Ellerbe Mitts

You might have noticed that it’s a new year. So did I. Anyway, I’ve decided to start selling my designs again this year, and so here I am with my Ellerbe Mitts pattern.

Green fingerless mitts
Warm mitts, suitable for handspun or commercial yarn.

Ellerbe Creek runs near where I live in Durham, North Carolina. I love going for walks by the creek and will donate ten percent of my proceeds from these mitts to the Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association.

The mitts are knit from the top down (from fingers to wrist). Most of the knitting is plain stockinette, with a motif from Barbara Walker’s Second Treasury: Cornflower stitch. The motif makes a vertical stripe down the back of the hand and also decorates the thumb gusset. It resembles embroidery, but is actually elongated stitches pulled over the surface of the knitting. To enhance the effect, I recommend solid colored yarn, variegated yarn, or deliberately creating stripes using multiple different yarns.

Sizes:

Medium: hand portion is 7.2 inches (18.25cm) around and the cuff is 6.5 inches (16.25cm).
Large: hand portion is 8 inches (20.32cm) around and the cuff is 7.2 inches (18.25cm)
For this project, I would recommend treating the first mitt as a swatch; if it doesn’t work out, it’s not all that much knitting to redo it.

Materials needed:

~50 yards of DK (or light worsted weight yarn). I used handspun yarn to design the mitts.
Size 7 needles (double points or circulars, depending on your preferred method) or the correct size to achieve gauge; also a spare knitting needle of similar size (it doesn’t have to match).
Two cable needles or two pieces of scrap yarn. (optional)
A little bit of smooth waste yarn
Techniques:

You need to know how to cast on, bind off, knit, purl, yarn over, slip stitches, decrease, and knit in the round. The instructions are not written for any particular method of knitting in the round – you choose how to arrange the stitches for double pointed needles, Magic Loop, or two circulars. I provide both written instructions and a chart for the stitch pattern.

Lemonade

Handspun, handwoven, green and brown scarf

This was an exercise in making lemonade from lemons!

I had some grey Coopworth combed top, which I handpainted. Unfortunately, I was (and am) still pretty new to dyeing, and the fiber got somewhat felted.

So I pulled it apart into color chunks, and combed the different sections to produce a very little bit of combed top which was lovely to spin up into a small quantity of semi-worsted 3-ply using a spindle.

Because the fiber had been felted, there was a lot of combing waste. I needed something to practice wheel spinning with (because I had some fiber I wanted to spin on a wheel for the Tour de Fleece), so I drum carded the waste, knowing full well that I’d end up with lumpy-bumpy thick and thin yarn. Which I did, and then I plied it with some very thin bouclé that my friend had. I liked it, but it was bulkier than I usually like to use, and besides, it wasn’t really quite my style.

two very different yarns

So I decided that the two yarns put together would make a project, and bethought myself of using a backstrap loom for the purpose. Now, I’ve put together another backstrap, but haven’t finished the project. Also, it’s been over 20 years since I did any serious weaving.

I am therefore pretty damn pleased with the result! It’s a fairly consistent width and the selvedges are not tooblobby.