Year of the Mitten

I’ve decided that 2019 is my Year of the Mitten. Many people start their knitting journey with socks and mittens, but I’m not one of them. And, as usual, I’m learning many lessons the hard way.

The preview of the year starts with a pair that I knit for the Saanich Fair.


I learned the cuff techniques as well as the travelling stitch on the back on the hand at Craft Camp in Estonia in July 2018. The braid before and after the coloured section adds panache. The yarn is Baby Alpaca Silk by Drops.

Next, I decided to make some Songbird Mittens (pattern by Erica Heusser). The first pair I made was in a deliciously soft and cozy Baby Alpaca Silk by Drops. When I held the balls of yarn (50% alpaca, 50% silk), the colours looked fabulous together. I saw contrast.  Then I knitted the mittens.


The pattern only shows when the light is right. Lesson learned: swatches help ensure a project will be successful, or A Stitch in Time Saves Nine.

Back to the drawing board, or more accurately: back to the yarn cupboard. I knit the second pair in Sweet Georgia Yarns Tough Love Sock (80% wool 20% nylon) Deep Cove, with a Left Coast Dyeworks wool-silk blend for the background (light) colour.

I love these mittens, and have kept them for my own.


Next pair: Bicycle Mittens pattern by Tone M. Anderson. I still haven’t finished one thumb of the first pair — they are rather small.


The second pair is fingerless, and knit with an orange yarn that a friend brought in Latvia, and a brown Sweet Georgia Yarns Tough Love sock yarn. The colour on the label is unique dyelot.



I took a detour with the next pair — Waves Mittens pattern by Tin Can Knits.

Tin Can Knits patterns are impeccable. While these knits don’t have a picture pattern, and I’m definitely attracted to pictures on my hands, the pattern is easy to follow and beautifully sized. See the purple and teal mittens (not immediately) below.


Back on track, I made some mittens for walking a specific dog, Holly, in a northern community.


A week almost passed without a solid start on a new pair of mittens, so I whipped up a pair without a picture for another friend to wear while walking her dog.


These are also made from Sweet Georgia Yarns Tough Love, and the pattern is the shape of the Tin Can Knits Waves Mittens. I’ve grown fond of Latvian Braids, so these have braids on the cuffs, and a sideways chevron (flying goose?) pattern in between. The body of the gloves is an Estonian folk pattern with relatively short floats (carrying the yarn on the wrong side). The yarn colours came in a mystery bag that I bought from Sweet Georgia Yarns.


Since I had made mittens  for dog lovers, it was only fair to make some for cat lovers. The yarn for these, and the ones that follow, is Drops Baby Merino, and Drops Nord (for the mustard colour in the cuffs).



And these wonderful mittens for giraffe fans.
These trees are so pretty.


These make it easy to tell left from right. (The yarn is NOT Drops Baby Merino. It’s a DK yarn that I got at a closeout sale. I’ve lost the band, so all I can tell you is that I used 3 mm needles and the yarn is machine washable 100% wool.)



To round out the year, I made these construction cranes for a little girl whose daddy builds tall buildings. These, too, are in reverse colours. One reason is to improve the telling of left from right; the other is to ensure the yarn stretched far enough for both mittens. In this case, the yarn is Drops Baby Merino. The mittens are soft, and they are machine washable.