My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.



Reader GeniaKnitz asked in the comments:

Just learned about negative ease in socks at the Summit (No WONDER my socks are so slippy on my feet!), do you also put negative ease in mittens? And can anyone recommend a good basic mitten book for this mitten beginner?

You don’t want negative ease in mittens — at least I don’t. I think that mittens by their very nature are supposed to have a wee bit of positive ease. Since your fingers are basically going commando in there, you don’t want them smooshed too close together. Rather, let them have a bit of wiggle room. 🙂

As for the second question, can anyone recommend a good basic mitten book?

Speaking of Mittens

My mittens are done!

The pattern (which I am calling Winter Gauntlets) will be available for sale in my Ravelry store tomorrow.

I used The Loopy Ewe Solid Series in the Grape and Kiwi colorways — one skein of each. You do need more of the background color than the contrast color for this design because of the gauntlet cuff, but you can still easily make a pair of mittens with one skein of each color. I used a 2.75mm needle for a gauge of 9 stitches and 9 rows to 1 inch done in colorwork stockinette stitch.

Yikes — What Now?

I have finished my mittens and can’t start my Camp Loopy project until Monday — what do I do in the meantime?

The Loopy Ewe to the rescue!

I ordered this skein of Madelintosh Tosh DK (in the Grove colorway) to make another Super Slouch Hat.

A long-haired girl cannot have enough Super Slouch Hats. So say I.

Winner! Winner! Winner!

The winner of my review copy of Teeny-Tiny Mochimochi: More Than 40 Itty-Bitty Minis to Knit, Wear, and Give by Anna Hrachovec is Jen. Jen has been emailed and has responded.

Thank you to all of you who left a comment to enter the contest!

Lucy is overcome with excitement!


  1. Favorite Mittens by Robin Hansen. It’s a mash up of her Fox, Geese and Fences and Flying Geese and Partridge Feet books. Explains how to size and fit mittens, how to knit in two colors, and gives patterns for several traditional mitten styles from New England.

  2. I really like Folk Mittens by Marcia Lewandowski. It has mittens from basic one color to complex colorwork.

  3. I’m sorry, I can’t stop giggling over fingers going commando. 😀

  4. Anna Zilboorg’s Magnificent Mittens and Socks is a good mitten book.

  5. Kate/Massachusetts says:

    Lucy makes me laugh! She is just so adorable!

  6. going commando lol

  7. Agree with biomaj5, naked fingers, just the thought! LOL
    I think Lucy needs a bellyrub:)

  8. I haven’t met a mitten book I don’t like, but a good starting place is Folk Mittens by Marcia Lewandowski. There are some basic patterns, but it also has a lot of colorwork that varies from easy to more complex. It isn’t a book you’ll outgrow after your second pair of mittens.

  9. Fran Wheat says:

    The positive ease and wiggle room for your fingers will also help keep your fingers warmer. Lovely mittens!!!

  10. Awesome. I found the Knit Socks book (shaped like a sock) was a good book for an introduction to socks. I imagine, but cannot confirm, the same about the Knit Mittens book.

  11. Green & purple together; are you sure we’re not related? That combo is so me! Sweet Lucy looks like she’s wearing two pairs of opera gloves — so chic!

  12. I like the basic mitten pattern in The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns ( by Ann Budd. It’s easy to follow and can be used for a large variety of sizes, yarns, and gauges.

  13. So in a previous life you and Anna (5:27pm) were Suffragettes, right? Green and purple were their “colors”. Picked that up from Antiques Roadshow, UK, when they were discussing jewelery with amethysts and peridots. Trivial Pursuits, here I come.

  14. Mitten books:
    Marvelous Mittens by Charlene Schurch
    Magnificent Mittens & Socks by Anna Zilboorg
    Latvian Mittens by Lizbeth Upitis
    Vogue Knitting Mittens & Gloves
    Favorite Mittens by Robin Hansen
    Jared Flood also has some great mitten patterns on
    And lots of great patterns on Ravelry! See, e.g.:
    Laris Designs
    Spilly Jane

  15. My first mitten knitting book and a favorite: The Mitten Book by Inger and Ingrid Gottfridson. Traditional patterns in a sweet little book.

  16. I really like the slouch hat but am wondering how you think a very short-haired “girl” would look in it.

  17. I’ve covered my generic mitten process on my blog and made both a rambling and short version PDF. See or

  18. To be a contrarian, do the Gauntlets by reversing the colors in the second mitt!

    And to Penny T – once the slouch is on, I don’t think anyone can tell how much hair is in there.

  19. Charlotte says:

    Reference Genia’s second question about “…a good basic mitten book”

    Others already mentioned Folk Mittens: Techniques and Patterns for Handknitted Mittens Marcia Lewandowski and Magnificent Mittens and Socks by Anna Zilboorg

    Or, she may want to wait for Norwegian Mittens and Gloves: Over 25 Classic Designs for Warm Fingers and Stylish Hands by Annemor Sundbo

    But, she might just like this really nice, basic pattern for all sizes: Merino Possum’s Family Mitts and Family Gloves at

    We don’t like mittens and since we refuse to ever live anywhere cold enough to justify them, but I do knit a lot of fingerless gloves & give them away to friends who have cold hands, but want their fingers free for typing on the computer or cell phone. I like variety on the needles, so here are some of my favorites. If you want the specific link for any of these free patterns & don’t want to do a search, just send an e-mail.

    Anticraft, especially the Snowball’s Chance in Hall (changes from Snowflakes to Skull in six steps) by Renée Rigdon and Zabet Stewart; Bernat – multiple choices; Caron – – multiple choices; Classic Elite Yarn, especially Nederland Opera Mitts and Inca Alpaca Fair Isle; Coats & Clark – multiple choices; Eunny Jang’s Endpaper Mitts; Garn Studio – multiple choices; Knit Picks – multiple choices; Knitting Universe for the wedding gloves; Knitty, especially Kate Atherley’s Mittens 101; KNotions, Magic Mirror by Kristel Nyberg; Lion Brand – multiple choices; Nancy Bush’s Norwegian on the Interweave site; Paton – multiple choices; Wolf and Turtle, especially Dana Victoria

  20. I learned mittens from an old booklet my mom had, available online, now, here:

    My favorite book of patterns is
    Which are pretty, traditional, mittens from Maine. I just got some silk merino, in white and pink, to make me a new pair!

  21. “Going commando”? Very, very funny!

  22. You may want to use negative ease in a fingerless glove to make it fit closely.

    Mittens that cover the entire hand are supposed to loose enough to trap air around the fingers, to make them warmer than gloves. The shape simply is not a closely fitted shape. Also, this allows for layering of hand coverings in really cold places:
    (1) wool or cashmere-line light leather gloves
    (2) Wool color work mittens
    (3) Leather over-mittens.
    This lets you use your fingers if you need to, but cover them back up for warmth. Think about pumping gas in -50 degrees F. windchill.

    The Hansen books have color work mittens in DK or worsted weight yarns. I think those would be easier for the beginner with color work. The basis for these patterns is a simple mitten.

    The Zilboorg book has some more complicated departures from basic mittens, as well how to make free-sole socks, in which the top and cuff of the sock can be colorwork, but the sole is a different yarn to enable its replacement when it wears out.

    The Gottfridsen Mitten Book contains a lot of patterns for Swedish color work from the island of Gotland. (Gotland Color Work class was offered at Sock Summit!) These patterns are for a lighter weight yarn, such as Shetland or actual Gotland Yarn. In this tradition, the Swedes just do the long floats WITHOUT catching the color being floated. The floats felt to the rest of the knitting with wear because an untreated (non-superwash) wool is being used. If you have done color work before and like these patterns, there is nothing to stop you from using them with DK weight yarn and combining them with other patterns to make your own mittens. Depending on the yarn you use, you may need to deal with the floats differently.

  23. GeniaKnitz says:

    You all are wonderful, thank you so much! I plan to print the entire comments section. Thank you, Wendy, and all you nice commenters. Can’t wait to get started! :o)

  24. Gorgeous mittens, these are definitely going on my to-do list 🙂

  25. Agree with Molly. I was going to say Folk Mittens.
    And, you might want a little negative ease in gloves, because floppy fingers end up doing things like getting stuck in car door handles.

  26. I love all of these great looking mittens you have been doing! Also can’t wait for the release of Lace book I have pre- ordered. Your designs are the best!

  27. The outline of your beautiful mittens brings to mind a fish! How ’bout knitting mittens with a fish scale pattern? I think that would be amusing.

  28. Just like Seanna Lea said, the book “Knit Mittens” by Robin Hansen, shaped like a mitten, is great. And the pattern, Polar Bear Mitts made from Peace Fleece wool and felted, are the best. I modified the cuff to a K1,P1 rather than what they have and just love them. And the Peace Fleece felts nicely and conforms to your hand and gets nicely fuzzy. Talk about warm!

  29. Great looking mittens,love these…gorgeous!

  30. Deb in PA says:

    Patons has a mittens book as part of their learn to knit series. It’s call “Next Steps Seven: Mittens and Gloves”. The price is very reasonable, too.

  31. Okay, now that is my very favorite Lucy photo ever, ever. It looks like she’s doing a hands free cartwheel through the air. Lucy, you are something.

    The mittens are so crips and perfect looking, wish I could give one of them a nice squish.

    🙂 firefly