New Year, New Skills, New Mittens KAL

January 13, 2013 at 6:00 am 4 comments

At the beginning of each new year, our thoughts naturally turn to the idea of learning new skills in life. So it is very likely as a knitter or crocheter you have thought “This year I would like to do x, y, or z project.” Personally, I have said “I will knit colorwork mittens and learn stranded knitting with at least two colors” for the last three years.  When talking to other crafting friends, I have learned this is a common phenomenon. So this year I am turning the learning and project goal into a KAL  here at the Polka Dot Sheep blog. Would you like to join me?

The mittens we have chosen for this KAL are the beautiful Northman Mittens designed by David Schulz.

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These mittens have the classic Norwegian mitten style with the pointed finger tips and two colors. I also believe that the design is very unisex. They are also lined. The pattern itself is highly rated on Ravelry (4.7 stars out of 5) with many commenting on its clear instructions and excellent charts.

Northman liner

David recommends Berroco Ultra Alpaca yarn for the mittens. This is perfect as we have 39 colors of Ultra Alpaca in stock. Personally I will be using another great yarn for stranded knitting , Harrisville New England Highland. For the lining, we recommend the very affordable Malabrigo Lace held double. Two other luxurious possibilities for liner yarns are  Blue Sky Alpaca Silk or Blue Sky Alpaca Brushed Suri. If you want to make very warm mittens, use Ultra Alpaca and Blue Sky’s Brushed Suri. Interesting side note, the usual description of the Brushed Suri by customers is “kitten soft”. Imagine slipping your chilly fingers into those mittens!

Click the projects button above (please come back to read more) to see all the beautiful Northman Mitten projects on Ravelry! There are some fantastic color combinations. Two of my favorites are ItalianDishKnit’s Turquiose Northman Mittens (she used the Brushed Suri for lining) and Schizospider’s Mom Color Mittens.

So here are some details you need to join us in the Northman Mittens KAL!

Start Date: Sunday, January 20th

End Date: Saturday, February 23th

Yarn: Choose two colors of worsted weight yarn for your mittens, 1 skein (~200 yds) each. You want to have a good amount of contrast between the colors either in actual color or intensity of color for a tonal look. One color will be your main color (MC) and the background of the design.  The second color will be your contrast color (CC) and the color the design elements are ie the snowflakes. Then choose a liner color and yarn (~200 yds or 400 yds if lace weight), any color that suits your fancy will work here as long as the yarn knits up correct gauge (sport or DK or lace weight held double).

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Sizes: The Northman Mittens are sized Adult Small, Medium, or Large to fit hands measuring 7.5″, (8.25″ or 9″) hand circumference. To find your hand circumference, measure around your palm above (but not including) your thumb. David says if your hand is between size, knit the next size up.

Gauge: Your gauge will depend upon the size you are knitting. The outer mitten gauge is 7 (6.5, 6) stitches per inch in the pattern, the liner gauge is 5.5 (5, 4.5) stitches per inch in stockinette stitch.

Needles: The suggested needle sizes are US 3, US 4, or US 5. But like we always say, those needle sizes are simply a starting point and you will need to use the needle size that gives you the required gauge. As we will be knitting in the round around a small circumference, use your favorite method to accomplish this. Double pointed needles, magic loop or two circulars are all possibilities.

If you are anything like me, all this explanation is starting to sound like a bit much. But remember my stated reasons for leading this KAL, To learn how to do two color stranded knitting and make mittens. So if you want to do that, join us. I will be right there with you as a newbie. I will share any videos, tutorials, and tips that I use to learn. My BFF, Jamie, will be joining us and she is a very skilled knitter and teacher. There is a Ravelry thread in our group. We hope some of our group regulars will join us there.

So fear not, buy your Northman Mitten pattern, and gather your yarn and needles!

Get Pattern button

To inspire you, here are Jamie and I’s color choices.

Jamie Northman colors

Jamie’s Colors (left to right): Outer Mitten – Berroco Ultra Alpaca in Chocolate (MC) & Pastel Blue (CC), Liner – Malabrigo Lace in Damask Rose

Angela's Colors (left to right): Outer Mitten - Harrisville New England Highland in Magenta (MC) & Natural (CC), Liner - Malabrigo Lace in Water Green

Angela’s Colors (left to right): Outer Mitten – Harrisville New England Highland in Magenta (MC) & Natural (CC), Liner – Malabrigo Lace in Water Green

I am really excited to lead this KAL. Thanks for joining us! If you have any questions, ask here in the comments or in the Ravelry thread!

~Angela M.

Other posts in the Northman Mitten KAL series: More Malabrigo and Video Helps for Northman Mitten KAL

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Entry filed under: KAL/CAL, Patterns, Projects, Ravelry, Tutorials / How to, Yarn. Tags: , , , , , , , .

Farewell 2012 SALE More Malabrigo and Video Helps for Northman Mitten KAL

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