Bird and (Many) Vines Mitts – free chart for you

Bird And Vine Mitts

Last winter, I became smitten with the Bird and Vine Mitts (ravelry link here – these mitts are a variation on the famous Endpaper Mitts), but I loved the effect of the vines so much that I wanted them to continue around the palm side. It took some time, but I managed to make a new palm chart that continued the vines around to the other side by repeating elements from the original chart.

Bird And Vine Mitts

Because EvaKatharina was so generous as to provide the original charts for free to anyone who liked them, it’s only fair that I offer up my adaptation as well. So here you go – you’ll need the original back of hand charts from the Ravelry link above then just substitute the left and right palm charts from my PDF. It should all be self-explanatory – happy knitting!

(Download link working now, so so sorry to anyone who tried to get to it before!!!)