Wishmakers

Earlier this month, I shared a special skein of handspun that my friend Jennifer sent me. It happened to be her birthday a couple weeks ago and while I was late in shipping her gifts, the idea began in the beginning of August when I first saw Erica Heusser’s Wishmaker Mitts pattern. I knew so instantly that I had to make these for Jennifer that I immediately bought the pattern and ordered the recommended yarn, Magpie Fibers Domestic Fingering from Tolt Yarn & Wool. Normally I try to find substitutes locally, but my mind was made up at first glance with this pattern.

I then embarked on my 3 project program to achieve my best possible colorwork. Come to think of it, I haven’t shared project two yet — whoops! Soon I promise! In any case, with the Wishmaker Mitts in (or should I say “on”) the hands of their intended recipient, I can now share them with you.

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Jennifer loves greens and browns and is an avid gardener, so I had to go that route, of course.

 

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The Harpoon colorway — the brown — is definitely very subdued and understated and I dare say it doesn’t stand out to show off the detail all that well, but the colors are correct for Jennifer, I think, and I wouldn’t change them.

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The green and grey are called Norwegian Wood and Alloy, respectively. I do really love the fluid artistry of Heusser’s designs. You may not remember, but the Passerine Hat I made a couple of years ago was hers as well. It’s the organic, free-flowing design that I so love. It feels like such a welcome departure from the more traditional applications of Nordic design. But at the same time, when paired with…

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The simple & traditional styling on the palms of these mitts — well, I just find them divine all around.

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Even the thumb, the details are just lovely.

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It’s definitely fair to say I had as much fun knitting them as I did giving them away. The pattern is very well-written and easy to follow. There are some longer floats requiring trapping in the colorwork, but nothing out of character from what you’d expect in such a project. The yarn was a perfect match for the project, too, and because it’s available in mini-skeins, there is not a lot of leftover yarn which is often the case with colorwork projects.

Normally I don’t knit for other knitters, knowing that for fellow crafters the act of making is more than half the fun. These, though, as I said earlier, just seemed like something I needed to make for my friend from the moment I saw them. And as I knitted, I was reminded that with gift knits, we knit our thoughts and memories and hopes and — wishes — for the recipient into the items we create. When we knit or spin or create for others, I think that’s a detail only fellow crafters really grasp entirely and thus it’s a special thing when crafters exchange their handiwork — like these mitts or the skein of yarn I received earlier this month or specially hand-dyed yarns. There is a depth there in the giving not just of a talent, but it is truly a part of your heart & mind that you are giving.

I packaged up the Wishmaker Mitts last week, as I almost always do, in simple white tissue paper. And I grabbed a special braid of fiber to go along with them. And off they went with a note reminding my good friend that they are “wishmaker” mitts, therefore when she puts them on, a wish should definitely be made just as wishes and good tidings are infused in every stitch. It seems only right and appropriate, don’t you think?

 

Better & Better

I finished my Sixareen Cape three months ago. I have since been waiting to remember to get my husband to snap a few photos of it on. This morning, I am thinking it’s time to just share it without photos of it modeled in the interest of not letting any more time pass without acknowledging its completion.

sixareen1Here it is!

(Just humor me and overlook that it needs to be reblocked — the edges aren’t quite all they could be in this photo, but I really wanted to get the finished cape up here)

I really love how the colors came together (hats off to the ladies at Cream City Yarn for helping me make the final decisions on them).  The Quince & Co Finch was also an inspired pairing for this pattern. I highly recommend this yarn for colorwork — not as ‘grippy’ as a more rustic fiber, but the crispness of the stitch definition is beautiful for showcasing the colorwork stitching.

fixed detailNope, not kidding at all on that point.

Overall, this was a joy to knit & turned out beautifully. Anyone who is interested in the challenge of a large-scale colorwork project will love the Sixareen Cape. I really enjoyed the knitting. My only trouble is one that has nothing to do with the yarn, design, or pattern writing.  My problem is that from the time I started this project in March to today my swimming routine has drastically slimmed and reduced the size of my upper arms (we’re talking over an inch shaved off per arm) & upper body, so the fit leaves something to be desired. Admittedly roomier than I would prefer — it’s clear my new measurements would require at least one size down, it takes a bit of work to style it so that it looks right on me. While not ideal and despite the fact that I’m pretty fussy about my work & how it turns out, I’m willing to take the trade on a slightly less than perfect fit on this project for better health. And you really can’t deny that it is beautiful & cozy regardless.

sixareen wavingWith the temps dipping below freezing nightly now this cape will be getting a lot of use especially when I’m sipping coffee in the mornings, so perhaps my taking my sweet time posting this is more time appropriate than I originally thought. Oh, and did I mention that if I calculated correctly, I should have enough yarn leftover to be able to whip up one of Kate Davies’ colorwork hats? Yeah, it does just get better & better.

For details on my Sixareen Cape, check out my Ravelry project page.