My September pattern release was planned, and yet still managed to be a last minute scramble. I had been working along on the pattern through the month, and expected to release it before October began. But then, I heard from Amy at Ross Farm that not only had they gotten into Rhinebeck (yay!), but that they were also headed to a festival the weekend of September 27th-28th. At the same time, I realized that I would be home with the kids on September 25th. Meaning that this was the ideal day to publish the pattern on several accounts, and I needed to get my act in gear to meet a specific deadline instead of a nebulous one.
I went to sleep on September 24th with a completed pattern and edited photos. I woke up the next morning, only slightly before the kids, and starting the pattern publishing process. Even with everything “set-up” on ravelry, it still tends to take me a couple of hours to do the work. I tend not to post my personal projects until the pattern is set-up, I change my ravatar to show off the new pattern, and I write customized announcement posts for every ravelry group on which I share the news. Not to mention posting some tweets and obsessing over whether I picked the right cover photo. None of these things are hard, they just take a couple of hours when you put them all together.
So by the time I was done with the barebones marketing, my kids had watched over an hour of TV and I was still in my pajamas. I don’t really feel much in the way of mom guilt…but it definitely seemed like it was time to put down the laptop – as much for me as for them, since I didn’t want to spend my whole day off staring at a screen.
<Insert excuses here about why it has taken me nearly a month to blog about this pattern. I don’t want to write them and you don’t want to read them.>
Here are my Mill Run Mitts!
I began designing them in early March. I had a swatch done before my annual weekend away with some very good friends, and during the quiet hours of Saturday afternoon I figured out the math for the first mitt. It was not the only thing I worked on all weekend, but by the time I got home on Sunday the first one was done. (Mill Run is the name of the cabin where we were staying. :-)
Finishing the pattern took a while because I really wanted to offer the mitts in a range of sizes, and grading a mitt pattern is more complex than grading a hat pattern. It also got picked up and put down a few times between March and November…see previous posts about changing jobs and busy summer…not really compatible with new math challenges!
This project all began when I saw the laceweight that Ross Farm had in their booth. I could not resist it…but I wasn’t really excited about designing a laceweight shawl at that moment. The chocolate and cream of the Leicester Longwool just called to me to be used together. The resulting fabric is even nicer that I expected, and is surprisingly soft given how rustic it looks. But if you are not one to wear rustic wool on your wrists, I’m hard pressed to imagine any laceweight yarn that wouldn’t work well with this pattern. The alpaca version is super soft and warm, without being heavy. The color changes and textured stitches keep the project interesting, but the stitch pattern is not complex.
I wore the alpaca mitts while we were fall camping a couple of weeks ago, and the warmth they gave off was amazing. I didn’t realize how warm they were keeping me against the chill of the breeze until I took them off to assemble dinner. Within minutes, the cool air was traveling up my coat sleeves and giving me a chill.
Novice crocheters should note that it can be tricky to see where to put your hook in stitches made with laceweight yarns. Also, if you choose darker shades of yarn, be sure to work in good lighting conditions.
Required Skills: The cuff is worked flat and crocheted together to form a loop. The rest of the mitt is worked in the round from the wrist up. The stitch pattern uses typical crochet stitches, as well as spike stitches, and crochet through the back loop & rear loop. The pattern includes descriptions of all stitches and a photo tutorial for locating the rear loop. Directions are written, not charted.
Gauge, after blocking:
28 sts & 20 rows = 4″ (10cm) in half double crochet ribbing
28 sts & 19 rows = 4″ (10 cm) in half double crochet
6-row pattern repeat = 1 1/8″ long
Hooks: U.S. Size B (2.25 mm) or size needed to produce noted gauge
Finished Measurements – Hand Circumference:
S (6 1/4″ – 16 cm) [M (7 3/8" - 18.75 cm), L (8 1/2" - 21.5 cm), XL (9 3/4" - 24.75 cm)]
Natural Brown & Cream Sample – Ross Farm Heritage & Rare Breed Fibers Laceweight yarn, 100% Leicester Longwool, 250 yds/skein, 1 skein each
Medium sample used approximately 150 yds of brown and 100 yds of cream.
Green & Purple Sample – Cascade Yarns Alpaca Lace, 100% Baby Alpaca, 437 yds/50g, 1 skein each, Color A: “Lake Chelan Heather”, Color B: “Thistle”
Medium sample used approximately 130 yds of Color A and 75 yds of Color B.
Good Substitutions: Any laceweight yarn
Additional Supplies: Tapestry Needle, Scissors, Locking Stitch Marker (optional to note beginning of round)
Tech Editing by cmuralidhara.
Due to the nature of electronic pattern sales, once you have downloaded a pdf file of the pattern, there will be no refunds issued.