World’s Simplest Mittens
My friend Rosie just finished a set of mitts made with Cascade 220 Superwash Wave and I think they’re really cool! She used one skein to make all three mitts with the World’s Simplest Mittens pattern (a freebie from the lovely ladies at Tin Can Knits, she made a size Women’s Medium). Why three? Why not?! There was more than enough yarn left to make a third, and you inevitably always misplace or lose one mitten. Anyway, I thought it was pretty cool, having three mitts that match but aren’t exactly alike – it’s like having extra wardrobe options!
The pattern is excellent; a basic mitten knit in the round. It is very straightforward, well written, and the instructions (like all of the Tin Can Knits patterns) are easy to read and follow. It is written for sizes Toddler to Adult Large, and accommodates four different sizes of yarn (fingering, DK, worsted and chunky weight).
Alternatives to DPNs
If you don’t like making mitts because you don’t enjoy using double pointed needles, you might want to try using the new Addi Flexi-flip needles – they’re a great alternative to traditional double pointed needles (Rosie has been using hers since they first came out, and she’s become a convert, despite not having a huge issue with double points to begin with). You could also try using Chaigoo’s 9″ circular needles (you can get them as singles, or if you really like them invest in their interchangeable set) but you will still have to finish the thumb on double pointed needles.
Knit Hack: Matching the Thumbs
Sometimes matching the thumb to the rest of the mitten is tricky with yarns that change colours in stripes or as a gradient. This is because you knit the body of the mitten first, and then go back and do the thumb last – the colourway will have changed by the time you go back to do the thumb. You can see this in the centre mitten in the image above.
If you want your thumb to match the mitten better, wind off a little bit of yarn after you’ve put the thumb gusset on hold, and before proceeding with the body of the mitt. You won’t need a lot of yarn (maybe 5m of worsted weight yarn?), it doesn’t take much to knit a thumb. When you go back to finish the thumb you can use the yarn you wound off and your thumb will blend in beautifully.
As a run-up to the holidays, I’ll be sharing lots of smaller projects that make great handmade gifts. Liane whipped up this cute beanie (which is a free pattern) on 9mm/US13 needles in like a day, and I think it turned out great! We used Fleece Artist Merino Stream, a super soft, super bulky weight single ply merino wool that hails from Nova Scotia.
The pattern is the Amelia Slouch Beanie, and it’s a freebie, which is always sweet. We made some modifications because it just feels wrong to cut corners. If you aren’t already familiar with the ins & outs of ribbing, 2×2 ribbing (k2, p2) is looser than stocking stitch and is usually worked on a needle 1mm smaller than normal.
- We cast on 44 sts on 8mm/US11 needles and worked ribbing according to the pattern.
- We increased 1 stitch after the ribbing (for a total of45 sts) and went up to a 9mm/US13 needles.
Baby Alpaca Braided Cable Hat
I made this Braided Cable Hat with super soft, super pretty Diamond Luxury Baby Alpaca Sport, and I have NO REGRETS! The baby alpaca looks sensational, it’s super soft, super fluffy and airy, and of course, it’s warm. The cables are simple, great for any skill level, and the pattern is a freebie, so that’s always a bonus too.
I topped it with a Raccoon Fur Pompom (size 16cm) – they’re my favourite because they are so light and fluffy, and don’t weigh down the hat too much. If you aren’t a fan of fur you can go with a faux-fur pom-pom, or go classic and make your own pom-pom – I swear by the Clover Pom-Pom Makers, they make BEAUTIFUL pom-poms! Whatever you choose, we sell them all and you can get everything in one place.
Overall, I’m super pleased with this project – it looks like a $200 hat, which isn’t bad for $20 worth of yarn. But beware, once you make one everyone you know will start putting in requests for one of their own!
I love combining colours, and this simple scarf is an easy way to experiment. It’s a free pattern (YAY!), and it isn’t very hard to knit. The colourwork is easy-peasy, you just hold 2 strands of the yarn together and change up the colour combinations at the pattern tells you. And if you are afraid of knitting with 2 strands held together, don’t be, it’s simple! If you want a wider scarf or a wrap, just add extra stitches to your pattern and made sure you centre the decreases in the middle.
We used light as air Malabrigo Lace on 4.5mm/US7 needles, and the finished scarf feels light (great for fall strolls through fallen leaves and apple picking). The pattern was written for fingering weight yarn, which would make a slightly sturdier garment suitable for a cold winter climate. We used semi-solid colourways, but I think it could look really beautiful using variegated/multicoloured yarns (I’d go 4 colours of Manos del Urugay Alegria). And of course, it could be a great way to use up some yarn in your stash.
If you’re tentative about choosing colours that will look nice together, I usually suggest picking a palette with colours in the same family, or close-ish to each other. Blues and greens go nice together, especially turquoise or teal. Blue and Purple, Red and orange or red and pink blend well, as do neutrals.
We finished the scarf after working the colourway twice (once was too short), and we could have kept on going, we still hard yarn left (I have put the yardage amounts in the Ravelry Project Page).
The sweater in the picture above is the Reversible Wrap by Jo Sharp.
NEW Urth Chunky Hat
YAY, a new freebie! A few weeks ago I knitted up a hat to show off this radiant yarn, Urth Uneek Chunky, and I couldn’t stop at just one. The yarn is soft as a cloud, snuggly, and knits up in stunning stripes all by itself. The pattern is simple, beginner friendly (once you’ve pinned down a scarf or two), it works up lickety-split, and only requires one skein. And did I mention, the pattern is FREE?!
Adult S(M, L) to fit head circumference 21(22, 23-24)”
- 1 skein Urth Uneek Chunky (100g/60m, 100% extra fine superwash merino)
- 10mm/US15 – 16” circular needles
- 12mm/US17 – 16” circular needles
- 12mm/US17 double pointed needles
- 1 jumbo stitch marker
- tapestry or darning needle
- FREE Pattern
- Ravelry Pattern Page
Simple Ribbed Hat
I just finished this neckwarmer for my nephew, and a hat to match with the leftover yarn. He’s five years old, and both the hat and neckwarmer used up a single skein of Urth Uneek Worsted. The yarn looks and feels FABULOUS, I’m exceedingly pleased with it. The Urth Uneek line of yarns definitely do not do themselves justice in the skein, the self-striping is divine!
I think the hat should fit (the recipient was reluctant to let me try it on him due to the absence of Lego Ninjago paraphernalia on it), but I managed to cram it on his head for a second before he swept it off. The neckwarmer definitely fit, he let that stay on for two whole seconds. You can read my project notes on Ravelry for all the size details. If you want to make a matching set for an adult you’ll need a second skein of yarn.
Handmaiden Casbah 5Ply Gradient Wrap Kits
Gradients are beautiful and harmonious, but some of us like a bit more COLOUR in our wardrobes (and our knitting). Our popular Handmaiden Casbah 5Ply Gradient Wrap Kits are now available in colour mixes. These kits are the same as their gradient siblings, they all come with 5 skeins of the same beautiful Casbah 5Ply cashmere blend and 2 patterns. They’re great for knitters of all skill levels, for beginner to more experienced, and make a great gift. The project requires 4mm/US6-36″circular needles (or longer), which are sold separately. Handmaiden Casbah 5ply is soft, squishy, and delicious to knit & wear!
Each kit comes with: