[EDITED to add a Note From The Future: Comment here to win a copy of the December 2009 Canadian Living issue mentioned here! All you have to do is Comment and tell me where you’re from and what your favourite thing to knit for winter is. 3 winners will be chosen. That’s right, 3! Share the warmth, baby. Comments accepted until Saturday morning at 10 am EST.]
I don’t know about you people, but something in my knitting impulse had a major shift this past weekend. Maybe it’s my rebound from the knitting ennui talking, but suddenly a few days ago I started looking at my yarn stash, and all of a sudden, knitting socks (as I’ve been doing a lot of lately) was not good enough. We’re talking mitts, gloves, sweaters, scarves, here. Anything and everything to add layers of warmth because, um…winter is going to be here soon.
Around here we’ve been granted a reprieve this week and the temps are still several degrees above zero, which means this is the perfect time to put in some time on the cold weather knits because I always end up in the trap of only knitting these things when I actually NEED them, which is of course far too late to start.
So it’s darned good timing for me to be able to announce my latest design, a jenn-you-wine published pattern for the December 2009 issue of Canadian Living magazine. Yesterday’s twisted stitch tutorial goes hand in hand with this pattern, as the ‘k1tbl, p1’ ribbing is exactly what starts off this pair of mitts. I present the ‘Mulled Wine Mitts’, available now in print, in the issue which hits newsstands today. (The only downside is that you can only get the pattern at the moment if you are in Canada, or have a subscription to Canadian Living, or can bribe someone to buy you a copy and send it to you. The upside is that because it’s Canadian Living, you also get whackloads of recipes and home tips and all sorts of useful things along with my wee pattern.)
Now, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there are one or two fingerless mitt patterns already out there. You may have already even knitted a pair or twelve as gifts, oh, right about this time of year in knitting seasons past. So when I got hooked up to design a pair for Canadian Living I said “Sure! Super fun challenge, I’d love to!” And then, I quietly panicked. “It’s all been done before,” I moaned to myself.
So I went and got some Malabrigo (like you do, when you want something warm and cozy on your hands), and started playing around with it, and got a first version. And then I made it less complicated and knitted it again. And then I changed one or two other things and knitted it again. And then the thumb wasn’t how I wanted it to look, so I knitted it again, and you know, now that they’re done, I rather like the result.
These mitts are simple enough to not require more than a week or two of off-and-on knitting (or a weekend for the speedy types), but interesting enough to keep you paying attention. There is a full thumb gusset – because I like thumb gussets – but the actual thumb itself is quite minimal which means that once you’ve cast off the palm, you’re practically done. They’re knitted in Malabrigo Silky Merino which is super soft and lofty, but because the double-moss stitch panels are done in twisted stitch, they will be a touch more snug and durable than if done in plain stockinette. And they are long enough to fit under the cuff of your sweater or jacket, which means they can keep that chill from going up your sleeve while you sit in your cold office or dash out to grab that newspaper maybe with your coat thrown over your pyjamas and clogs not that I would ever do that, though or whenever you find yourself needing a bit of insulation.
And, most importantly, because they only require a single skein of that delicious, delicious Malabrigo Silky Merino, they will let you splurge on some of that luxury yarn without having to break the bank. Of course, because they’re so soft and quick, you may need to either guard yours carefully or be prepared to make more for gifts. They may be hard to take off.
Also, may I say how pleased I am to be in the Canadian Living December issue, which always has whackloads of holiday recipes in it…this one, I have noticed, includes a holiday brunch menu offering recipes for not one, not two, but three different vodka/juice cocktails. Canadian Living food editors, I like your style.
In case that’s not enough reading for you today, Austen, the CL crafts point-woman was nice enough to do a little blog-style interview with me, and you can find further Ramblings Of Mine over on her post from today.
Enjoy, my friends! Stay tuned later, when I may just have to go off in search of extra newsstand copies for a blog giveaway. And, as always, may your Monday be as painless as possible, and may your knitting be waiting for you at home.