If in doubt, add colour

This Sunday my local yarn shop Handknit Yarn Studio held the first meeting of their current Knitalong, which this time around is for stranded colour-work mittens. They held the kick-off meeting at a nearby cafe because so many people had joined up that it was too many people to fit in the store itself. I went along to help out with any colour-work knitting tips as might be helpful at the time, but also to hang out and be knitterly which is good fun on a Sunday morning any week of the year if you ask me. And everyone seemed to be having a great time, even in their great focus and concentration! Knitted mitts are serious business this time of year, man, we’ve still got a solid 2 more months worth of mitten-wearing time (if we’re lucky and don’t get more than that, anyway!)

(Note: I sadly do not know what knitted patterns are being worn in this photo, mea culpa!)



I didn’t cast on for a new mitten pattern at the same time, tempting though it might have been. I’m trying to finish up a couple of other projects and while the temptation to start something new is very high indeed at this time of year, I am resolved to get something – maybe even more than one something – finished in January so that February can have some fresh and enjoyable new cast-on projects while winter still lingers.



Instead I brought along my colour-work in-the-round-swatch that has been going on for about a year and a half now. I use it when I teach stranded colour-work and have just continued it and changed up the colours every so often, so that eventually it will get long enough that I’ll join it up as a cowl. My only real scheme of things is to keep one colour/hue and one neutral Β on each round, but other than that it’s all scraps from my leftovers of worsted weight yarn mingling together.



I even sat down after I got home and added a few more rounds of colour to it, and am reminding myself that it’s for leftovers and practice and doesn’t need to be rushed – it’ll grow and get prettier at its own little pace. When in doubt, play with a bit of colour, I say.

Happy knitting this fine Monday! I hope you’re knitting on something excellent.







  1. Jennifer C · ·

    Maybe whoever is wearing those pretty gray mitts will see your post and share the pattern with us πŸ™‚

  2. Annette (the wearer of the mitts!) · ·

    Thanks for making Sunday so informative! You had some great tips! The pattern in the photo is Brooklyn Tweed’s “Hedge Mittens “

  3. Great post today! Annette, thank you for the Hedge Mittens info. They are really lovely!


  4. That “swatch”/cowl is going to be gorgeous when you finally deem it long enough to finish off. And that gives me ideas for what to do for samples in my Beginning Hardanger classes — I’m getting tired of stitching the same thing along with my students every session, but doing a bell pull type thing would work nicely, I think. πŸ˜€ Thank you!

  5. Wendy Walker · ·

    Well, aren’t you fabulous! I want to take part in a knitalong too. Sundays are the day for me!

  6. Diane ble · ·

    I am always ready to read what pearls of wisdom you are sharing. I also watched the magic loop system for small rounds and found it to be logical except for how to know where you ended as you fall asleep. Do you have a special method to know where you stopped? Thanks again.

  7. Those are the Hege Mitts from Brooklyn Tweed Springtime Thaw.

  8. Jennifer C. · ·

    Thank you Annette, wearer of the mitts! They looked very pretty on you πŸ™‚

  9. Adding colour is a wonderful touch. Your swatch is beautiful.

  10. Looks like a wonderful meeting. I wish there was something like that where I live. And there’s cake too! Doesn’t get much better than that.

  11. Angela Hickman · ·

    That swatch cowl is genius! I don’t think I have the patience/desire for a big swatch blanket, but a colourwork swatch cowl? That I could absolutely handle!

  12. It looks like everyone in the group was wearing neutrals — black or gray or white!

  13. That table looks soooo inviting. Can I pull up a chair? BTW, in that last picture of your knitting, what sort of needles are those please? Thanks! x

  14. Oh those colors!

  15. Fair Isle has been my knitting drug of choice this week πŸ˜€

  16. I love that idea for using scraps of yarn. I kept telling myself to do that with my scrap sock yarn, but ended up giving it to a local charity cupboard. There are so many people in my area that can’t afford nice yarn and they are very happy to get their hands on it! Stay warm!!

  17. I, too, love your colour-work in-the-round-swatch. That is going to be a beautiful cowl. I need to start my own.

  18. This looks great! I like the close up of the knit-purl pattern after the new mitten pattern comment. I wish there were knitting clubs like yours where I live.

  19. I have been trying to get back into Fair Isle knitting lately, so I enjoyed your post. I have done it off and on, mostly on hats, but I have never felt like I mastered it the way I have for other types of knitting. However, I have a pair of Beth Brown-Reinsel’s Nordic Mittens and Eunny Jang’s Ivy League Vest started from years ago. I am determined that this will be the year I finish both of them and finally feel like I know my stuff when it comes to knitting with two colors. πŸ™‚ I like your idea for using up scrap yarn. What a great way to practice stranded knitting.

  20. Love those Hedge Mitts! Also love the idea of your colorwork swatch-eventually-to-be-a-cowl —- perfect for teaching.

  21. […] Colour for colour’s sake. On Sunday afternoon I spent a few rounds on my colour-work demonstration swatch-turned-future-cowl, and it was […]

  22. Debra Manahan · ·

    Note the correct spelling of the Brooklyn Tweed arm warmers; “Hege” mitts.

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