Thursday, February 22, 2018

Come And Share A Cup ~ a Mitten Recipe

I used to like to teach sock knitting.  For a time before it closed, my then local yarn shop was attached to a coffee house and so I sketched a little pattern for a coffee (or tea) cup motif to add to the sock pattern.  Over the years I've knit that pattern on the cuffs or heel flap or across the toe of socks and I always thought that some time I'd put it on a mitten.  Thinking again recently as I have been, about the symbolism of mittens - extending a hand, holding a hand, warming hands, the power of hands, I thought also about that little cup motif and how sharing of cup of something warm to drink holds meaning, too.

Fuzzy wool and mohair mittens
So I put the two ideas together.  And I wanted to share them.

I'm not a pattern writer.  And I'm not usually a follow all the rules knitter.  I tend to take parts of the rules and use what works for me, a little from here or a little from there ;)  So this is not a pattern.  It hasn't been tech edited.  It's just my mitten knitting notes, jotted down and shared.  More of a mitten plan, if you will.  A recipe.  An offering.

There are so many brilliant mitten designs and patterns available, intricate, ornate, works of art.  I love them all!  I've made a few.  I'll make more!  But what represents me and my life these days (maybe always, lol) is something a bit more common, humble and straightforward, comforting but with a little dash of color to remind me of joy.  My hands and mind simply aren't able to comfortably grasp much more just now, and tiny needles, tight stitches and tangles of yarn will do me in!  So I went back to the basics, with a sturdy worsted weight yarn, solid needles and a few numbers punched into a plan and here we go - a fairly quick mitten, with the gift of a coffee cup going round.

This is knitting around the kitchen table, folks!

I know I said worsted weight yarn.  But a lovely fingering or sport weight, when it's straight out knitting, doesn't boggle me to much ;)  So you can see, it's pretty easy to change the numbers up and make a pair of mittens or mitts using the lighter weights.  In the WIP photo above, I'm using Blueberry Crumbcake sock yarn from The Woolen Homestead with a contrast of our farm sock yarn (Corriedale and Alpaca blend).

My mitten uses an afterthought thumb.  Sometimes called the peasant thumb, I think it's the easiest and most often overlooked way of making thumbs!  I use it because it fits my hand well.  I know that isn't the case for every hand, but I've learned a few tips over the years that might make it work for you if you'd like to give it a try.  If thumb gussets have tripped you up in the past, the afterthought thumb might give your mitten knitting new meaning!

Ribbing is not my best knitting skill, especially in small circular objects.  This mitten recipe will offer you a few other choices for the cuff to get you off and running on your mitten.  The cup motif is a simple one, you're only going to use two colors at any time, so it's an easy opportunity to do a little colorwork if you haven't before (or mindless colorwork if you have!).  It doesn't take much yarn.  The black and tan pair of full mittens shown, knit in worsted weight to fit my medium sized hands, used approximately 135 yards of the main color and less than 60 yards of the contrast.  I haven't measured yardage of the fingering weight pair, but by weight I've used less than half of the skein of main color.

Would you like to make a pair?  I'd love to share!  Grab your knitting bag, needles and yarn and let me pour you a cup, lets sit and knit together.  I'll be sharing the "mitten recipe" here on the blog, and I'll do that over a few days time, starting with what you'll need to make them and then the cuff, moving on to the thumb and the simple matter of finishing up.  Are you participating in the Basket of Mittens 2018 KAL (I hope you are!)  If so, Tiffany and I are planning a little "KAL within the KAL" for March, using this pattern.  If you decide to knit them and post to the Ravelry group, you will be eligible for an extra prize particular to these.  That will run from March 1 to 31st.  Not on Ravelry?  I'd still love to see if you knit these mittens, so feel free to tag me on instagram, where I'm @mywoolmitten

If you've made it this far, thank you for letting me ramble about mittens and sharing.  If you have any questions, please ask away!  And do consider making the mittens, maybe a pair for yourself and a pair to gift to someone.  All in the spirit of Share A Cup ~

Edited to add ~ my mitten knitting plans/goals for March are Roses Are Red by Pia Kammeborn; a cast on for NH Knits, probably the Selbu package I won last year (will double dip this one with Knitogrophy & Treehouse Knits Year Of The Mitten KAL) and another pair of our Share A Cup mittens.  Any bets on how many I will actually get finished?


Susan Moore said...

Hi Cary
Im here to say i loved knitting the coffee cup into a pair of warm socks a few years ago. You and i had our own little kal. Thank you for sharing. S

Cary ~ My Wool Mitten at Serenity Farms said...

Yes, with our traveling roving if I remember correctly?!? x o Will you make some mittens then?

Renna said...

I've neve done any color work, but it seems every direction I turn lately, podcasters are challenging knitters to up their game and take on new challenges. That design does look a little less overwhelming than most I've seen. Maybe I'm up for it. I'll keep watching.

Cary ~ My Wool Mitten at Serenity Farms said...

I hope you will, Renna! And we'll try our best to help you along the way if you have any questions!

sg said...

I’d love ❤️ to make a pair and join along. Down here in Knoxville it may be awhile again before I need them, but you and Tiffany keep me linked into my mid-Michigan roots, and I so enjoy keeping up with the two of you.

Cary ~ My Wool Mitten at Serenity Farms said...

Absolutely SG! There will be tips for making them into fingerless mitts if you think you would use those more? Thanks for following along!

sg said...


Lynn Taylor said...

Hi Cary

My friend look at those! How lovely. I am so glad to see you post. I still have the mittens we were doing a long time ago that i need to pull out but these are adorable. Keep blogging i will be here to read.

Cary ~ My Wool Mitten at Serenity Farms said...

Well if you can't find them Lynn, cast on a new pair, LOL...never enough mittens ;p Thank you for reading along!

Laura Rouse said...

Help..Where can I find the pattern/recipe for these mittens?