Running a little late, as always, but just finished up my projects for this month’s Summer Featured Pattern at the shop…and really, I couldn’t be happier with the results! They came out so cool! I did Jared Flood’s, ridiculously popular, Turn A Square hat (my first one!) out of Berroco Ultra Alpaca and Noro Silk Garden. And out of the same 2 skeins…a pair of Lychee Mitts to match!
The hat and mitts are not totally identical (because there is no repeat in a ball of Silk Garden), but for me, they are matchy enough. I feel the bold grey stripes in them both, just pull it all together, regardless of the fact that there’s different colours throughout. If you do want your set to be identical though, no problemo…just make 2 sets, and do your Silk Garden colours opposite. And the best part of doing 2 sets? One for you, and one for a friend! Can you say early Christmas knitting???
There’s all sorts of possible combos for these 2 worsted weight yarn patterns. Solid & Stripes…match any solid yarn (Berroco, Cascade, etc.) with a self striping yarn (such as Silk Garden). Two Colour Stripes…any 2 solid coloured yarns for a basic, bold striped effect. Super Colourful Stripes…in lieu of a solid, use a second (different coloured) ball of Silk Garden for a stunning, striped, colour effect (think Jared Flood’s Noro scarf). And last but not least, Stash Buster Stripes!…choose a solid base colour, and use alllll those tiny balls of scrap yarn (yeah, I know you’ve got them!) that you have kicking around (but just can’t seem to throw away), and have every stripe a different colour. The colour combinations, and choices are practically endless! Plus (depending on your yarn choices, of course), this is a very affordable project…if you use a one Ultra Alpaca and one Silk Garden, you have enought for the hat AND the mitts! And I’m fairly sure I could eek another hat out of what I have left (though I don’t think there’s enough SG to do the stripes all the way to the top). But still, that’s a pretty decent deal for just over 20 bucks!
I made a few, small mods to my set. The Turn A Square hat is basically a perfect pattern…as ALL of Jared Flood’s patterns are! But I added an extra 1/4″ to the ribbing to compensate for my less than perfect, extra large sized head. My Lychee Mitts I changed from 2 x 2 colour stripes, to 3 x 2 stripes to match the scheme of the hat. And used the jogless stripes technique described in the hat pattern. And…for the mitts, I completely tore apart the remainders of the skein of Silk Garden so the mitts would match each other. Easy to do…just break the yarn after each colour and use some for each mitt :) Less easy to do…weaving in allll those ENDS! :S But when it’s done, you’ll see, it was totally worth the trouble for a pair of kick ass mittens! (If you were reeeally into the matchy match thing, you could do this with your hat too, and use a bit of each colour from your demolished ball of Silk Garden for your hat and each mitten…it just depends on what level of knitting insanity you are at)
Both of these are free patterns, which I truly do always appreciate. The designer of the Lychee Mittens asks that if you like her design, you’ll consider making a donation to the PSPCA. I’m always more than happy to donate a little to the animals…but I wasn’t sure what the “P” in PSPCA stood for (I’m assuming a specific branch). So instead, I decided to donate $20 to Maxwell, a beautiful, sad, abused Pit Bull that looks almost exactly like my Blueberry (who passed away in February). This lady, tirelessly looks after, and adopts out dogs (mostly Pitts and often abused) cruelly dumped and left to die in the California desert. (sorry, you’ll only be able to see these last 2 links if you have Facebook). So if you do enjoy knitting the Lychee Mittens, please consider making a small donation (money, time, goods, anything) to an animal rescue organization somewhere. :)
And don’t forget…this is a “Featured Summer Pattern” on the shop’s Ravelry group! You get 15% off your yarns for this project and if you post a pic of your project (hat and/or mitts), you go into the draw (Sept 21st) for a $25 gift certificate! All the details here. If you’re interested in my needle sizes used, and yarn colours, here are the links to my project pages…Square-Head and Matchy Mitts.