Posts tagged #Mitts

The Puppy Button Saga

A year and a half ago while I was still working at the local yarn shop, we got in an order of buttons that included the most adorable puppy-shaped buttons I had ever seen.  I was determined to do something with them, so I found the pattern called Gig Gloves, by Grace Akhrem, which had 7 buttons on each mitt.  The pattern was perfect - not too complicated, and it was clearly meant to show off anyone’s favorite buttons.  While the appropriate amount of buttons had been ordered for my pattern in queue, the shop I worked at closed before they were able to come in and be in my possession.  This is where I thought the story of the puppy buttons ended.

That is, until over a year later, I found my own yarns being sold at a local store where I happened to be at an event in which I had a fair amount of time to stand around and enjoy everything around me.  And then I saw them: the puppy buttons!  I immediately ordered 14 of them in the two different colors they had, and dyed up some Afghan Hound  in Throw Me A Bone to match.  

When the buttons were finally in my possession, I decided to save the little mitts as a project to work on during my wedding day and on my honeymoon.  (And yes, I knit during my own wedding.)  

The pattern is delightfully simple and quick, yet attractive.  The basic form is a square knit in stockinette, with the edges being garter stitch.  The only difference between the two hands is which side the buttons holes are made, and the thumb holes are made by easy m1s in whichever method you prefer.   The strap at the bottom is purely decorative (because then you get to have an extra button!), and adds a nice little aesthetic touch.  It’s knit separately and then attached after blocking.

I kept the buttons safe at the bottom of my project bag throughout my travels in Vancouver, and when I was finally ready to attach them, I realized the tapestry needle I had didn’t fit through their holes.  I planned to resolve this issue by visiting a yarn store in the Downtown area, and while I purchased an appropriately-sized crochet hook to take care of the job, I never got around to attaching them for the rest of the trip.

While packing, I took a mental inventory of everything we brought, and one thing appeared to be missing: the puppy buttons.  We searched EVERYWHERE, but they were nowhere to be found.  The Tuesday after we returned to South Bend, I dreadfully called up the store to see how many (if any) buttons they had left.  To my luck, they  had enough for me to properly button up one mitt, and have ordered more for the second!  After having the buttons in my possession for the second time, I attached them as quickly as possible to avoid any other extensions to this story.

I absolutely adore these gloves, and I look forward to getting the rest of the buttons so I can wear them out in the now chilly weather.  The Afghan Hound is absolutely perfect for the warmth of the Merino and the softness of the silk, especially because I have sensitive skin.

Posted on November 13, 2013 and filed under Pattern Review.

Norwegian Elkhound & The Warm & Tingley Mitts & Headscarf

I recently had the pleasure to have knit from the Needles and Artifice collection by The Ladies of Mischief. The publication (from Cooperative Press) carries twenty-three beautiful patterns and has an ingenious layout: it's not just about the patterns, but also tells great stories to tie them together.

Gentle ladies and kind sirs: welcome to the world of Needles and Artifice, where corseted Victorian fashion gets an energized infusion of punk.
In this fantastically playful take on steampunk knitwear design, the Ladies of Mischief offer not only 23 original patterns, but also a high-flying, busk-snapping adventure that plays out across each chapter.
Pull on your goggles and spats, knitters: you’re in for a wild ride.


I was originally looking for a pattern for interesting fingerless mitts to knit a sample from Norwegian Elkhound (colorway Sirius), and came across the Warm & Tingley Mitts, a pattern from the collection.  The pattern was designed by Heidi Kunkel, who, besides for designing beautiful patterns like this, has an Etsy store featuring her amazing pottery.  

What made this a perfect choice for a sample is not only the beautiful cabling, but the fact that with one skein of Norwegian Elkhound makes two mitts and a headscarf and still have yarn left over.  In terms of yarn structure, the more plies a yarn has, the more round it is, and rounder yarns show off cables better.  Because Norwegian Elkhound is four plies, it makes beautiful cables.  What I did not yet know was the most important part: how ridiculously quick and fun this pattern would be!

I was able to knit both mitts and the headscarf within 3 days, which makes it a great pattern choice. for gifts; I'm sure if I had a dedicated day, I would have easily knitted all of them within 8 hours.  It's also extremely versatile because of how it's sized: the ribbing on both the mitts and the headscarf ensure that they will fit most, if not all adults.  The pattern recommends a size 9 needle, gauge depending, and worsted weight yarn.

The mitts start off with a 2:1 ribbing, then go into the cabling chart.  There's no written version of the chart in the pattern, which, since I prefer knitting from charts, was fine.  The bind off was a picot bind off, which creates a surprising and fun texture at the edging. The thumb is called "an afterthought" in regards to the technique and is added after the mitt is completed. 

The headscarf starts off with a normal cast on and features short rows for shaping the garment.  The short rows in this pattern don't come with the normal "wrap" instruction; rather, they purposefully leave holes in the fabric for a button.  The cabling on the headscarf coordinates with the cabling on the mitts, but isn't exactly the same.  The difference between the two cable patterns is that the headscarf pattern has the design wider, which better fits the wider garment.  The final addition is a button, which is always the most fun to choose.

This set of patterns was a tremendous amount of fun to make, and knitting it with the Norwegian Elkhound was a treat!  I had only done swatches with that yarn before, but the soft, squishy texture and beautiful stitch definition made me not want to put it down.  I've always selected my yarn bases carefully, and it's rewarding to finally knit a full-sized garment with them and find that I absolutely made the right choice.


How do you decide what yarns to use with which patterns?  Have you ever made a really bad choice, or an absolutely perfect one? 




Announcement:  Fiber Hound is now going to be sold at its first yarn store, Rêverie~Yarn, Décor & Gifts!  The store is located in Goshen, Indiana, and is around 40 minutes from the Fiber Hound dye studio.  I'll be sharing more updates about when there will be stocked there soon!  For better updates, don't forget to follow Fiber Hound on Facebook!

Posted on July 3, 2013 and filed under Pattern Review.