Open Kate Atherley’s newest book, Knit Mitts, and you’ll quickly realize two things. Kate lives somewhere that gets seriously cold, and she isn’t afraid of numbers. Spend a few more minutes with the book and you’ll start to see that she’s decided use her fondness for figures to make absolutely sure you can keep your hands warm this winter!
She’s done this in two ways. The first is by writing twelve awesome patterns. There are mittens, gloves, and fingerless gloves (all in a truly impressive array of sizes), and they’re adorned with a lovely mix of cables, colorwork, and lace. But as delightful as the patterns are, it’s the stuff at the front of the book that I really want to call your attention to. This is the other way Kate’s keeping your hands warm…by giving you all the information you need to make exactly the pieces you’re looking for, with or without a pattern.
There are lots of charts and tables (the break down of hand sizes and proportions is ridiculously useful, as are the yarn requirement guidelines). There’s plenty of info about yarn (hint…animal fibers are your friend) and keeping out the wind (I told you she lives somewhere cold). Needles get some attention (I’m not alone in my love for DPNS). And of course all the bits that might be frustrating in making gloves or mittens are addressed (yes, you need to swatch…yes, there are things you can do to help prevent ladders between needles or holes at the base of your thumb…yes, you totally are cool enough to manage gloves).
I’ve knit more than my fair share of mitts over the years (these were just the first five I found as I wandered around getting ready to take a picture of the book), and I would happily recommend this book to anyone wanting to knit a few pairs of their own. If you like to just relax and follow patterns, it’s got you covered. And if you’d like to dive a little deeper, there’s more than enough information to get you started designing something of your own.
The only thing I’d add (if I had a magic wand…and any business at all messing about with someone else’s awesome book) is some talk about flared cuffs/wristwarmers. We all know I have a shameful weakness for them (those were the ones in easy grabbing distance from my desk) and knit them any time I can get away with it. I think Kate just lives somewhere cold enough that she wants a bit more coverage than they provide!
But even though cuffs aren’t specifically covered, the info at the front of the book actually gives you all you’d need to create a pair of your own. If you spend some time with the chart covering wrist and hand circumferences, and read the bit about distributing increases evenly across a round (and maybe take a look at some of the pretty alternative cuff ribbing options) , you’ll be well on your way to making up your own.
If you’d like to make some mitts of your own, the good folks at Interweave have a copy to give away over on my instagram account. Check out this post for all the details. And when your hands are warm this winter, think of Kate!
Interweave sent me a copy of the book to review. The image of the book’s front cover belongs to them and is used with their permission.