Sunday, January 15, 2012

Warm Winter Mitts

This week we received our first decent snowfall in Northeast Ohio (and by decent, I mean 4 inches). Not much, but I'll take it. The weather has been unseasonably mild here, which is great if you don't like shoveling heavy snow or falling on slippery ice, but it's also not conducive to great knitting... at least not for me. There is nothing that makes me want to dig through my stash for a new project than frosted windows and the smell of snow.

 So when the flakes began to fall, I cast on for a project I've had in my Ravelry queue since I first joined more than 3 years ago, the White Witch Mitts. What could be a better snow day project than a pair of fair isle mittens with a snowflake motif?

The pattern recommends using Blue Sky Alpaca Sport Weight Yarn, a soft-to-the-touch yarn made of 100% baby alpaca. I chose not to go the alpaca or alpaca blend route because these mittens were intended to replace a favorite pair of knitted mittens I made 2 years ago, Sheepy Mittens, which I made with alpaca sport weight yarn.

I do realize how odd that must sound for me to have knit fair isle mittens with a repeated sheep motif out of alpaca yarn instead of wool. No regrets though. I used beautiful yarn from a friend's alpaca farm (Black Diamond Alpacas) along with some Frog Tree Alpaca Sport and they turned out just as I had hoped. Two years later, they are starting to show some wear and so I needed a second pair to help ease the load of my winter-mitten-wearing.

I chose to knit my new pair of mittens with yarn from one of my all-time favorite yarn companies, Quince & Co. Chickadee is a sport weight yarn made of 100% American wool. I've knit with Quince & Co.'s worsted weight (Lark) and bulky weight (Puffin) and adored the experience. So it was only a matter of time that I'd get around to knitting with their springy sport weight.

I am not sure which part of knitting with this yarn I like more: the smoothly plied, soft wool or the gentle array of colors available.

These were made with Frost, Glacier, Bird's Egg and Pea Coat. They are warm, soft and fit beautifully. And the best part? I have tons of yarn left over!

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