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.


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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!