Warm hands, warm heart

This time every year I write a post to showcase patterns for mittens, mitts, and gloves.  This weekend it has been cold and blustery and definitely feels like winter is in the air.  It’s a good time to be wearing (and knitting) warm, wooly mittens.  Here is my roundup of eight great patterns that will keep your hands warm and stylish.

Oak Hollow by Dianna Walla

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© Paper Tiger

Dianna released this pattern last week, and I love the way it makes you think of beautiful, crisp fall days, and trees burnished in gold.  It’s a really lovely pattern and I must admit that I have already been rummaging through my stash to try to find just the right shade of gold to knit up these beauties.

Prairie Star Gloves by Outi Cater

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© The Knitter Magazine

I’ve yet to knit a pair of gloves, but this design is enough to tempt me.  The pattern is published in issue 143 of The Knitter magazine.   The Ravelry project page states that: “The stitch pattern echoes the designs of traditional 19th century American patchwork quilts.”  I love that she gets such a rich pattern with just four shades.

Jimi Hendrix by Lotta Lundin

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© Lotta Lundin

I love these mittens.  The reverse side is cool too (with peace signs).  Doug saw Jimi live on September 7, 1968 at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver.  Somewhere there are photos of Doug and friends from that concert.   We saw Nigel Kennedy do a 40th anniversary tribute to Jimi at Ronny Scotts in September 2010 (Jimi played at Ronnie Scotts on the night he died).  I wish I’d had a chance to see Jimi live, but I can wear the mitts as a consolation prize.

Hafgufa Mittens by Heather Desserud

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© Heather Desserud

This pattern is actually from 2018, but published in mid-December, after I did last year’s mitten round-up.  I think these are so cute, with the giant krakens lurking beneath the waves and the unsuspecting Viking ships sailing above.  I think Heather has made such a clever and whimsical design.  “Hafgufa” is apparently an Icelandic name for an ancient sea monster.

Skog Mitts by Claire Walls

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© Claire Walls

Sometimes simple is best.  I really like the simple but elegant pattern and shape of these mitts.  This pattern is from Making Magazine Issue 8/ FOREST.  They would knit up really fast in DK yarn and be a great weekend project.  I can imagine a pair to match every coat.

Lakrits Mittens by Emilia Jensen

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© Emilia Jensen

I have a thing for black and white geometrical designs (there are quite a few in these mitten posts).  I love this bold design and how it pops out at you.  I also love the bright colours at the cuffs.  There is a matching hat, too, with a fantastic crown so be sure to check it out.

Brackthaw Mittens by Faye Kennington

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© Faye Kennington

I think these are completely lovely mittens.  They remind me so much of the Pacific Northwest, and long walks through the snow-covered forest.  The designer lives in a remote corner of Vancouver Island, and she has really captured that part of the world with this design.  Stay with me while I go turn on the fireplace and get some hot chocolate….

Chardon Mittens by Virginia Sattler-Reimer

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© Virginia Sattler-Reimer

Virginia has been turning out some lovely mitten and hat patterns the past few years.  I love the colours in this – three shades of purple and three of green really make the pattern pop.  I think it would also look good in greys and yellows.  There is a matching hat as well, so you can keep your hands and your ears warm, and look great at the same time.

That’s all for this round-up, but if you want to go back and look at previous years’ mitten posts, you can find them here (not in order):

Here’s wishing you a happy weekend, good knitting, and warm hands.

 

Wouldn’t it be gloverley?

I have been doing a fair bit of knitting lately which has not yet made its way onto the pages of this blog.  (Perhaps this is due to my photographer and blog collaborator/instigator having moved half way around the globe to attend university?)  I have finished knitting Ravi, and think it will work out just fine.  It still needs to be blocked, however, so it will be another week before I manage to post it as I can only take photos on the weekends now that the days are shorter.  Don’t worry: I will post a complete report.  I have also made not one, not two or three, but four small projects in the past weeks which I hope to tell you about soon.  Since I am not going to report on my knitting progress here, I will instead tell you about a great designer in an interesting niche market.

Let me start by noting, I have cold hands.  As soon as the weather starts to turn chilly, my hands become icicles and stay that way until June comes around.  One would think, given that my hands are perpetually cold and that I am perpetually knitting, that I would have dozens of pairs of hand knitted gloves, mittens and mitts.  You would think wrong.  I have always been too addicted to sweater knitting, and despite my best intentions, I never get around to knitting things like hats, scarves, mitts, and socks.  This year, however, I am determined. I will knit mitts! I will have warm hands!!

I have spent the past few weeks trying to narrow down my search for the perfect hand knit accessories for the hand.  I have primarily focused on fingerless knits for two reasons.  First, because my hands are always cold at work, where I spend most of the day at the keyboard typing away.  So I need mitts that will look classy and suitable for the office but that will leave my fingers free for typing.  Second, the thought of knitting gloves has always put me off.  All of those fingers!  Imagine actually knitting five fingers for each glove, all of those tiny stitches on tiny DPNs, all of those threads to weave in!

However, one look at the designs of Julia Mueller of Laris Designs may turn any knitter into a glove fanatic.  (Or cause any glove fanatic to take up knitting!)  Julia  pretty much exclusively designs gloves.  She has a few patterns for mitts or mittens, or other items, but she is primarily a knit designer of gloves.  And her gloves are wonderful.  I should note that her webpage is fairly outdated and she doesn’t seem to have published any new designs this year.  She does, however, have an active Ravelry group (Laris Designs) and enough glove patterns to keep you busy knitting for a good while.

Given the glove fixation with five (for obvious reasons), I have picked five of her glove designs to show you here.  It was very difficult to pick my five favorites; in fact this list changes daily.  But here are five absolutely fabulous designs from Julia Mueller.  First off, Three Oaks:

I think this is just beautiful.  I have a lovely brown dress coat for the winter, and these would be perfect with it in this exact colour and yarn.  Or, if you are into more avant-garde designs, how about the cooky, crazy Blue Hands:

If you have access to Ravelry (and if you don’t, you should), check out the lovely examples of Blue Hands that are there.  People have knit them in many different colour combinations and they are seriously cool.  I particularly like the more organic combinations, using deep rusts and browns and blues.

This next design is called Arkema, and combines knitting and beading with some beautiful cabling:

Doug says this design looks very architectural and art deco.  It would be a great design for learning new techniques; there are so many great knitted features here for a knitter trying to expand their skills.

The design called Morgan incorporates a lace up ribbon:

Isn’t it beautiful?  And, of course, you could have ribbons in many different colours, allowing you to instantly change the look of the glove.  And you could have velvet ribbons, sparkly ribbons, lacy ribbons….. there are endless possibilities here.  Plus, the patterning on the glove is cool. I love how the cable goes right up the middle finger.

I saved my favorite for last.  This is the pattern called Eve:

It is one of Julia’s earlier patterns.  I have had it in my queue on Ravelry since 2010.  I love everything about this design.  (And I love it in green!  This green!  Isn’t it great?)  I have always intended to start with this one, if I ever manage to get over my glove knitting phobia.  But now, I don’t know – it’s so hard to choose.

I really love the way that Julia has taken a very small and very restricted canvas – the hand – and really pushed it.  In her hands (get it?) the glove is imbued with creativity, technical skill and engineering.