Truth be told I have had this mitten pattern completed for over a year. I had a mitten knitted up but I wasn’t loving my colours. You know how stash works…you have tons of yarn and yet none of the colours look good or contrast enough then I tried again with some earth tones, and it was pretty enough, yet underwhelming. So after a good hibernation, I started fresh. Red and white, another pair in pale blue and red, an improved thumb design and since I really couldn’t help myself, an optional laceweight liner for a touch of luxury. Here is a link to my Ravelry project page: Ardour mittens. I added a 2 colour icord and a little tassel to make them extra special.
It is worked in worsted weight yarn, knit at a tight gauge for warmth and wind resistance. The lace weight liner is knit with the same needle size as the outer mitten to provide a delicate gauzy liner that adds a surprising amount of warmth to the mitten. To make this mitten, required skills are colourwork and reading from a chart. Don’t be intimidated, though. Colourwork is easier than it looks and great fun.
The mittens can be made with or without the liner. The colour runs are short (the longest being only 4 stitches) so nothing to snag fingers on, and the mitten may be made with a ribbed cuff, or an icord cast-on and a colourwork cuff. I trimmed the red and white pair with a 2 colour finger knit cord and a tassel; a little pom pom would be lovely as well.
The palm is patterned differently than the top of the mitten, with the thumb gore placed to the side and slightly underneath the top of the mitten for a comfortable fit.
I hope to make some more for Christmas gifts this year. I find homemade mittens are usually very well received. I need to cast on some more! I also would like to thank my test knitters; Kelly, Meredith, my Ravelry pals Michele, Lesley, Debbie and Julie. Thanks for testing and all your feedback!
2012 has been fairly productive in a knitting sense so far. I have a few FOs to share but before I do, I want to share my latest favourite cake recipe. This is another gem from my sister in law, and it is definitely one of those cakes that you make for friends or family. It’s casual, it’s simple, it’s rustic and delicious. Believe me, I’ve been making banana chocolate chip cakes for years and years but there is something really great about the texture of this cake. I normally ice this cake with a cream cheese icing which works really well with it. The tartness of the cream cheese plays off the sweetness of the bananas and chocolate so nicely, but my daughter doesn’t love cream cheese icing (if I hadn’t seen her being born myself I might have considered a hospital mix-up…cream cheese icing rejected by someone related to me?? wha??) soooo I took some whipping cream and chocolate and made a quick ganache. So here is the recipe. Trust me, this very unassuming cake in a square pan packs a serious flavour wallop. Plus it is super easy….
Anna’s Chocolate Chip Banana Cake:
1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup white sugar
3/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3 large)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat overn to 350 F. Grease and flour a 9 ” square pan, or an 8 ” square pan will do, too.
2. In a large bowl mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add chocolate chips and stir.
3. In a separate bowl combine bananas, eggs, milk, vanilla and melted butter.
4. Stir banana mixture into flour mix. Do not over mix or cake will be tough.
5. Pour into pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Let cool then frost as you like. For the ganache above, I used 1/2 cup whipping cream and 1 cup chocolate chips. Heat cream in a small sauce pan until it begins to simmer, then pour over the chocolate chips in a small metal or glass bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes, then stir until smooth and glossy.
OK…now for some FOs to share:
And I am proud to say I started and completed a project in January that I had been wanting to knit for a long time. The pattern is called Meeting St. mittens, and I used Berroco Sox Metallics. I also bit the bullet hard and knit some liners with a fingering weight yarn. Worth it, but such a PITA. I was getting 10 stitches to the inch on the liners…good grief. But I love them!
There is definitely a crispness in the air these last few days; make no mistake, fall is coming fast!
I finished a lovely project last week: the Stripe Study shawl. It turned out larger than I anticipated, but I really love it. What a fantastic pattern. I made mine with Opal sock yarn is shades of grey.
I also completed a new mitten design I have been working on the last few weeks. I wanted to challenge myself to come up with a pattern, of course it is graphic and stripey that would work up quickly on 5mm needles so that I could make some for Christmas gifting. So here they are: Meg Mittens. Update: November 23, 2011: Briggs and Little have bought this pattern from me. They intend to make it available either as a download on their website, or as a printed pattern leaflet.
A family trip earlier this month to Washington, DC inevitably led us to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Amazing is an understatement, of course. If you can make it to DC, most of these museums are free, so it’s a great city to visit: so much to do and no admission prices. I thought I would share a very yarny exhibit that I thoroughly enjoyed; a crocheted coral reef (there is knitting in here, too). Two sisters are the brainchildren of this creation, and I can only say…I would loved to have seen their living room while this creation was being made.
I have a few FOs to share. First a pair of Fletcher mittens that I made for a mitten swap and sent to Ontario. I was very happy with how these turned out and will definitely be making more. I used some Briggs and Little and Noro Kureyon. If you’re on Ravelry, here is the link to my project page: Fletcher mittens.
I finally made myself a pair of Harry Potter socks, in anticipation of the final movie. I have read all the books, and love them, but the movies have a special place in my heart, too. I improvised the pattern, and made them toe-up with a short row heel. I used Knit Picks Stroll in mustard and wine…pretty close to Gryffindor colours.
Every year I try to come up some knitting resolutions, like learning a new skill, or perish forbid making a sweater (I am not very good at making sweaters – I seem to enjoy more portable things.
This year I am making one simple resolution – knit the good stuff. No hesitation, just knit it. You see, I am prone to keeping a skein of luxury yarn and waiting for that perfect project to come along..and you know what? It really is just a bit of indecisiveness on my part. With Ravelry around, there is no shortage of perfect patterns…
So after I finished my Christmas knitting, my dear friend Michele encouraged me to knit something for myself, with some yarn I have been adoring for a few months, kicking around my stash – Zauberball Schokocreme! I think I just really like saying Schokocreme…anyway here is my Schokocreme, and another colourway that I can’t remember the name of:
And so I cast on some mittens I have been dying to make (my own design – Striped Decadence Mittens) and I am thrilled with the result. My first pair of lined mitts!
So, in keeping with my resolve to knit the good stuff…a-stash diving I will go. I hope to get a pair of socks on the needles in short order, and I need a new hat. I just got a short hair cut and it makes berets hard to wear! I wish everyone happy knitting in 2011, and let me know if you have any knitting resolutions as well.
I could also say a zebra doesn’t change it’s stripes – hardy har. Christmas knitting is going well. This week I was inspired to make some mittens lined with alpaca that I’ve had in my stash for years. Of course I went back to my favourite sort of colourwork…stripes. Tres preppy, non? You can buy the pattern here for $3.00 (US funds). Striped Decadence Mittens.
I plan to churn out a couple more pairs of these for Christmas presents. Then I hope to get back to some non-mitten related knitting! I am also cooking up another free pattern. I hope to have it up here next week…
Some of my staple Christmas knitting projects include mittens. I make them for teachers, friends and family. I find they are generally well-received, appreciated and of course used! My favourite Christmas mittens to make are the ubiquitous and wonderful Newfie mittens, and 2 colour mittens, like my new pattern for Envy Checked Mittens.
The pattern is $3.00 (US funds) and includes instructions for small, medium and large, as well as for 2 cuff options. They work up quickly using worsted weight wool. Click the link above and it will take you to Paypal.
Gosh this fall is flying fast. I’m going to make this post short and sweet. Firstly, another free pattern. I hope you enjoy it. A simple and classic mitten made with worsted weight wool. Get your Houndstooth Check Mittens here: houndstooth mitts
Secondly: doughnuts. Oh yes I did. A Martha recipe for Pumpkin Cornmeal doughnuts. I dusted some with cinnamon sugar and for some I whipped up a glaze comprised of maple syrup, icing sugar and a dash of milk. YUM!