Reminders

This is your occasional reminder to put set your thumb stitches aside on waste yarn (rather than a spare needle or a cable needle) if you have the choice.

Yes, that sometimes means finding scissors (to snip off a few inches of the yarn) or a darning needle (to run said yarn through the stitches).  But especially if it’s the first mitt of the pair, doing it this way lets you try it on and make sure you’re happy with how long you’ve made the mitt before you start the thumbs.

I know I had a few pairs of mitts early on where the thumb started just a tiny bit too soon, so the mitt sort of chafed against the skin between my hand and my thumb every time I’d wear it.  Which meant I swore at them every time I wore them…and as soon as I knit a few more pairs, I never reached for the too-small ones again.

So…be smarter than me. Try your mitt on to make sure you’re putting the thumb at the right spot, and do it with waste yarn (which will better conform to your hand and so give you a more accurate idea of the fit).  Then wear your comfy mitts with glee!

Pattern next week…not long from now at all.  Standard stuff applies, mailing list folks will get a heads up and a coupon code.  And if you’ve already got the matching hat in your library (or if you buy them together when the mitts come out), you’ll be able to get the mitts for a discount!

So let’s talk thumbs

I mentioned last time I had to be a bit more mellow than I normally am and embrace a little bit of chaos because of the long color changes on this yarn.  The left and right mitts won’t match exactly, and that’s just ok.

But…that doesn’t mean I’ve totally embraced a go with the flow attitude.  I still want to keep the thumbs as tidy and uniform as I can.  That means doing a very tiny bit of math.

So normally when I knit a mitt, I knit the wrist, then increase for the thumb, then knit up to the middle of the hand. Once the mitt reaches the middle of my palm, I set aside the thumb stitches on a bit of waste yarn and keep knitting up the rest of the hand.  Then I come back and join on a new strand of yarn and knit the thumb.

This works great for most yarn.  But for this one, there would be a big jump in the color if I did that.  The yarn would have kept clicking along, changing color the whole way, as I knit the second part of the hand (about 15-20 rows, each of about 50 stitches).

Instead I figured out how much yarn I’d need for the thumb (by knitting one row of the 15 stitches I’d use in the thumb, ripping that back, measuring how much yarn those 15 stitches took, multiplying that by the 12 rows I want in the thumb, and adding in a bit for the bind off), broke the yarn there, and then joined back on and knit the second part of the hand.

You still have a tiny jump, but it’s a 15 stitches over 12 rows jump, not a 50 stitches over 20 rows jump (~180 stitches of color change instead of ~1000 stitches of color change).  That makes me much happier.

And no, no you generally won’t need to do it for most yarn.  But for long color change yarn like this, it’s a neat trick to have in your back pocket.  And of course the pattern will talk about how to do it in more detail…because we’re knitters…we like the tiny details.  But it’s a handy enough idea I wanted to let everyone know about it!

Pattern for these should be out on the 22nd, and the pattern for the matching hat is already out.

 

Looking for this pattern?

Tell me when it's out!

If you're reading this shortly after it was posted, the pattern's probably not out quite yet. But if you'd like an email when it is, click the link above and sign up!

And some matching mitts…

As is traditional in these parts, I decided the hat was lonely and needed some friends. So I cast on some mitts to go with it. (This is the bit where I remind you that today is the last day to take 10% off the hat with the code SUGGEST…so if you’re reading this the day it comes out, get on that if you want it on your needles, this is the time.)

I’m having to be a little more mellow than I’m normally inclined to be and just sort of embrace the color changes.  The left and right mitts won’t match exactly (because by the time I get to the second one, the color will have changed and be on to the next shades in the progression).

But really, I don’t think that will be a bad thing at all.

And if anyone stops me on the street to scold me for my mismatched mitts, I can distract them by pointing out all the lovely cable work on the first mitt…and quickly slap them with the other mitt when they aren’t paying attention.  It’s good to have a plan!

Gratuitous shot of the hat just because it’s pretty and I like showing it off.

And info because otherwise someone will ask…the hat pattern is called Imply, it’s out now. The mitts to match it will be out later this month.  You’ll be able to buy both together for a discounted price if you love them both (and of course it will totally still work if you buy the hat now and the mitts later…ravelry is super cool like that).  And the yarn is Coventry DK by June Pryce Fiber Arts in the color Speckled Soul Searching.  I got one 510 yard skein and made the hat and mitts both with plenty left over.

Imply (plus giveaway)

It’s here! Imply is out today on ravelry. You can get it for 10% off with the code SUGGEST for the next few days. And there’s yarn to give away over on instagram if you’ve fallen madly in love!

So I’m not going to lie. This is not fancy. It is not hard. It is not shockingly original.  But it is comfy and cozy and fun to knit…with just a little bit of drama from those giant cables.  And that sort of sounds like exactly what I want right now!

Normally when you make really big cables, you cross one giant chunk of stitches over another giant chunk of stitches.  That can be fiddly to do (I’m very good at dropping the centermost stitch in a cable and then swearing loudly while I rescue it), and it can draw your fabric in quite dramatically.  But on these you do something a little different.  You actually work the cable in small steps over several rows.  So instead of crossing 6 stitches over 6 stitches all at once, you do a series of 3 over 3 crosses, carefully arranged to look like one big cable.

Not only is it easier to do, it also makes your fabric draw in much less (and it gives you that adorable little divot in the middle of your cable which I just kind of love beyond all reason).  Plus it lets you do some absolutely delightful shaping at the top of the hat.  I swear it looks like a soft serve ice cream cone.

If you want to make one of your own, the pattern called Imply, it’s up today on ravelry, and you can get 10% off with the code SUGGEST.  And, if you wander over to Instagram, I’ve got a skein of the lovely Coventry DK by June Pryce Fiber Arts in Speckled Soul Searching to give away.  It’s a 510 yard skein, which means there’s plenty to either make two hats or to make a hat and matching mitts (that’s what I did…the mitts should be out in two weeks).

And with that, I’ll leave you to cast on.  I went on a yarn field trip yesterday, and it’s snowy today, so I think I’m morally obligated to curl up in front of the fire and swatch all day long.

And done!

Hatty McHatterson is done, blocked, ends woven in, and has wandered out to the woodpile for photos (yes, we do need to tidy the woodpile and arrange it better for photos…yes, this is absolutely something I fully intend to do…I need to keep my neighbors convinced I’m a little strange).

It’s lovely, the cables make for the prettiest, swirliest, most soft serve cone looking hat top I ever did see.  It will be out Tuesday (and no, no the cables aren’t hard, I promise you can do them).  And matching mitts are already well underway!

We made it!

Everyone still here?  Starting to wake up from the holiday fog and remember how to eat real food and wear real clothes and more or less be normal people instead of the cookie stuffed, pajama wearing, movie watching, midday napping couch gremlins we’ve been for the last week or two? Got some of the glitter out of your hair and the pine needles off the carpet?  Starting to notice the sun setting later?  Excellent, we all made it to the new year!

Between the countdown sale in December and Curls 3 coming out in November I feel like it’s been a scandalously long time since I’ve just shown you what I’m knitting.  I had plans to sneak some of that in in December, but then we had a pipe freeze and burst in our attic over Thanksgiving and we’ve been dealing with that delight ever since…so things have been a bit…ah…scattered.  Scattered is the polite way of saying ‘in a giant, expensive, noisy, dusty uproar that makes me question my sanity and seriously consider just moving into a hotel for the duration.’

So how about I flash some knitting today to make up for lost time and ease us back into the new year?

When last we chatted, I’d just unkinked this yarn, wound it up, and was getting ready to cast on for a hat (someone will ask, so the yarn is Coventry DK by June Pryce Fiber Arts in the color Speckled Soul Searching, the 500 yard size, which is enough to make a hat and matching mitts).

That hat grew.

Then I tried it on and realized it wasn’t actually going to fit my head (because sometimes swatches lie, and it’s better to double check now than to fume at the slightly too small hat for the rest of eternity), so I ripped it out, swearing at it the whole time.

But it wasn’t long until it was back on the needles.

And growing again.

And pretty soon, it was just about done.

And it was time for the decreases (which are delightfully swirly on this one if I do say so myself!).

And here’s where I’ll leave it for today, because I am also easing back into this being a productive adult member of society and doing work thing, and I have rather a lot of emails to catch up on.  But if you’re madly in love with this one, the pattern will be out on Tuesday the 8th (barring any other exciting house catastrophes…but really I think one burst pipe per winter is more than enough thank you very much)!

Looking for this pattern?

Tell me when it's out!

If you're reading this shortly after it was posted, the pattern's probably not out quite yet. But if you'd like an email when it is, click the link above and sign up!

 

Let’s do that again…

So…if you’ve been here for a very very very long time, you just might remember that back in November and December of 2015, I knit a hat and some cuffs to go with it.

DSC_3263

They were out of what is very possibly my favorite purple yarn ever, they had absolutely gorgeous cables (look at the top of that hat…is that not glorious?), they fit perfectly, I loved everything about them.

DSC_3243

And for some reason they sat, unworn and unpublished, all alone in my Basket of Things To Turn Into Patterns for, quite literally, years.  There’s just no good reason for that.  I mean there are plenty of bad reasons (that yarn is discontinued, I’ve started doing thumbs a little differently, I knit the hat a bit too slouchy to easily take photographs), but no really good reason to keep that all to myself.

So…so when the yarn from this June’s trip to Fiber Frolic (a yarn that is very much not discontinued) started waving at me from the corner of the stash, it seemed like it might be time to revisit that pattern and finally get it out into the world.

First up…unkinking the yarn.  I’ll talk you through that here shortly!