Inspiration is a funny thing. I’ve wanted to create this pattern since I released the matching hat and cowl patterns several years ago but just never got around to it.
When I popped in to visit Fleece and Harmony and Ken brought Wildwinds 2 ply out for me to see and squish I knew exactly what that yarn wanted to be …. A pair of Iditarod Mittens. It had the texture and feel I had been wanting and once I got knitting, it had the stitch definition that was craving for colorwork mittens. Plus, it is a natural wool which will keep hands warmer.
Of the three natural color choices, I decided upon black and grey but these mittens will also work very well in the Fleece and Harmony Point Prim Sock yarn, if you are craving a wider range of colors.
I’m really happy with how these mittens turn out and I hope that others enjoy them as well.
These mittens are a brand new companion pattern to my Iditarod Hat and Cowl patterns.
Yarn: 165 yards of fingering weight yarn in background color (BC) 125 yards of fingering weight yarn in contrast color (CC)
Pictured in Fleece and Harmony Wildwinds 2 Ply in Black (BC) and Grey (CC)
Needles: 2.75mm double pointed needles
Or sizes necessary to achieve gauge. Please be sure to knit a gauge swatch.
Gauge: 29 sts x 30 rows = 4” in stranded colorwork when blocked.
Finished Size: Mittens are 8” in circumference and 11” in length, when blocked.
Notions: Waste yarn or a stitch holder for holding thumb stitches and a tapestry needle for sewing in ends.
Skill level: Intermediate.
Skills required: knit, purl, reading charts, and stranded knitting.
For anyone who might be interested in knitting their own pair of Iditarod Mittens, I’ve made the pattern available on Ravelry and Etsy.
This week I am over-the-moon excited to share with you the progress on my Exploits Valley Hap by Jennifer Beale.
I have finished joining all three centre contrast color lace panels with their main color lace panels. To me, when it is spread out, it looks like a Blue Morpho butterfly 🦋
All the outside stitches are now picked up and I’m working on the knitted on lace border.
I’ve knit quite a few shawls over the years and I have to say that knitted on lace edging is one of my favourite and one of the most fun techniques out there. Plus, it makes the edges of the shawl look extra special.
Do you have any techniques that you really love included in patterns? Are there special edges you prefer? I’d love to hear!
I’ve been inspired to do a little work work on a long standing work-in-progress this week.
I started working on the beautiful Exploits Valley Hap by Jennifer Beale in December of 2020 and have been savouring the project ever since. I knit a few rows and then put it away for a bit and then take it out for a few more …. It is my treat knitting and I’m very much enjoying quietly and consciously working on this project.
So far, I have the three main lace panels knit, the colorwork borders are completed, and I’ve joined two panels together and have turned the corner.
Even though I’ve been working on this project for over two years, I’ll almost be sad to fully finish it. It helps me to slow down, to be quiet, and to enjoy that beautiful Rowan Fine Lace slipping through my fingers and knitting into a delicate spidery fabric. It will be absolutely beautiful when it is finished.
Do you have any long term projects you’ve been working on? What is your longest standing WIP? I’d love to hear!
Sometimes, even with careful planning, color choices, ect. our crafting plans flop.
I decided to spin for a Metamorphic pullover and started my spinning with Tour de Fleece in July. I chose beautiful colors …. colors which I felt complimented each other, allowed for a bit of a pop, and still remained within my comfort range. The spinning went very well and the finished yarns are everything I hoped they would be.
Today, I excitedly decided, would be the day I knit my swatch for this beautiful new sweater. I balled up the yarn and set to. Gauge was working up nicely, the fabric was soft and bouncy and exactly what I wanted but ….. the colors, while beautiful on their own and side by side, were getting lost in each other.
I sampled different parts of the fractal, all in the hopes that it would improve my gut feeling. After a few tries I had to admit that my gut was, indeed, correct and these two are not destined to be in a Metamorphic pullover together.
Instead of forcing it and powering through with the project “because I spun for this!” I’m choosing to let the yarns rest and wait until inspiration strikes pattern-wise. I would rather spend time on a project that I know deep in my bones I will love and get lots of wear from than knit what I had planned and never wear the sweater.
So, while this project is off the table for now, I WILL spin for a Metamorphic with MORE color contrast and these yarns will eventually become well loved garments or accessories that I will wear with pride.
Have you ever had crafting plan flop despite your meticulous planning? Did you adapt and overcome or pivot to a new plan? I’d love to hear about your experiences!
I had the pleasure of accomplishing some dream knitting this week. Wild Posy Luna by Melody Hoffman has been on my to-knit list since late autumn 2021. I fell completely in love with the textured yoke and knew that I needed to add this pullover to my hand knits collection.
I chose Briggs & Little Country Roving as my unspun yarn because I adore the bounce, warmth, and sheepiness of it. Plus, it is made of good solid Canadian wool and I just gets softer and softer the more you wear it. I knit my Aito shawl in Country Roving and, now that the weather is cooler, it rarely leaves my shoulders when I’m at home and it lives on the back of my knitting/spinning chair otherwise so it is within easy reach. I love when I find a new favourite wool!
For the knitting of my Wild Posy Luna, I used the recommended needles and held two strands of Country Roving together throughout. The resulting fabric is so cozy! I knit the smallest size and didn’t make modifications to the pattern with the exception of using the same needles for the body and hem ribbing.
All said and told, the pullover flew right off my needles. It was completed within four days of casting on. I was a little nervous about wether I would have enough Country Roving to complete the project (I used two 8oz bumps) but I finished with some to spare. I already know that I’m going to get a lot of wear from this pullover and it will be perfect for the colder winter days.
Next up was a very spontaneous cast on. Verso by The Petite Knitter came across my Instagram feed and I just knew it was going to be the perfect hat!
I have several winter hats but I needed one that wouldn’t ride up when I’m wearing my headlamp. For those of you who don’t know, I’m an avid hiker and walker and prefer to get my outdoor time in early. It means that I get to see lots of beautiful sunrises and quite a variety of wildlife but this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere it is quite dark. So, a hat that stays put with my head on is a must!
The yarn I chose for this project was Fleece and Harmony Selkirk Worsted in “Autumn Birch” and “Haunted Woods” colorways. Selkirk worsted is one of my all time favourite worsted weight yarns and it suited his project perfectly.
It was my first time doing double knitting and once I got the rhythm down (it only took a couple of rounds), it was intuitive and very satisfying. The pattern is extremely well written and illustrated. I had no previous experience with double knitting and was able to complete the project with ease. If double knitting is on your to-learn list, I highly recommend this pattern! Plus, the finished project is comfortable and looks pretty cool in my book!
My last finished project to share with you this week is some dreamy Gotland dyed in Autumn colors by Good Fibrations.
I chose to spin this braid up as a two ply DK weight fractal with the intention of knitting some more socks (handspun Gotland socks are my FAVOURITE!) and wouldn’t you know it? Nancy Wheeler of Knit Sip Happy has JUST release a new pattern for DK weight socks! They’re called the Sliptastic Socks and you know I’m going to knit them in my handspun Gotland!
What are your most recent finished projects? Have you been doing any dream knitting? I’d love to hear all about it!.
Sometimes, lost mittens happen. Because of this, I’ve created speedy pattern in bulky weight yarn to help remedy the lost mitten situation.
I’ve used this pattern a * just a few * times myself while reciting a modified version of The Three Little Knittens but subbing “kittens” for “teenagers” and “you shall have no pie” for “you shall be off The Knit List.” 🤣
It is only written for one size (because we all wear approximately the same size mittens in this house) but could be easily adjusted to suit your needs. Please keep in mind that it will change the amount of yardage used.
I find that I can knit a pair of these mittens in only a morning. I really love the dense fabric of the Álafosslopi and how it softens with wear. They are good sturdy mittens to handle whatever late Autumn and Winter might throw at you.
Pattern particulars are as follows:
Yarn: 1 ball of Álafosslopi 100m/109 yards
I found that I could knit one pair in this sizes with approximately 5 meters of yarn leftover. If your gauge is different than mine or if you don’t enjoy playing yarn chicken, I would suggest either buying two balls (just to be safe) or knitting the cuffs in a different color to save on yardage.
Needles: 4.0mm for ribbing
5.0mm for rest of mitten
I like using the magic loop for knitting these mittens. If you prefer small circumference circulars, you will need double pointed needles to close the fingertips.
Gauge: 14 sts x 20 rows = 10cm/4” in stockinette stitch using 5.0mm needles
Finished size: approximately 30.5cm/12” in length and 20cm/8” in circumference around the palm above the thumb
Notions: a removable stitch marker, scrap yarn or a stitch holder, and a tapestry needle for sewing in ends
M1R: make your favourite right leaning increase
M1L: make your favourite left leaning increase
BOR Marker: beginning of round marker
PM: place marker
PUK: pick up and knit
Using 4.0mm needles and your favourite stretchy cast on method (I like German Twisted), cast on 28 sts. Place BOR marker. Join for working in the round, being careful not to twist.
K1, P1 around for 10cm/4”
Switch to 5mm needles and knit 3 rounds even.
Set up round: M1R, K1, M1L, PM, knit to end of round.
Rounds 1 & 2: knit
Round 3 (inc): M1R, knit to marker, M1L, slip marker, knit to end of round. (2 sts inc)
Repeat these 3 rounds until there are 11 stitches between the BOR marker and the second marker, ending with an increase round. (38 sts total on needles)
Knit 1 round.
On next round, place 11 sts from BOR to second marker on scrap yarn or a stitch holder. Cast on 1 stitch using backwards E cast on, and knit to end of round. (28 sts)
Continue knitting even in the round until the mitten measures 10cm/4” from backwards E thumb stitch cast on or 4cm/1.5” less than desired length.
Setup round: knit 14 sts place marker, knit to end of round.
Decrease round: K1, SSK, knit to 3 sets before next marker, K2TOG, K1. Repeats a second time. (4 sts dec)
Repeat the decrease round until you have a total of 8 sts remaining. Break yarn leaving a 15cm/6” tail. Thread through remaining 8 sts, pull the gap closed and sew in ends.
PUK 11 sts from holder or scrap yarn and PUK 3 sts from inside of thumb. Arrange sts evenly across your needles (whether magic loop or DPNs). (14 sts total)
Set up round: K1, SSK, knit to last 3 sts, K2TOG, K1. (2 sts dec – 12 sts remain)
Knit evenly in the round until you thumb measures 5cm/2” or 1cm/0.25” less than desired length.
K2TOG around (6 sts remaining)
Break yarn leaving a 15cm/6” tail. Thread through remaining 6 sts, pull the gap closed and sew in all remaining ends.
Repeat for the second mitten.
I hope that this helps you out of any sticky, lost-mitten situation you might have.
Meow, meow, meow, meow, meow now we shall have some pie …. Is 5 AM too early for pie? 🥧
With temperatures dipping below freezing and the sun staying abed until approximately 7:20 AM, winters is definitely marching toward us.
We were out hiking early, well before sunrise, and accidentally startled a huge flock of Canada Geese with our headlamps. There was such a large number of them taking to flight that it sounded like high winds rushing through trees or a large fire burning. I’ve never heard anything like it. Sorry goose friends! We didn’t mean to wake you.
Sundays are always our days for longer hikes. We don’t usually have plans or anywhere pressing to be so we take full advantage. Today was a 3 hour excursion exploring frozen ponds, abandoned lanes, heritage roads, listening to bird song and identifying species (I’m still very much a novice at bird identification!), and such. The terrain was rougher but totally worth it.
When the sun came up, we were treated to a magical golden light through maples that were still clinging to a few of their leaves. We both agreed that there places would most certainly by the spots where faeries could be found. It is my hope that you, also, had the opportunity to spend some quiet time outdoors today enjoying the magic of nature. Until next time …. 🍃🍁🍂🧚♂️
As a handspinner and knitter, I’m frequently asked how to spin for a sweater and my response is usually, “It depends….”
A clear and concise answer? No. A truthful answer? Yes.
Many factors need to be considered when spinning for a sweater, not the least of which are choosing how much wool you need to spin for your project, how thick or fine you need to spin, and the yarn construction you would like.
When determining the weight of wool to spin for a sweater I always over-estimate the amount needed. Playing yarn chicken is never fun but it can be truly disastrous and disappointing when doing so with handspun. If you run out, you many not be able to get more of that special fibre or that colorway and if, by chance you do, it can be stressful trying to exactly match the spinning. Best to buy a bit extra for peace of mind. Plus, your leftovers can be used for all sorts of fun future projects.
I like to have a specific pattern in mind and choose my materials accordingly. Figure out the weight of yarn required for your intended project in grams according to the pattern details and then tack on an additional 50-100 grams as your buffer. This is usually more than enough fibre by weight to work.
I can get a fairly consistent 2 ply so I will count on that being the typical yarn construction for my sweater spin. If you prefer 3 ply or something else, by all means, spin what feels best for you 😊
When spinning my yarn for a sweater, I like to spin all the singles of a particular color first. I keep track of (and order) my bobbins, often with a small piece of painters tape that I number, and find I get the most consistent finished yarn if I ply bobbins 1 with 3 and 2 with 4. This helps to account for and even out any changes in the spinning process. Doing a ply-back test is also helpful to ensure a spin that is as consistent as possible.
Once your yarn is spun and plyed, give it a good wash to set the twist and it is gauge swatch time!
I hope these little tips are helpful if you are interested in spinning for a sweater. If you have other tried and true tips and tricks that you use for sweater spins, I would love to hear and learn!
A quick little pop in, because it has been quite some time, to share a few photos from yesterday’s hike. I promise to be back with some woolly goodness soon …. Especially since I’ve been spending a lot of time working on my long draw spinning … but more about that at a later date. Today, it is just photos from around Cape Bear, Prince Edward Island.