knitters, meet Girdwood

Girdwood Mittens!

Mittens, anyone? Here’s a new mitten pattern for everyone!

When I started working on this pattern, my children both desperately needed mittens. We have had a cold winter here in North Carolina and last year’s mittens were too small. After some starts and stops with gauge, yarn choice and stitch count, I finally knit some mittens for Maggie that fit using sport weight yarn.

Jerry needed mittens, too. On a hunch (and after doing some quick math) I grabbed some Cascade 220 and cast on with larger needles but the same number of stitches. They were a perfect fit! More math, another hunch, and bulky yarn…I had mittens knit from the same pattern that were big enough for me!

Girdwood Mittens!

I’m really excited about these mittens. The Girdwood Mittens are named after a ski town in Alaska where I once spent a long summer night listening to bluegrass music. I have fond memories of that town.

Girdwood Mittens

Included in the pattern are two sizes of thumbless mittens, to fit newborns and toddlers (up to age 2). Other sizes are Small Kid (3-6 yrs), Big Kid (6-10 yrs), and Small, Medium and Large Adult. To learn more about what yarn is used for each size of mitten in the pattern, click on the sizing chart on the Girdwood Mittens page.

Girdwood Mitten(s)

You can see a handful of beautiful Girdwood Mittens that were knit by a really wonderful group of test knitters on the Ravelry project page.  The pattern is $6. If you would like to buy it, please click below.

Girdwood Mittens – $6

I have been thinking a way to say thank you for people who sign up for my newsletter. What I’d love to do is work on a free pattern that would be exclusively for subscribers. While I figure out the logistics of that, I’ve decided that when I release a new pattern I will randomly select 5 knitters from the subscribers list to get the pattern for free. To be eligible, all you need to do is get on the list and stay on the list! Sign up here if you’re interested.

Thank you!

Graveyard Socks

On any given day of the week, you might hear me saying the following:

  • I love wool.
  • I love garter stitch.
  • I love colorwork.

If I had to choose a favorite, I would be at a loss. I equally enjoy all three of those things. When it came time to design my new pattern, I was able to combine all three loves and the result is balanced, simple, and wearable (another three things I love in knitting).

Graveyard Socks

The pattern is Graveyard Socks, and the idea came about when I read about the Socks Revived Contest on the Exercise Before Knitting blog. This is my entry for the contest.

Knit from the cuff down, and combining elements of colorwork, plain stockinette stitch and a reinforced garter stitch heel, the socks are a good balance of “I need to pay attention to the chart right now” and “All I want to do is watch TV while I knit”.

The decidedly macabre motif was scribbled on graph paper, then transferred to my charting software while Jerry was watching over my shoulder. It came time to save the file, and I mumbled something about needed a name for the socks. Jerry, who is 7, noticed the similarity of the chart to a graveyard, and the name of the socks was born.

graveyard socks

The heels are knit using garter stitch short rows, and two strands of the yarn are held together for extra reinforcement. If you’re worried about garter stitch ridges digging into the bottom of your feet, I urge you to try this technique. The stretchy nature of garter stitch makes for a very comfortable heel.

The toes are French (or at least that’s what Nancy Bush says). There are three lines of decreases, rather than the usual two, and the stitches are gathered at the end instead of woven.  It was the first time I tried this toe shaping, and I really liked it!

graveyard socks

My foot model, as usual, was Lisa (here and here, her new education technology blog). I can’t thank her enough for helping me with the photo shoot. I had her climbing under the picnic table (not easy!) and taking directions like: “Try to look more dead.” (see first photo) Thank you, Lisa!

Graveyard Socks – $6

Yarn: Nature Spun Sport
Needles: Size 1 (2.25 mm)
Gauge: 8 sts = 1″ (2.5 cm)
For more specific information please visit the Graveyard Socks page, or the Ravelry page for Graveyard Socks.

You can find more pictures in the Graveyard Socks Flickr Set.

As always, thank you for supporting my designs!!

Graveyard Socks