Noro knits

You’ve seen this scarf here before. If you search my blog for Jared Flood Noro Scarf you’ll find them all. All 12 others of them. Flood doesn’t take the credit for this design, but since he’s who wrote a pattern alternating between stripes from different skeins of Noro Silk Garden, I’m completely willing to give him full credit.

You just put your knitting on auto-pilot and let the beautiful Noro Silk Garden do it’s color-changing thing.

People sometimes like the look of the color combination enough to ask me what colorways I used. It’s these two: colorway 423

and colorway 373.

If you’re like me you look at these skeins and then you look at the resultant scarf and it’s hard to see how these skeins turned into this scarf. The magic of Noro. Just go with the flow, including sometimes the lack of flow when you encounter a knot and an abrupt color change. It works out…more or less.

If you’ve one skein of Silk Garden then Laura Aylor’s cute Dust Devils mitts might interest your needles. I actually used 1.15 skeins (57 grams) for mine because I lengthened the wrist and hand sections and widened the cuff. But they’re totally excellent if you decide to follow the pattern exactly.

Here’s another view of the same mitts, flipped over, knit in colorway 494.

This is SUCH a cleverly constructed pattern. They’re worked in the round so no seaming.

The pattern is exactly correct as written. If you think otherwise, respectfully, you’re mistaken. Maybe you miscounted in the short rows or missed or duplicated a row. (I did that a few times and had to rip back to start a section over.)

If you want your mitts to match mine, my modifications will lengthen (and widen) the cast-on and cuff. I cast on and knit the first 10 rounds of the cuff (section 1) in size 8 US needles. Then I moved down to a size 6 for the rest of the cuff and the body of the mitt. I knit 25 (not 18) rounds before working what appears as round 19 in the pattern.

I followed the pattern exactly after that except I also wanted to lengthen the body of the mitt and shape the top a bit more: I worked 11 garter stitch rounds in Section 6. In Round 4 of Section 6 I: K1, K2tog, K15, k2tog, K to the end. In round 10 I: K1, K2tog, K14, K2tog, K to the end. I know. None of that makes a bit of sense unless you’ve got stitches on your needles and are working the pattern.

I don’t want to offer so many tips that I make this pattern sound difficult. Because it isn’t. It’s just garter stitch and short rows. But. If you’re using doublepoints you’ll avoid holes by keeping the fabric from being stressed at the turns. That’s accomplished by redistributing the stitches more evenly on the needles. And in Section 4 at Round 16 the stitch count works by purling 15, then working the 14 bind-off stitches without disturbing the first 15 stitches. In other words, don’t use the 15th stitch as part of your bind-off.

All right. Too much hand holding. Here’s my second pair:

Now, flipped over to see more about how this colorway 213 worked out.

Some knitters’ Ravelry project pages are stressing about right side/wrong side. Honestly, I don’t get that. There’s so much going on with these colors and knitting switchbacks that I don’t see how that matters. They work well on hands. And each hand can wear either mitten.

These proved very interesting to my knitworthies who are younger than me and more hip. Gosh. Sort of everyone is younger and more hip than me.

More Mittens

Pretty sweet. It’s another pair of Becky Greene’s Granny Glitten’s Mittens. I enjoyed the knit, my 3rd pair, and the look. So I decided to knit a 4th pair almost immediately. For my purple pair I shortened the body of the mitten by a few rounds and lengthen the top a tad. A few more rounds of the last pattern improved the look of the tops of the mitts a bit. The pattern leaves room for knitter’s choice at a few points.

I knit both sets in Novita 7 Veljesta Solid. The yarn is 75% wool, 25% nylon. It’s described as an Aran but my sense is it’s a worsted weight.

Granny’s pattern is a Ravelry freebie. I very much enjoyed the knit. And I love the result. In fact, I’ve knit it twice before. It started life as a Mystery Knit-a-long (MKAL). And that’s how it’s ended its life too since it’s never been updated from the original multiple “clues” format. This very folksy home-style pattern has a few quirks (rather than mistakes). Plus a couple of minor errors that you’d figure out easily on your own. Here’s a link to my detailed Ravelry project notes in case you’re knitting the pattern and get stuck on something.

Greene was inspired to create this pattern because of a story in her mother’s childhood Christmas book. She recalls that the Granny Glitten story was about a grandmother who knit mittens to sell at Christmas to earn extra money. One year Granny’s yarn shop only had white yarn on offer so Granny needed to punt if her mittens would be as colorful as her customers expected. Her solution was to dye the white yarn with a series of ingredients from her pantry. Greene’s solution was to create a highly textured one-color mitten. It’s a pattern definitely worth a knitter’s time.

Next up was a special request knit. “Can you knit me a pair of those mittens where the tops pop off if you need to use your fingers?” A sincere kind ask from the knitworthy and I’ll give it a try.

These are Mary O’Keefe-Dockman’s Pop-Up Paws. The last time I knit a pair “Kelsey was a pup,” as Indiana-born Vivian used to say. I’ve decided not to link to this pattern on Ravelry because, although it’s attributed to Dockman, the pattern page links to a kit for sale that only includes a similar pattern by Nancy Lindberg. O-Keefe Dockman’s “Old Trail Yarns” shop appears to have closed circa 2010, so this pattern may be lost to the knitting universe except for those fortunate enough to own a copy of the booklet. Not to gloat, but being an old knitter does have its benefits!

I knit my Pop-Ups..well, Steve’s Pop-Ups, in Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted.

Steve very much likes his new mitts. The fit is good and he’s been wearing them almost daily since receiving them on Christmas morning.

Next up is a new mitten for me: Laura Aylor’s Cole Mountain Mittens. I knit mine in…all together now…Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted. Hard to imagine that my 66-skein Gartergantuan Blanket left me with any unknitted Lamb’s Pride skeins, but it did.

Cole Mountain Mittens have some excellent features that make it well worth forking over a few dollars to buy the pattern. In fact, I’m already planning a second knit since my neighbor selected this pair from my holiday pick-your-gift stash.

These mittens have what Aylor describes as “a tree bark textured back.” The bark stitch makes for a very warm dense mitten. The palms and thumbs are smooth. The pattern provides a small optional hole in the mitt so the index finger can wiggle out for texting and handling a phone. I decided not to include this feature in my pair.

Cole Mountain uses an unusual thumb technique. You use a smaller needle for the thumb (beyond the gusset) than for the rest of the mitt. I was skeptical but followed the pattern. The thumb fits well. The top is rather squared up. But with a bit of tugging it rounds out nicely. Plus, once on the hand, the shape of the top works out well.

Ok, stop laughing. These oddly shaped mittens are “Grandmother Vinson’s Little Red Mittens.” Except I made the adult size. And they’re clearly not red. Well, except for that one bit on the one top. The dabs of color weren’t my original plan, but I ran out of brown yarn.

The pattern is Theresa Vinson’s and her grandmother’s. Vinson recounts that, not long after she learned to knit, she came across a pair of little red mittens her grandmother knitted for her when she was a child. She studied the mittens and figured out how grandma worked the mitts. The “Accessories” edition of Cast-On’s 2002 magazine published the pattern. Cast-On is the quarterly publication of The Knitting Guild Association (TKGA). If you need this pattern, maybe TKGA can help you find a copy of the magazine.

The alternating garter stitch and “welt” stitch continue around the entire mitten. They’re as warm as can be. Especially knit in my huge fav Lamb’s Pride Worsted.

I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t get anyone to pick these mittens from my gift stash. It was those stickin’ pointy tops, even though the points (pretty much) disappear once fingers are nested inside. So these mittens are still looking for a home. I like them and may keep them for myself. With the thermostat turned down to keep our bedrooms cool for sleeping, I have been known to slide my hands into mittens (and my feet into hand knit socks or slippers) for some extra warmth. My bed covers do not laugh at my hand knits.