August 28, 2008

Smitten with Mittens? We've Got a Pill for That.

It's that time again... last weekend, Andy and I were working in the yard when he stopped pulling weeds, stood up, and sniffed.  This is a yearly ritual with him.  And he then looks at me and says, "Ah, babe... can you smell it?"  It which case I am then required to stop, stand up, and sniff too.  "Um, hmm. Yep, I smell it."
 "You know what that is don't you, babe?  That's the smell of football."

Now, when I think of the smell of football, there are other things that come to mind.  All three of my brothers played it so I associate the smell of football with sweaty duffle bags, dirty shoulder pads, and nasty mud-caked cleats thrown by the backdoor.  But for a guy who played and loves the sport, there is something in the air right before the weather turns cool that signifies their beloved sport.

My guess is it's the leaf mold.

But in his defense I do know what he's talking about.  There is a crispness in the air just before Autumn sets in that makes you anxious for it to hurry up already.  But the smell for me is different, and is indicative of something else entirely.

It's the smell of mittens.


This year, just about all in my family will be receiving a pair for Christmas, including these.  These are the Cabley Mittens from Kelly Porpiglia of KelpKnits.  And these are also the first pair of mittens that we are knitting in our new Mitten of the Month Club at our local yarn shop, Twist
Shelly Stilger, Twist's owner, and I started brainstorming one day over the idea of having a sister club for our popular Sock of the Month Club.  Mittens were the perfect choice.  But to change things up a bit we decided to not only make it a "Brick and Mortar Club" i.e., Twist regulars, but we should also open up to the online knitting community as well, i.e. you!
o we are officially kicking it off with the September Mitten of the Month, Cabley Mittens knitted in Cloud 9 from Cascade.  Cloud 9 is a fabulous yarn using 50% merino and 50% angora.  And the halo effect is off the charts, not to mention the softness factor!  I blocked these a couple of days ago and when they were dry I combed the fibers gently and they plumped back up without loosing any of the cable texture pre-blocking.  They even gained some softness from being blocked, so you can't argue with that!

Overall this is a great classic pattern that gives you cables without going overboard.  I was a bit worried pre-blocking because the mitten and thumb were a bit short for my hand.  But it stretched considerably from blocking and now fits perfectly.  If you were concerned about it being short though, you could easily add another pattern repetition to both the cuff and mitten body.

Another modification I would consider when knitting this pattern is going down two needle sizes on the cuff.  The mitten itself is knit on US size 6 needles, but I would definitely go down to a US size 4 for the cuff.  Cables don't have the same memory as a ribbing, so a tighter stitch would ensure for a better fit.

The specifics and registration for of our Mitten of the Month Club are available here.  We will also have a group set up on Ravelry to make sure a forum is available for everyone to be able to pick up new techniques or share ideas on knitting mittens.  And of course there is the discount!  15% off on the designated yarn and pattern used for the project, and an addition 5% added on your next purchase for the upcoming month's mitten when you post a photo of your finished mittens.  So, grand total: 20% off yarn and pattern!  Membership is limited to the first 100 registrants, so head on over to reserve yours.  You'll be getting sneak peeks from me about each month's pattern and yarn in advance here at NuttyIrishmanKnits, so be looking for them!

So if you are smitten with mittens or wanting to be, join the club!  We're looking forward to seeing some great mittens out there.  Enjoy, and happy (mitten) knitting!

----- COMMENT: AUTHOR: Vanessa  DATE: 08/28/2008 11:14:30 AM I knew I recognized that pattern! But I've never seen that yarn before.... *drool* (And nachos remind my boyfriend of football... Just the other day I asked him if we could make some nachos and he said, "No! It's not football season yet!" But I guess now it is??)
----- COMMENT: AUTHOR: Alice DATE: 08/29/2008 08:36:54 PM I totally agree with you on the cuff. When I knit this one up again I'm switching up the needle sizes. I'm so pumped for the mitten club!!!!
----- COMMENT: AUTHOR: Sue  DATE: 08/31/2008 03:26:08 AM It is the smell of rugby in our house but I know what you mean! Even though we have had a dire summer weather wise here in England the weather has changed, its misty and the first leaves have turned to russet shades but it gives reason to step up the knitting of mitts, socks, cowels, scarfs & shawls!
----- COMMENT: AUTHOR: Rhonda DATE: 09/18/2008 09:45:26 PM Hey Jen! I just finished my mittens from the class for the Cessna crafters at Twist. Gotta say : You wrote a great beginners pattern! Loved it! It was well written and my mittens turned out great! I'll post them on my blog this week. Also, thanks for the clear instructions on how to block them.
----- COMMENT: AUTHOR: Dan DATE: 11/20/2008 06:18:23 PM Hey, great looking mittens! I hope I can get good enough to do that someday. Adorable little girl, btw, in the previous post.

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