Free Knitting Pattern: Pom Pom Socklets

The pattern for these cuties popped up this week on the Purl Soho website. The yarn they used is one of their brands called Posy, a blend of merino, cashmere and nylon, which comes in 24 lovely colors. The pattern is written for five sizes, and is a basic top town sock pattern with very short cuffs. Instructions call for double pointed needles but magic loop could also be used. The link to the pattern can be found under the photo. Summer’s coming, better get knitting!

Free Knitting Pattern: Easy Two Needle Mittens

link to the pattern

The Simplicity brand is generally associated with sewing rather than knitting, but their website does include a few knitting patterns. I’ve been trying out different mitten patterns to knit and felt, and this one is my new go-to, minus the suede add on. It has instructions for multiple sizes, and features one of the easiest ever thumb designs. A pleasure to knit away on this basic pattern in front of the tv, during long phone chats with friends, or while listening to an audio book. Hope you find this great pattern as useful as I do.

Textile Tales: Send Someone the Mitten

This morning, the Old Sturbridge Village weekly newsletter contained a quirky article involving, of all things, mitten symbolism. Rather than paraphrase, I’m posting it verbatim.

Slang and figures of speech change over time and from place to place. The phrase “sending someone the mitten” meant to break up with them or to reject a proposal. The Old Sturbridge Village Museum Collection contains an assortment of mittens, including the unique, miniature mitten shown below. As you can see, it measures only 1 ½ inches long! According to the donor, this mitten was sent by Admah Edgecombe of Bethel, ME to her fiancé, Charles Poole of Woburn, MA to break off their engagement. Despite this, they later married in 1857 and had three children. Whether or not this story is true, the mitten demonstrates incredible knitting technique, especially in the thumb gusset construction.

I’ve been knitting and felting many pairs of mittens this winter. What have you been working on?

Who is the Patron Saint of Knitters?

Someone on one of the forums I haunt asked this question. Being extremely interested both in knitting and in religious history, it was necessary to immediately start a search. Some say that the patron saint is Fiacre. It seems he was the patron of cap makers, and when knitted caps were “invented”, Fiacre got the nod by default. An early guild for knitters was organized in Paris in 1527 was named The Guild of St. Fiacre. So who was this person with the strange name?

It is said that Fiachra, or Fiacre, traveled to France from Ireland, in search of a quiet place in which to withdraw from society and devote his life to God. The bishop of Meaux granted him a plot of land on which he built a hermitage with a garden and a hospice for travellers, which over time grew into the village of Saint-Fiacre in Seine-et-Marne. Fiacre was reknowned for his healing powers, both spiritual and physical, but women were never allowed into the hermitage, possibly because one uppity female said he practiced witchcraft. Those who attempted to transgress usually suffered consequences, as in the case of a lady who was instantly struck mad. I wonder how Fiacre would feel today about being the patron saint of a craft performed by so many women!

In addition to knitting, Fiacre is also patron of cab drivers and gardeners. French cabs are called fiacres because the first coach-for-hire enterprise in 17th century Paris was near a house named for him. Fiacre’s relics are still housed and visited in the cathedral at Meaux. I first heard this saint’s name at a local herb garden, Caprilands, which up until a few years ago, was internationally known. I even have a tiny statue of Fiacre in my own herb garden.

One of many miracle stories in Fiacre’s CV is that of a man whose genitals were sorely afflicted (I bet!) and, by making a wax model of his painful organ, which by custom would have been burned at the altar, was cured. Now there’s a picture! Did I mention that Fiacre is also the patron saint of STD’s? No lie!

Free Knitting Pattern: Cushy Cable Hat

The loosely formed cables on this little hat are eye catching, aren’t they? That’s what first caught my eye, anyway, and when I checked out the pattern, it became even more interesting because it’s made from roving, Paton’s Classic Wool Roving in Cherry. The pattern calls for size 9.5 and 10.5 (US) double points, and two skeins of yarn, which comes in 16 yummy colors. Looks like fun and should be quick.

You can access this free pattern from Yarnspirations

Christmas Knits: Merry Ear Flap Hat

Hop on over to Purl Soho to access this fun pattern.

Purl Soho is one of my absolute favorite online knitting resources. This week, the PS folks have outdone themselves with not just one but three appealing hat patterns, all of them quick and easy, just in the Nick of time for last minute holiday gift knitting. (Sorry, couldn’t resist the terrible pun). Yesterday I wrote about their very cool Three Yarn Hat and today I’m adding their Ear Flap Hat pattern, which includes instructions for three sizes. I fully intend to make some of these for charity giving, and also make one of each for myself. PS offers kits, or you can dive into your own stash, though that isn’t as much fun. In any event, enjoy, and happy knitting!

Free Knitting Pattern: Three Yarn Hat

It’s been quite a while since I’ve added any new patterns to Dances With Wools, mainly because recent projects have been taken from patterns I already have. (The main reason I started this blog was to have a handy place to store fiber arts stuff I like without having to resort to hard copies.) But this month, Purl Soho has posted several stylish, quick and easy hat patterns, which make perfect gifts for the holidays or for giving to charity. PS offers kit bundles if you’re so inclined or just check out your stash. I’d like to try knitting one of these with three coordinating colors of yarn.

I’ll be posting few more of their great patterns shortly. But first, time to cast on!


Hop over to Purl Soho to find this pattern and read more.

My Favorite Felted Mittens Pattern

photo: LGP

Last winter, I knitted, felted and sold about 20 pairs of felted mittens at pre-holiday craft fairs. I don’t mind making socks on circular needles, but not mittens – guess the hole for the thumb bothers me, I dunno. Anyway, I use the 2-needle pattern below, but I make the mittens much larger than if they weren’t about to be felted.  That means, for a child, I make a small adult size. For men, the bigger medium or largest  size. You have to use your judgement and know your yarn. Use your judgment for women.  For felting, I’ve found that Paton’s 100% wool worsted weight gives me predictable results. It is readily available, inexpensive, knits up beautifully, and comes in many lovely solids and blends. Yarns made specifically for felting shrink too much for this application.

Traditional two needle mittens work up quickly, and suit everyone from child to adult. Use up your yarn stash and knit a pair of mittens in a different color for everyone in the family.
Sizes: small child, medium child, large child, adult

# Materials: #5 and #7 needles
# 200 yards of worsted weight yarn
# 1 stitch holder
# 2 stitch markers
# tapestry needle

Gauge: 5 sts = 1″ on #7 needles

Cuff: With smaller needles, loosely cast on 24(28-32-36)sts. Work *K1, P1,* ribbing until piece measures 2 1/2 (3 1/2, 4, 4 1/2)”. Change to larger needle.

Hand: Row 1 (right side): K2, inc in next st, K to last 3 sts inc in next st, K1. Row 2 Purl. Continue working in SS until piece measures 1″ (1 1/4, 1 1/2, 2″) from end of ribbing, ending with a P row. For the last 3 sizes only Work 2 more rows. (SS)

Thumb Gusset: Row 1: K12 (12-14-16-18), place marker on needle; inc in each of next 2 sts, place marker on needle: K12 (14-16-18) sts. Row 2: and all even rows Purl. Row 3: K to marker, sl marker, inc in next st; K to st before next marker, inc in next st, sl marker, K to end. Repeat Rows2 and 3 until there are 8 (10-12-14) sts between the markers; end by working Row 2.

Divide for Thumb: K12 (14-16-18), drop marker; K8 (10-12-14)sts for thumb, and then place thumb sts on holder; K 12 (14-16-18) Work even in SS until work measures 4″ (5 1/2 -6-7″) from start of Hand, ending by working a purl row.

Top Shaping: Row 1: *K2, K2tog; rep from* across. Row 2: Purl. Row 3: *K1, K2tog, rep from * Rowb 4: Purl. Row 5: K2tog across; break yarn, leaving 18″ end. Thread yarn into tapestry

needle, run needle through remaining sts. Slip sts off needle, pull yarn up tightly and fasten securely. leave yarn for sewing.

Thumb: Sl sts from holder to needle, purl one row. Work even in SS until thumb measures 1 1/4 ( 1 3/4-2-2 1/4″) ending with a purl row. Next Row: K2 tog, rep across row cut yarn leaving 12″ end finished the same as above. Fold mitten and sew seams.

Your mittens will be comically large and floppy. That’s OK, that’s what you want. Follow your best felting instructions until they shrink to size. I’ve been known to throw wet mittens in the dryer, medium setting, to get to where I want them.

Good luck, happy knitting , let me know how you do!

(updated 2/2/11)