I might have a problem. On the one hand (haha), I love colorwork mittens. They’re a great way to show off pretty yarn and fun designs.
On the other hand, this week’s weather forecast looks like this:
I’m still surprised that this is what January is like. It’s warm, folks. I have the heat off and the windows open. The only time I’ve seen ice in the past three months was in a refreshing beverage. And yet I can’t stop thinking about adorably cute mittens, in a place where I now have absolutely no need for mittens. It’s absurd.
Before I moved to California, I started some wonderful Citrus mittens. After over a year (sock yarn on US #0, anyone?) they are finally done. They have snuggly double cuffs to keep out the cold. I have worn them exactly zero times. I guess they are nice to look at.
I made plans for making the super-cute Carrots & Beets Mittens as a gift for my mom, who is an ardent gardener, for Christmas. A week after Christmas (I know, I’m a terrible daughter), they were finished. Let’s not talk about how long it took to weave in all the ends, okay? At least in Chicago they are useful.
These were knit in Stonehedge Fiber Mill Shepherd’s Wool fingering weight on US #1 dpns. I lengthened the cuffs to help keep out the cold. The pattern is by SpillyJane and if you like it you should check out her blog and adorable collection of patterns – lots of fun and cute colorwork!
I queued up at least six other colorwork mitten patterns and started collecting yarn for them. Most of them are from indie designers, which is awesome. I love La Joie du Printemps, Kissing Koi, Olga’s Mittens, and Tremblant, to name a few. And at least I have a chance of wearing fingerless Härkeberga Guldmantel mitts.
So now what? I’m sure some of you would volunteer to help me out, distributing my mitten largesse where it’s most needed – particularly in chilly DC/MD/VA! Or maybe you could just try your own and I can selfishly hoard beautiful mittens and hang them on the wall or something.
Here’s a secret about stranded colorwork: it’s pretty much all worked the same way. No matter how complicated the design looks, if you can follow a chart, a seemingly intricate baroque pattern is just as easy to knit as a simple geometric design. Don’t be put off trying a fancy pattern that you fall in love with just because it looks scary. (But do pick one with two colors, not six or twelve, so that you don’t have a zillion ends to weave in when you thought you were done).
Indie designers have made some incredibly fun and creative designs. If there’s something you love, it’s probably on a mitten somewhere. Pints of beer? Garden gnomes? Daleks? Poodles? Skulls? Squirrels? Of course if you want something more traditional or geometric, you can find that too. A Ravelry pattern search for stranded colorwork + hands brings up tons of eye candy and possibilities. One more: Ringo & Elwood (below) would be super cute for kids. I’m getting a little breathless here and I’ll try to stop.
Have you found any other cool patterns you’d like to share? What else are you knitting to keep your fingers from freezing?