Snowfling Mitts, Version 2

Two years ago around this same time of year, I purchased the Snowfling Mitts kit from Tanis Fiber Arts and knit up these fantastic mittens.

snowfling mittsAnd over the last two years they have been some of my most used mittens. Made in stranded colorwork and lined with a cashmere blend, you can surely understand why — they are very warm and very soft! With all the use they are holding up remarkably well, but my darling daughter has taken a liking to them. Our daily walks began to require wheeling and dealing to see which of us would get to wear them. And if you know anything about me when it comes to sharing my knitwear, you’ll know I was often left hunting for a different pair.

As I’ve mentioned, on my little birthday getaway trip to Spin of Door County I picked up some Madelinetosh DK & Pashmina so I could set about making myself another pair. I opted to make them one of my goals for my One Plus One Plus One Project this quarter and thus gave myself both permission and incentive to get them knitted up.

img_1842-1And that’s just what I’ve done!

img_2230Of course, once I start with colorwork I can never put it down. I worked both of the outer mitts first…

img_2257And then quickly moved on to the linings.

And now they’re done!

topsideI absolutely adore the mix of different snowflakes on the top of the hand. Personally, I don’t think the light blue/grey blend of the Cloud colorway could be any more perfect.

palmAnd the simple starry design on the palm is just like a light snow. I was aiming to be just a bit more relaxed with my gauge with these than the first pair in order to make them just a smidge roomier and I’m happy to report that my plan worked out perfectly and this pair is just exactly the size I wanted. I also diverged from the pattern in that this time around I went with the designer’s original impulse and made the picot edge the darker color. I opted for the darker edge partly just to try something a little different and partly because — I’ll be honest — the black/grey won’t show the dirt & wear the way the light blue/grey would. Oh, and instead of sewing the picot edge down I picked it up and knitted it at its turning point just to avoid the sewing. It’s not and neat and tidy as a sewn picot edge, BUT it saved me some time and it really isn’t noticeable when you’re actually wearing them.

As for the lining…

peekI’m not usually one to be very creative or, you know, skilled when it comes to pairing and coordinating colors. I usually seek (a lot) of help for this task, but when I saw the “Byzantine” colorway, I knew it could be no other way for these mitts.

snowfling insideoutI can say nothing more than I whole-heartedly adore how they turned out.

As they were off the needles, I laid them next to my computer so I could admire them while I got some work done. Within moments, my daughter sauntered up to have a look. She tried them on and said,

“Mom, can I have these? I really think they fit me perfectly.”

(For the record, remember they are a little big on me and she is 8).

I replied, “Oh, but I made these for me so you could have my red ones with the white snowflakes. You know, the ones you are always borrowing because you love them so much.”

(She pauses to admire my precious mittens.)

“No, I really think I should have these new ones.”

And with that she took it off and walked away.

We haven’t revisited the topic yet. It’s anyone’s guess how it’ll go down, but I’m guessing that the most likely outcome is that we’ll negotiate into some sort of scenario in which we share the two pairs. I won’t ever complain or deny my kiddos my knitwear, but for certain special projects I think I’ll always reserve the right to make them share with me.


Q1: The One Plus One Plus One Project

Yesterday I shared the One Plus One Plus One Project that I’m going to work on this year and I invited each of you to join me should you like. While it’s open to let each of us set our own goals (based on the number 3, of course), for myself I’ve opted to set my goal at a minimum of 3 projects per quarter: 1 sweater, 1 ‘other’ knitted item, and 1 finished handspun skein. As I said, I fully intend to complete more than this each quarter, but my hope is that I’ll earmark certain special projects that I really want to accomplish and — in some cases — give myself an excuse to prioritize.

Today, I thought I’d share what my Q1 projects will be. Fun, right?!

Drum roll please….(because I’m stinking excited!)

img_1841Ta-Da! So much yarn & fiber-y goodness!

First up –the sweater — is one I’ve had on my radar for a long time…

img_1834Agnes by Melissa LaBarre. Using Quince & Co Puffin in Sabine for the main color and Quince & Co Osprey in Bird’s Egg for the pockets this is one I really want to finish soon so I can luxuriate in its coziness. It would simply be a tragedy to have this yarn sitting in my stash for another year!

Second — the ‘other’ knitted item — is one you’ll recognize from another recent post…

img_1842A pair of Snowfling Mitts by Tanis LaVallee using Tosh DK in Cloud and Leopard for the outer colors and Tosh Pashmina in Byzantine for the lining. These will be a treat on so many levels!

And third — the finished handspun yarn — is going to be a true labor of love…

img_18404oz each of Polwarth/Silk in Agate & Hearts of Hearts and 4oz of BFL/Silk in Dirty Girl Redux all from Three Waters Farm. A 12oz spinning project is pretty big for me, but this is one that was love at first sight when Mary Ann from Three Waters Farm shared the inspiration photo on Instagram. I’ve been saving it for a special day and the One Plus One Plus One Project has given me the perfect excuse to just go for it.

The plans are set — now all I have to do is free up on my wheel, finish up a couple small knitting projects, and wind up some yarn. Talk about some serious motivation!

A Christmas Confession

Dear friends, I have such a confession to make.

Remember all those gifts I was knitting away on before the holiday? Well… I’m so sad to report that I pretty much wholly failed to get finished object photos of them. In the end, it was all I could do to get them dried & wrapped on time. Rather than be a pain & ask the recipients to temporarily give their gifts back so I could photograph them or — worse yet — pose with them, I just let them go.

I’m the first to admit that where this could have been a colorful & exciting post, it might be a little anticlimactic, but I wanted to share the details of my holiday knitting anyway. The projects were really lovely to work on and well received, so I want to tell you about them. Even more importantly, at the heart of everything I write about here on the blog is knitting and spinning in my honest to goodness real life. And in real life, some times you run out of time to take pretty pictures. And that’s ok.

I’ll start with the Wanderer Mukluks.

Somehow I have zero color photos of these (I’m so sorry!), so you will have to trust me when I say that they were earthy and gorgeous in color. I knit them in a very light brown-grey and a deep chocolate brown. For those interested in the specifics, I used Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted in the Echo & Chocolate colorways that I purchased from Eat. Sleep. Knit. I picked this yarn largely because it is machine washable and thus care is easy as I knew my sister-in-law would appreciate it. I actually machine washed and dried them prior to giving them away¬† and the wash & dry made them even softer than they were originally. I will definitely keep this pattern & yarn in mind for future projects.

Next was Fractal Danger.

img_1689And for this one, at least I have some color WIP photos…

img_1688As you can see, it’s a rich, rich red — a skein of travelknitter Tanami 4ply Camelsilk to be specific which I received through my subscription to The Golden Skein. Made of a blend of 50% camel and 50% silk, this yarn drapes like no one’s business and is soft and utterly delectable. My mom knits shawls and scarves for herself a lot, so I was on the fence about whether or not to knit this project, but when I recalled this skein in my stash I went for it. It’s a luxury she wouldn’t usually get for herself and the classic red is a color she’s been enjoying lately. I went for it and it wasn’t lost on me that she put it on as soon as she opened it and wore it the whole day.

Of course, I did share the hats I made for my kiddos.

img_1807This is the Hipster by Tin Can Knits in Tanis Fiber Arts Green Label in the Poppy colorway. I had plenty of yarn so I went with the slouchy fit for my son just for something different for him. I can tell he’s a little unsure of the different fit, but then again he’s often resistant to change. I won’t lie, we are always working to expand his comfort zone so as silly as it might sound I thought this would be another nice and easy inroad into relaxing his rigid ways.

Then there was the Everyday Brew by Clare Devine.

img_1808I made the ribbing generous and knitted it to the slouchy specifications so my daughter could wear the brim folded back…

img_1809Like so!

My girl often is the first to get chilly when we’re out in the cold and this toasty hat is her new favorite to stay warm. I knit the gauge a little on the tight side, so this Malabrigo Chunky (leftover from her Little Miss Charming sweater) is extra cozy. Like my mom & her Fractal Danger, my girl put this hat on as soon as she opened it and wore it all day.

I also managed to whip up a quick moebius cowl for my mom.

img_1757This is based loosely off of a pattern I wrote for a moebius cast-on class I used to teach. My mom’s sister passed away a little over two years ago and when she did she had just started knitting this cowl. As her family went through the process of sorting her things, this project landed in my hands. At first it was a little too sad to touch, it was still on her needles with her stitches and inside the bag with it was a little note inside the bag reminding her to talk with me about it when we next met. Shortly before the holiday, I came across this though and I decided that it was time to finish this project for her and it seemed only right to give it to my mom. I finished it Christmas night and gave it to my mom the next morning. It feels good to have finally finished this project and my mom seemed happy to receive it.

And somewhere, in the spare and random moments in between everything else, I finished a project for myself.

cafediem2Remember this skein of Three Waters Farm BFL in the Cafe Diem colorway that I’d spun into a skein of 2-ply yarn? Well, I managed to find time to participate in the Three Waters Farm Behm-along and create what may be a new favorite scarf/shawlette…

knit upMeet Easy by Martina Behm. This is quite possibly one of the most enjoyable easy knits I’ve ever worked on. For me it was total cruise-control knitting and I was able to just enjoy watching the colors of this beautiful yarn unfold…

detailBecause my yardage was a little on the short side and my yarn a little on the heavy side, I went up to a US size 8 needle. Because this pattern works off of the knitter finding the halfway point via weight, it’s easily adjustable for such modifications and lets you use every last bit of treasured skeins. I tried a little too hard to squeeze every last bit from this skein actually cutting myself short and subsequently ended up ripping back to the midway point plus a couple rows to be able to finish properly. After this experience, I’d recommend being a little less cavalier and a little more conservative when it comes to locating the mid-way point of your skein, but thankfully I enjoyed this knit enough that I totally didn’t mind re-knitting half of it.

And that, my friends, is the entirety of my holiday knitting (I think). I’ve got a Christmas Eve cast-on, a finished skein of handspun, some birthday shenanigans, a new finished shawl, and some travel knitting to share, but I’ll save that for another day. For now, I’d just like to say that whatever your last week brought your way, I truly hope you were happy and healthy, that your handknits were received with love, and that you found a little time to create something for yourself, too.