Yarny bits

Ok, let’s talk about the matching mitts.

So, when I buy yarn, I usually try to buy two skeins of the same kind, because I usually end up knitting hats & mitts or hats & cowls or some other sort of set. That’s what I knit most, and it’s what works best for me (my sympathies to all you garment knitters who have to add to stash in sweater quantities…that sounds daunting).

But every now and then, I fall in love with a yarn and there aren’t two of the exact same color in stock. So sometimes I have to be flexible (yes, yes, I know, not my strong suit).

That’s what happened here. There weren’t two skeins of the Hypothesis Yarns Tweed DK color I wanted in stock, so I got two related shades instead. In this case that’s the Wildcat (for the hat, the darker one in the background) and Royal (for the mitt, the lighter one on the needles). I’m holding both of them along with Shibui’s Silk Cloud in Cove. Having the same fuzzy yarn with them helps bring the colors a little bit closer, and I think they’ll look great together.

Not 100% matched like I used the same yarn, but close enough that it looks good and seems intentional.

Square

Someone is absolutely bound to ask about the needles. So yes, they’re square! They’re made by Kollage. ⁠

I like them! But there is one thing to look out for. ⁠

They used to come in a bronze color, and I had problems with the bronze coating wearing off on the tips of the needles over time. I’ve actually got a bunch of sets I don’t use any more because the spots where the coating wore off catch on my yarn as I knit, and that will send a person into a screaming rage in short order. ⁠

But they’ve switched to silver needles, and those don’t seem to have that problem. So as long as you get the silver ones, not the bronze ones, I think you’ll love them (it looks like the newer silver ones might even have inch marks on the needles so you’ve got a built in ruler!). ⁠

They give me an ever so slightly tighter gauge than round needles of the same size, so I like having them as an option to fine tune the fabric I’m creating (the shape or material of your needles can change the fabric you make, so having more than one kind of the same size needles on hand can be surprisingly helpful). I used them here because I want my mitts (which will see harder wear) to have a slightly tighter fabric than my hat (which will work better if it’s a bit more drapey).

And for my next trick…

Alrighty, all done and rather charming if I do say so myself. ⁠

I’ve got mitts to match on the needles already (mostly match…there’s a yarn thing going on that I’ll explain in a future post that means someone out there is bound to think that they don’t match they way they want them to, but I think we can work it out), and I’ll be sending this out for testers here fairly shortly.⁠

I’m sliiiiiiightly torn as to when I should bring this out. ⁠Part of me says have it and the matching mitts come out in June, because June is what we’ve got coming up next and bringing out patterns is what I do. ⁠Part of me says wait till late summer/early fall (think August or September) because June patterns never get the attention they deserve and it would be a shame to waste something so lovely on a quiet time of year.⁠

I’m truly not sure which I prefer, so if you have any big strong feelings on it, you can totally leave a comment and let me know (though just for the record, I’m the stubborn sort and reserve the right to do whatever seems best at the time).

Growth

Am I unspeakably pleased with how the spacing on the top of this worked out? Why yes, yes I am.⁠


⁠Now, someone is out there wondering why I didn’t put the leafy bit over the whole hat. And the answer is that the hat would fit kind of weird if you ran that pattern over the whole thing.⁠

You’ve got a fairly dramatic difference in the number of stitches between the narrowest and widest rows of that stitch. Which is absolutely fine if you use it in a constrained space like this (where the stockinette on either side acts as a buffer), but can make things a bit lumpy over a large area like a whole hat.⁠

The other option would be to tweak things a bit so that the number of stitches stayed more constant row to row (which you totally could do on this one), but I sort of like the drama you get with the really big increases (the bottom of each leaf is a giant increase). It gives the leaves some texture and depth that I find charming. ⁠

So long as you use it in moderation!⁠

And don’t worry, I know that this is a fairly tall stitch repeat, so I have lovely, tidy, satisfying ways to do the crown at either the end or the midpoint of the repeat. But I am currently not sad at all about how this one is coming out!⁠

Nope. Not sad at all. ⁠