Of all the years, this is one where I feel most dramatically like WAIT! I haven’t even knitted anything from last year’s Favorite New Favorites yet! I’ve gone back to the patterns on that list over and over this year, and several I’ve continued to go on about during 2018, and yet somehow it’s already time to look back through this year’s and pull out the ones I most fervently want to not lose track of.
It was a really good year in knitting patterns, better than I even realized. To scroll back through the year’s New Favorites (which I recommend!) is to witness a lot of ingenuity and beauty, and yet there are loads of things I saved on Ravelry that haven’t even made it onto the blog. (Yet.) Trying to narrow it to the ones I simply admired the most, I was at risk of putting about 40 or 50 patterns into this post. So I decided to limit myself to just 12 patterns for the year: the ones I’d most like to actually knit and have. Which also means this could function as a queue for the coming year — if only people would stop with the new distractions!
Simply based on how many times I’ve typed the words Carbeth Cardigan this year — and the fact that I did cast one on during my flight to Palm Springs last week — it’s clearly the pattern that bored the deepest hole into my brain this year. And then there are the ones I actually made: Grete and Hozkwoz.
Next up in this week’s short series of quick gift-worthy knits: fingerless mittts! My favorite snack-sized knitting. Mitts are beloved by all (or at least most!), although they can be a little more knitting than yesterday’s hats, due to there being two of them and all. But if you have a little more time—
TOP: Giving Mitts by Jenny Sauselein — look it’s right there in the name! I absolutely love these striped unisex cuties [UPDATE! And I somehow failed to notice they’re written for Lettlopi, so if you’ve got assorted balls for Solbein/Steekalong swatching, this is the perfect use for them!)
SECOND, LEFT+RIGHT: Log Cabin Mitts by yours truly — but really, what could be more perfect? They’re addictively fun to knit, the perfect use for leftovers or mix-and-match skeins, and lend themselves to an endless array of solids or color combinations (free pattern)
THIRD: McKenna by the Berroco Design Team are super-simple cable mitts at bulky gauge (free pattern)
FOURTH: Weekend Walking Mitts by Dianna Walla are a little bit more of a commitment at DK gauge but still cabled only on the back of the hand, this time with a helpful foldover top and a bit more of a wow factor (For superbulky gauge, see Dianna’s Chuckanut Drive)
If you’re really pressed for time — like Christmas Eve knitting — the cutest, quickest mitts are Hannah Fettig’s 70 Yard Mitts.
There are 410 finished pairs of Log Cabin Mitts logged in Ravelry at this moment, and only 7 of them are mine! There were the originals, the heather grey, the ebony and ivory, the toffee, the black-and-bluish, the mountain mist and now these, at long last. These are knitted in Pioneer from Verb (natural and indigo), one of my all-time favorite yarns, and have been awaiting their thumbs since March or April only because of the indigo dye. As much as I love it, indigo does get on your fingers when you work with it. It washes right off, of course, and sets when you block it. But it means it’s not a project you can toss in your tote to finish on a flight or whatever. Anyway, they were totally worth the wait, in their lovely indigo asymmetry.
The way we all feel about sweater season is how I also feel about fingerless mitts season. My hands are just happier when clad in wool, and these are really my favorite of allllll the mitts. I’ve been wearing the toffee pair nonstop since it cooled off, and there’s just something magical about the way the garter ridges of the log cabin patterning makes them mold just so to your hands.
Of the 7 pair I’ve finished, I’ve given away 2 and have an eighth in progress, with no doubt more to follow. I mentioned before that this collection of mitts feels like some kind of deeply personal art project I can’t explain. But I’m so happy to be back to it!
Raise your hand if you thought I would go another month without casting on a sweater. Anyone? Not me. I contented myself with that dickey for a little bit, and have been test-knitting my own mitts pattern — the Cascara Mitts they’re called — which Tolt is publishing on Saturday as part of their 5th-anniversary collection. (I’ll be at the store/party on Saturday and am actually teaching this pattern on Sunday but the class is sold out!) And I think Bob recognized an opportunity and rushed into the void, requesting a sweater vest for himself, and even picking out the yarn — the skein of Plucky Knitter’s Yakpaca that I bought at Stitches West earlier this year. He’s convinced that since it’s a vest, it won’t be overly warm for him; I’m dubious but I love the man so I’ll knit the vest and hope! I’ll be using Churchmouse’s simple little His Vest pattern, but probably raising the neck a tiny bit.
I do think I’m narrowing in on a final decision for my next sweater, but in the meantime I want to focus on Bob’s vest and on finishing up the unfinished:
It had been my plan to do these things for Slow Fashion October, but I have had myself stretched wayyyy too thin for that. Fortunately, they’ve all been waiting patiently for both me and the weather, which has more or less arrived, so I’m excited to tackle it all.
I’m in a hospital waiting room today as my husband is having some outpatient surgery. Nothing to be alarmed about (although all positive thoughts beamed toward Nashville are mightily welcome!), but I’m just not sure how much blogging I might get done this week since my focus will be on him. I’m sure many of you are thinking it’s been absolutely ages since you’ve gotten to see a pair of Log Cabin Mitts, so I’m leaving you with my latest pair. These got their thumbs on just in time to travel to Stitches West with me and get fondled by countless curious knitters along with the rest of the stack. (Those present having been the originals, ebony-and-ivory, toffee, these and the ones in progress — the grey ones were given to a friend.) This is leftover Shelter in Fossil and Newsprint, carried over from previous pairs, along with leftovers from my blue Bellows-in-waiting, and I absolutely love the interplay of the b/w and the blue/purple/green Harrisville tweed. These might be the last symmetrical pair for a minute — I’m headed into the asymmetrical part of the sketch pile.
Meanwhile, I’ve got my work cut out for me choosing winners from the #fringeandfriendslogalong feed, where there’s a daunting abundance of creativity and gorgeousness. Remember it isn’t technically necessary to be finished with your project — all of the prize details are here — but you can’t win if you don’t enter, which you can do by posting to the feed, i.e. by using the hashtag. (Photos do have to be appearing in the feed in order to be eligible, so if you have a private account, either switch it public for a few days or make a separate account just for sharing your log cabin pics). I’ll do my best to get it done between now and the end of the week, and will be back just as quick as I can—
So you know how I’ve been using these Log Cabin Mitts as a way to finally knit up some of the incredible skeins I have sitting around on shelves and in bins? Obviously one of the first ones I reached for is this delicious toffee-colored wool I bought from what was then TN Textile Mill (previously and once again Shutters & Shuttles) at Porter Flea in late 2016. The yarn had been custom-milled for a project that didn’t come to fruition and I’ve been intermittently pestering Allison ever since about what would happen to it. (If you don’t know, Allison now works part-time at Fringe Supply Co. keeping the trains running.) Today I’m thrilled to announce that I was able to acquire the remaining skeins from her and they’re for sale in the shop! This is the DK weight in Toffee, but there’s also a chunky weight, and both weights are available in Toffee and Black. Obviously supply is inherently limited, and I’ve hoarded some for myself! So get it while it lasts, whatever you may opt to use it for.
In other news, I’m off to Stitches West for the weekend (first time since I moved away), where I’ll be alternately roaming the show floor and hanging out by the big Fringe display in the A Verb for Keeping Warm booth (917/919), so if you’re there, please say hi! Verb will have a full range of Fringe goods, including a stack of the limited-edition Mini Porters, and they’ve also made up exquisite little mini-skein bundle Log Cabin Mitts Kits! If you aren’t at the show, they’ve made a small number of kits available on their website.
Have a great weekend — I look forward to seeing some of you! — and I’ll be back on Monday.
In looking through all the fingerless glove patterns I’ve made note of lately, and zeroing in on these faves among faves of the textured variety, I noticed three of the four have a proportion in common that I love — slightly longer than usual at both ends, for a healthy amount of coverage and extra cozy appearance. The fourth pair goes even farther! And yet I love the variation in forms of knitting these represent—
TOP: Heyworth by Melissa Schaschwary have a simple allover knits-and-purls texture