Mittens from the mitten state


This pair of mittens is Anne Bosch’s Wisconsin Warmer Mittens. The pattern’s available on the Blackberry Ridge Woolen Mills site or on Ravelry. I knit my pair on the shrimpy side because they were made for a pair of favorite local shrimps, my 3rd grade neighbor-twin set.These mittens are knit in Stonehedge Fiber’s Shepherd’s Wool Worsted in the antique rose colorway, with blue spruce highlights.

This is a very straightforward pattern. No right mitten left mitten fussiness. And, best of all, a nice rounded mitten and thumb top. I know that hands sort of come to a point because, obviously, our middle fingers are the tallest ones we have. But I just don’t favor pointy mittens.

Here’s another pair in the same Shepherd’s Wool, this time in antique rose and garnet.


This pattern is Mittens For All, by Jodi Lewanda, a free RedHeart pattern. It’s a super easy knit, just like the Wisconsin Winter Warmers, but somehow that pointy top and thumb just don’t sit as well with me.

My favorite neighborhood twins often make the point that they are not identical twins. When they came over to try on their mittens, both pair of mittens fit both well. When they left, they were each wearing one mitten from each set. So, not identical twins, but twins for sure.

It’s warm…time to knit wool hats


This is Breck, by Susan Vilas Lewis of Stay Toasty. She’s Lewister on Ravelry, where you’ll find her designs. The slip-stitch colorwork is meant to evoke the mountains in Breckenridge, Colorado. My red and off white version is knit in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino, a sport weight, which is what the pattern calls for.

breck_blueI was so pleased with the result that I decided to immediately cast on for a second version, this time knit in Plymouth Yarn DK Merino Superwash. In DK-weight, the hat ends up slightly slouchier, which is a nice effect.

Here’s another look at both.



Lately it’s been warm and a bit muggy. Typical August in Michigan. That’s when I often find that my knitting perversely turns to small, cold-weather accessories. And hats are a major favorite because, well, maybe because… you only have to make one. But then my recent knitting of hats has found me knitting two, so that theory doesn’t hold up.

The Thinker is definitely a major favorite Stay Toasty design. Here it is knit in Stonehedge Fiber’s Shepherd’s Wool Worsted in the blue spruce colorway.


The Thinker is a well-behaved hat even at its crown decreases.


And here’s more Thinkering. Another version in the same Stonehedge Fiber Shepherd’s wool. The garter stitch horizontal bars and the two easy cables keep a knitter interested. But the pattern is totally easy. The pattern is sized from infant to large adult.


This is one good hat! My trusty glass head is pleased to model these Stay Toasty creations. Check out a few more Thinkers here.


Boot Cuffs


Boot cuffs are the new accessory I didn’t even know I needed. Or wanted. They knit up quickly and make great gifts. Plus, they really can make boots look cool–like you’re wearing heavy fancy socks. These are knit in Brown Sheep’s Lamb’s Pride Superwash worsted. I’d never tried the superwash version of this yarn before. I was impressed. The colorway is a newer one–holly green.

This is a Kate Bostwick (Cowtown Knits) pattern: Jennifer’s Boot Cuffs. The pattern is clearly written, with no mistakes. I’ll be making these again.


Well, that was quick. This pair of Jennifer’s Boot Cuffs is knit of Berroco Ultra Alpaca worsted. That’s the yarn that Bostwick recommends. They came out great. And there are a million color choices in this Berroco yarn.

As with all the boot cuffs, you can wear them on your legs, sticking them out of your boots. Or can put them on your leg inside-out and then fold them down over the top of your boots. Quite cozy.

Here’s a closer look:



Some boot cuffs are a bit super-sized. They are best worn tucked into the boot and rolled back and in the larger version might just be worn over the boots to create a nice warm seal against the cold. These little gizmos do actually make boots warmer.

This is Simone Kereit’s (Owl Cat Designs) Hemlock Shade Boot Topper, knit in Orchid with Cashmere by Harrisville Designs. It’s an Aran weight 10 ply, in 70% wool, 25% mohair, 5% cashmere. It isn’t part of the Harrisville line-up any longer.


During the recent Ravelry Gift-Along staged by the Indie designers on the site, I won a choice of one of Kereit’s patterns and this was my pick. It’s an unusual cable and quite fun to work. The narrow looping vertical cables are connected by horizontal bits of garter stitch. What little I know about hemlock has to do with Socrates and corrupting the youth of Athens. But these boot toppers are still quite nice and are probably inspired by the coniferous plant, hemlock, not death by poisoning.


Finally, here’s a freebie in the midst of paid patterns: Codi Hudnell’s (Knit Grit) Hurricane Boot Cuffs. Mine are knit in Stonehedge Fiber‘s Shepherd’s Wool worsted. There’s a teeny hiccup in the pattern. If you just keep knitting 9 and purling 1 thoughout the rounds, as the pattern directs, you’ll not end up with the spiral hurricane look. At the start of each round, just be sure that your first purl is one stitch further along the line of purl bumps, and then the knit 9 works throughout the rest of the round.

bootcuffs I had to polish my boots for these photos, but it was worth it to show them off!

Crossed Cardigan



This is Emily Wessel’s new child’s sweater pattern, crossed cardigan. Wessel and Alexa Ludamen are tincanknits. The pattern includes eight sizes, from 0 to 6 months and on to 11-13 years. I was part of the test knitters’ group and really enjoyed the knitting and the experience of working with these talented designers. The pattern was a bit of a challenge and definitely needs you to keep alert. You start knitting at the center back, with a pinhole cast-on. The designers’ website gives excellent instructions for that.

Here’s the back, followed by a closer look at it:


cross_cardi3My pinhole cast-on was a bit loosey goosey, but I am still very pleased with the sweater. It’s knit in Stonehedge Fiber Mills Shepherd’s Wool, a 100% merino lightweight worsted. This apricot with subtle yellow highlights is one of my favorites of their colorways.


Coler Fingerless Mitts


Stephen West’s “Coler” fingerless mitts look a bit odd laying on a table, what with that eight-legged spider wrapped around the wrist. But on the wrist, these mitts are wonderful. Stylish without being over-the-top. And maybe I’m the only one who sees a spider instead of just some classy cable work.


The 2 by 2 ribbing is wonderfully stretchy and will accommodate DK or worsted weight yarns and still fit most sized hands. This is Stonehedge Fibers Shepard’s Wool in the milk chocolate colorway.

A change of yarn and the mitts become quite feminine. Shown next in a discontinued Berroco 100% worsted wool version of “Vintage.”


The mitts have a very nice thumb gusset, which help to situate them properly on the hands. For smaller hands, you can either shorten the mitts, or wear them cuffed.