Pop Blossom Mittens

Hand spun yarn is precious. So precious that I rarely use it for knitting. Recently I decided that this was like hoarding and I should use the yarn that I had made myself. I decided that I didn’t have to wait for the perfect project or a special project. Just a good project. One I would enjoy making. I still didn’t want to use just any pattern though. After looking through a lot of patterns on Ravelry I found one that I really loved and cast on.

Pattern: Pop Blossom Mittens by Thea Eschliman

Yarn: white— my own handspun; pink: Knerd String Merino in the Hotter colorway.

Needles: size 3

My first start to this project was too small so I frogged it and then switched to bigger needles. I also decided to use two different balls of yarn and knit them two at a time using the magic loop method. This was a little fiddly at times but I like not having to count rows to make sure I knit each mitten the same length and I can completely avoid second mitten syndrome completely. This pattern is well written and charted and totally worth the money I paid for it. I love the different iterations of the flowers on the mittens and I was especially pleased with the flower motif on the thumbs.

More Mittens: This Time with Cute Woodland Creatures!


Sometimes an idea needs to hang around for a while— a few days, weeks, years before it comes to fruition. I have a friend who has a thing for mice. Not the real ones. More like the cute ones that show up in cartoons. A little while ago (maybe a couple of years ago) I stumbled on this pattern for mousey mittens and thought that one day I might make them. Then this year she had to have surgery and I realized how much doesn’t get done when she’s not at work and I finally got around to making them.

I think they turned out pretty decent. They are a little big but they are mittens. The pattern was a little challenging because there are places where you have to catch the yarn in the back. I always find it challenging to hide the contrasting yarn when I do this— there’s always a little loop that wants to poke through and break up the pattern.

Pattern: Namihiiren http://kotikuusenalla.blogspot.com/2015/10/namihiiren-lapaset.html?m=1

Yarn: Brown Sheep Company Naturespun (purple) and Cascade 220 Superwash (white)

Mixed Media: Embroidery on Mittens

The Simplest Mittens

I love to knit and I love to embroider and sometimes I like to combine the two. There’s just something about stitching into a canvas that I have created that really inspires me. For these mittens I used The World’s Simplest Mittens pattern by Tin Can Knits. For the embroidery I used cotton floss and a combination of chain and stem stitches to create the flowers.

Embroidering on a surface that is enclosed like the top of a kitten can be tricky because it is easy to sew the top and bottom of your mitten together. You also have to watch out for thread showing through where it shouldn’t. I liked these mittens so much that I made a second pair:

Tyrolean Mittens


For these mittens I used the Tyrolean Mittens pattern from Folk Mittens https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/tyrolean-mittens . I like both pairs but I think I need more practice manipulating the embroidery stitches on yarn. This was very much a “learn as you go” type of experience.

Always Check the Project Notes Before Choosing a Pattern

This is what happens when I try to make things easy. In the end I always work harder than if I had put in the preparatory work. 

When I cast on this pair of mittens (Dwarven Mittens) I decided to not swatch. That actually went ok. I also decided to not look at the pattern very closely before printing it out. This was a problem. Specifically, the cable chart doesn’t tell you where the cable sections start and end. When I got to the cable portion I had to sit down, study the cable chart, study the picture of the mittens themselves and figure out where each cable began and ended. 

I figured it out but I think if I were a new knitter or even a newish knitter I would have given up in frustration. 

Once I figured out the cable pattern the knitting went pretty smoothly until it came time to decrease. I did something that I often do– I kept on knitting even though it was obvious that the mittens were working up to be too long. In the end I had a pair of mittens that would have fit a gorilla, and the recipient of this pair of mittens is not in possession of a pair of gorilla hands. So I ripped back about two inches.

Once I made the commitment to tip back and got all of the stitches into the needles the rest of the knitting went smoothly. I completely winged the decreases at the top because I didn’t like the way that the pattern instructs you to finish the mittens– with kitchener stitch. I thought it looked too boxy. Less elegant. I prefer it when mittens come to a point so I decreased until there were 8 stitches left, then cut the yarn ad pulled the thread through the remaining stitches. 

After my disappointing experience with the pattern I went toRavelry and read other people’s project notes and found that almost everyone who knit this pattern had issues with it. 


Pattern: Dwarven Mittens

Yarn: Lettlopi — I used just over one skein for this project

Needles: size 5 and size 7

The Olla Mittens

These were a last minute “I want to make something for Lori but what will I make her, oh yeah, I have that purple Cascade 128 and I could make mittens and, oh look! Those are pretty!” Type of project. I decided that I would make this gift easy by just knitting to the pattern and not worrying about sizing or modifying. I didn’t even knit a gauge swatch. I knit all the way through the first mitten. 

Then I knit the second. And that’s where I ran into two problems: one, I ran out of yarn. I knew that I would probably run out so I had a plan in mind, and two, I had knit the two mittens differently. I had screwed up on one or both. When I scrutinized both mittens I can to the conclusion that I had knit them both wrong, in different way. 

So I unraveled both down to the third row and reknit them. It was, at that point that I realized that I hadn’t originally knit the first mitten wrong. When I reknit both mittens I accidentally skipped the first 6 rounds of the cuff. But, by that time I did not have the heart to frog the mittens. In addition they were both now knit the same way and by making the cuffs shorter, my yarn went farther. So, I left them. 

The rest of the knitting went pretty smoothly. The pattern is very well written. It’s clear and even gives you clear guidelines on where to place the embroidery. And they really are lovely. 
Project Details:

Yarn: Cascade 128, Italian plum, about 70 yards that were leftover from my Bryan Mawr skirt (ravelry id: tiltedwhirled); about 120 yards of Cascade 220 Quattro that I have had in my stash for years

Needles: size 9 dpn’s 

Pattern: Olla Mittens from knitty.com, medium 

One last note: I am not sure if the designer intended for me to work each leaf motif separately or to use the same length of yarn for one whole cuff. If she intended the latter, then I used about 4 times as much yarn for the embroidery section as the pattern indicates. Either way, I found that I had much fewer ends to weave in by measuring out enough yarn for 2 embroidery sections at once, rather than working each section separately. When I tried to measure out enough yarn for 3 sections it was too long and too unwieldy to work with.

How to Use Up All Your Leftover Sock Yarn, Part II

Tiny socks followed by tiny mittens. 

Mitten Pattern:

Using size 2 needles cast on 24 stitches.

Knit 1, purl 1 around for a total of 10 rows. 

Next row: switch to stockinette and at the same time increase 3 stitches evenly. 

Next row: knit 13 stitches, pm, k1, pm, knit to end. The stitch in between the markers is the beginning of the thumb gore. 

Round 1: knit to first marker, slip marker, m1, knit to next marker, m1, slip marker, knit to end.

Round 2: knit, slipping markers as you go

Repeat rounds 1 and 2 until you have 9 thumb stitches. 

Next round: knit to market, place thumb stitches in a holder and remove markers, knit to end.

Next round: knit to space where thumb stitches were, m1, knit to end.

Knit 3 rounds even

Next round (decreasing starts): knit 7, k2tog, around. 

Next round: knit to one stitch before the prior k2tog, k2tog, around

Repeat this round until 3 stitches remain. Break yarn and pull through remaining stitches. 


Pick up held stitches and divide equally between dpn’s. 

Knit 2 rounds in stockinette

Decrease round: k1, k2tog around

Next round: k2tog around

Break yarn and pull through remaining 3 stitches