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Cupcake Mittens

March 14

You might remember I was working on some very special mittens for my best friend’s birthday. Here are the Cupcake Mittens, all finished.

Cupcake Mittens Back

The stripes on the thumbs add a jaunty flair, I think.

Cupcake Mittens 2

I like how the personalization worked out, with my friend’s initials and milestone birthday year.

Cupcake Mittens Detail

I made some modifications. The original pattern included some little stitches along the edges. I left them out. I changed the top of the mittens to make a more rounded shape.

Resources:

Cupcake Mittens pattern is available as a Ravelry download. If you enjoy this pattern, you might like to check out more SpillyJane Knits patterns on Ravelry. She has a knack for creating fun and whimsical designs.

The yarn I used is Knit Picks Palette. It is available in a zillion great colors. I used the nine colors recommended in the pattern.

Tiny Cupcakes

March 1

So what’s on my needles now, you may wonder? It’s more like what’s on my 10 needles…

A good friend of mine celebrated a landmark birthday recently. Knitting together is one of the pastimes we enjoy most. Eating cupcakes is another. (When we attend Stitches West together, we always make time to go to our favorite cupcake store(s) in Palo Alto. That’s right, we love cupcakes so much we leave the mecca of yarn for an afternoon. We’re that serious about our cupcakes.)

As this is a big occasion birthday, I wanted to make my friend something special that would commemorate our shared hobbies. What better than Cupcake Mittens?!

Why do I say my project is on 10 needles? Well, I have a bad habit of not finishing pairs of things. Single socks and gloves tend to lay around my house, forlornly waiting for the their mates to be knitted. I’m making both mittens at once this time, using 2 sets of 5 dpn’s, size #1. Somehow (when I have enough sets of needles to pull it off), making two at the same time fakes me out into thinking the knitting is going faster. This works for sleeves, mittens, socks…whatever comes in pairs.

One thing about this pattern is that there are a LOT of ends to weave in. All those adorable little cakes use a bunch of different colors. Theoretically I know to wait until a project is blocked before weaving in ends. However, I figured that it was worth saving my sanity to weave all the ends in every time I finish a round of cupcakes.

 cupcake mittens ends

To personalize the mittens I’m working my friend’s initials into the palm side of one mitten, and her birthday year into the other. I used graph paper to figure out the proportions.

cupcake mittens

If you love cupcakes and stranded work, you might like these mittens too!

“Mixer” Accessories Are Up

January 30

An enthusiastic fan of my book Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues asked whether I could design some mittens to go with the Mixer Scarf from the book. What a great idea!

Here’s the original Mixer Scarf from the book. It is now available as an individual pattern as well!

Mixer Scarf

Here are the mittens…The little scallop shape on the cuff matches the scallops at the ends of the scarf.

©2014galezucker

The palms sport a little seed stitch motif

©2014galezucker

I figured, “Why stop at mittens?” So I designed a hat to go with it too.

©2014galezucker

 All three patterns are available through the AudKnits Pattern Store also on Ravelry.

Resources

Many thanks to Gale Zucker for the wonderful mitten and hat photos.

Kudos, as always, to Caro Sheridan for the scarf photo from the book.

Old Edna Photo Shoot

January 26

I love getting to be on hand for photo shoots of my designs. I do have a tendency to fret like a mother hen, and I’m fortunate to work with people who have patience!

We were soooooo lucky to use the fantastic Old Edna Townsite for Saturday’s session. Set in the Edna Valley Wine country, just south of San Luis Obispo, it’s a collection of historic buildings lovingly restored by “The Mayor” of the town, Pattea Torrence.

For out-of-towners there is a beautiful, restored farmhouse and adorably cozy cottage available to rent as part of a “farmstay” vacation.

Old Edna_6

Wouldn’t it be fun to hang out in 2 acres of an old town? My hat is off to Pattea for having the vision and considerable talent to create such a unique and character-filled place.

Old Edna, photo shoot 2015

Not every rooster gets his own toy dump trucks to play with

PhotoShoot_2015_01_24_4

Thank you, Pattea, for your kindness!

Colleen Rosenthal shot our lovely model Ali Peters, wearing some accessories that I’ll be publishing soon. Cassandra Evangelho kept us all organized and the outfits styled to a tee!

PhotoShoot_1_2015_Collage2

I’m grateful to be part of a talented team who work well together and spend most of the time laughing.

Resources:

Old Edna

Suite Edna Farmhouse Vacation Rental

Colleen Rosenthal Photography

Cassandra Evangelho, stylist and co-owner of Evaneal

Matchy-Matchy

January 6

Do you have my Reversible Scarves book, and wish that you had accessories to match the scarves?

The new year will bring new designs that will do just that. I will be releasing mitten, hat and/or sock designs that will go with the lovely scarves you’re making. The accessories will not be reversible (after all, who needs reversible socks, right?) but will complement the reversible scarves.  Here’s a sneak peek:

Anybody want to guess which scarf pattern these mittens and hat go with?

Photography by Gale Zucker

Another Pair of Lockhart

November 4

I wish I were better at photographing red. If I was, you’d be seeing the true gorgeous ruby color of my latest pair of Lockhart fingerless mitts. The design is by the talented Leila Raabe.

This was my first time using Baah Sonoma yarn, and I am smitten. It is soft as can be, but doesn’t lose its oomph during blocking. The lovely ply makes for great stitch definition in the twisted stitches.

fingerless mitts, Baah yarn

I made a few little modifications. I made the short version of the pattern, but wanted a bit more wrist coverage. I added two rows to the beginning and two rows to the end of the cuff chart. I bound of all stitches purlwise, since I like the way it blends into the rows of garter.

I love this pattern. It is well written, and fun to make!

 

Lockhart Mitts

December 10

I thoroughly enjoyed making these Lockhart Mitts, a Brooklyn Tweed pattern by Leila Raabe. I had some Lorna’s Laces Green Line Worsted in my stash, and was glad to find the perfect use for it.

fingerless mitts, Lockhart, Brooklyn Tweed, twisted stitches

Full of twisted stitches and a few little cables, it’s an entertaining pattern to knit.

I altered things a little. The pattern includes instructions for both a short and a long version. I had plenty of yarn for the short but not enough for the long. I wanted the cuff to come down further below my wrists, so I added 4 rows before row 1 of the main mitt charts (in the same pattern as row 1).

Another small change I made was to use the bumpy side of the cast-on facing out, then casting off purlwise to match.

If I had them to do over again, I’d work the last couple of rows of garter on smaller needles, or work in a couple of decreases, so they’d be snugger around my fingers.

 fingerless mitts, Brooklyn Tweed, twisted stitches

If you’re looking for last minute holiday knitting, Lockhart might fit the bill!

Many thanks to my hubbie Steve Ells for taking these photos. ♥

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kellie Fingerless Mitts

March 18

My nephew and niece-in-law (I call her our “nice-in-law) are avid photographers. They love catching early morning light, but it can be mighty chilly! Fingerless mitts are just what they need to keep their hands warm, while their fingers are free to move the controls on their cameras.

I adapted my Kellie Fingerless Gloves pattern, replacing the fingers with ribbing at the tops.

Kellie Two

The good thing about having a big stash of sock yarn (well, my husband might call it “justification”) is that I had some great jacquard patterned yarn on hand. My nephew and his wife each picked the color that appealed to them for the hand section, and I chose some solids to match for the ribbing.

Kellie fingerless mitts, free pattern

Kellie fingerless mitts, free pattern

Resources

Kellie Fingerless Gloves patttern

Lang Yarn Jawool Aktion Color

Regia 4-Ply solids

 

Downton Done

March 3

I wasn’t able to block the Downton Abbey Mystery KAL mitts before leaving for Stitches West, but here they are at last.

Downton Abbey KAL

Participating in the knit-a-long was fun!

Downton Abbey Mystery KAL Clue 5

February 7

Another new-to-me technique made its appearance in this week’s mystery KAL clue. I have never done ruching before.  (I hate to admit I didn’t even know how to spell it until I looked it up. )

In addition to starting the second mitt, this week we made an icord for each mitt’s ruching. I found this pretty, contrasting sport weight in my stash:

Downton Mystery KAL

I haven’t cinched down the ruching yet – I’ll wait to block the mitts and try them on first.

Congratulations to designer Kristin Ashbaugh-Helmreich for an astronomic number of projects out there – what a brilliant and well-loved idea this KAL has been!

I always wonder how many projects are out there besides Ravelry.

Resources:

Jimmy Beans Wool Blog: Downton Abbey MKAL Clue #5

 

Downton Abbey Mystery KAL Clue 4

February 3

Some of my friends are just now getting around to watching Downton Abbey Season 3. A fun quiz to test your knowledge of the historical context and some of the plot points so far is hosted by NPR in their segment, “Quiz: Are You Down With Downton?”

I just barely got Clue 4 of the Mystery KAL done last night, in time for this morning’s new clue.

What a pretty edging! It’s been a while since I’ve used this technique – I really enjoyed it. I love the way each section of the gauntlet unfolds from week to week – just as the drama in the Downton Abbey series does!

Downton_4b

I love how pretty this edging turned out; being a mystery KAL, it was a nice surprise.

Downton Clue 4_detail

Resources:

Jimmy Beans Wool Blog: Mystery KAL

Mystery KAL Week 1, Clue #1. (Downton Abbey meets NASA)

January 10

One of the best things about participating in the Downton Abbey Mystery KAL is getting to use a new fiber from an old favorite yarn company, Lorna’s Laces. For the KAL, I’m using the suggested yarn, Sportmate. As I read the ball band, I was a little surprised by the contents: “70% superwash Merino and 30% Outlast viscose.” Never having heard of Outlast, I just had to look it up. As it turns out I’m working on a 1900’s inspired pattern using a fiber developed for NASA! Here’s what the Outlast web site has to say about it: “Outlast® technology, originally developed for NASA, utilizes phase change materials (PCM) that absorb, store and release heat for optimal thermal comfort.” What would Lady Violet have to say about that? Leave a comment with what you think she’d say about a newfangled fiber!

Sportmate is a very well-behave yarn, easy to knit with and creating nice, even stitches. There is a slight halo to it. Here’s the project KAL project so far, through Clue #1.

 Downton Mystery KAL, Jimmy Beans Wool, Lorna's Laces

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