Knitting Pipeline is sponsored by my Longaberger home businessn and Quince & Co.

Knitting Pipeline is sponsored by Quince & Co. and Knitcircus Yarns

Friday, October 10, 2014

Episode 186 Mittens are the New Socks

Listen here or use the Flash Player on this site for current and past episodes. Flash Player is not compatible with Internet Explorer.  Try a different browser like Safari.  Or jaunt on over to iTunes to find the show there.

This episode is sponsored by my Longaberger Home Business and Quince & Co. I am also a Craftsy Affiliate. This means that if you click from the Craftsy ad on my website and purchase a class and/or materials, I receive credit for it. It is an easy way to support the show. Thank you!

Quince & Co wool yarns are sourced and spun in the US. Known in the trade as "territory wool," our wool comes from Merino, Rambouillet, and Columbia-based sheep that roam the ranges of Montana and Wyoming. All our wool and wool-blend yarns are spun in New England mills with venerable histories. By sourcing our wool in the US and manufacturing our yarn locally, we minimize our carbon footprint. Find Quince wool and the other Quince fibers at
You can find my Longaberger Home Business at
You can also find me here:

Knitting Pipeline Ravelry Group

Pipeliner Notes

Kickstarter Giveaway Thread is here. October 29 deadline. Leave a comment in the thread about your favorite colorway from Twist Fiber Studio.


Knitting Pipeline Cornerstone Inn Retreat October 22-25 2015

Knit any mittens, for yourself or others. Keep for your family or donate to charity.

If you want to donate to Threads Hope and Love please send to me at

 PO Box 549,  Washington IL 61571

Tag for mittens on Instgram and Twitter is #kpmittkal.

Join the  #annealong on Instagram and Twitter

Balsam Hollow and Green Gables kit from Little Skein in the Big Wool on Etsy

Nature Notes

We are in full fall mode here in Central Illinois. It’s a little chilly in the house this morning. I’m sitting on the porch with my Esjan shawl by Stephen West wrapped around me. The summer clothes can be safely put away now. We’ve had some warm days with temperatures about 80 but it was only for a short time around midday. Some of the plants in our garden show signs of cold weather damage. I’ve been covering up the Sweet Basil even when the temperature at night is in the 40’s. You don’t need freezing temperatures to blacken basil. I’ve been growing basil for 30 years and have tried many varieties, some of them a little strange such as chocolate basil and licorice basil. My tried and true is plain old Sweet Basil. Although there are many cultivars I try to get the most basic of basils for the garden as the flavor seems to be the best. This year I waited too long and was only able to get one Sweet Basil plant at the nursery. I purchased another cultivar which was also labeled Sweet Basil but had very small leaves. It is interesting to note that this plant with the smaller leaves (sorry I’ve lost the tag) is less susceptible to cold weather than it’s big leafed neighbor. I have not bothered to cover this plant at all and the leaves only have the occasional spot of black from the cold. The downside is that the smaller leaves are not as fragrant or taste as the large leaves.

The word basil comes from the Greek βασιλεύς (basileus), meaning "king",[6] as it has come to be associated with the Feast of the Cross commemorating the finding of the True Cross by St Helena mother of the emperor St. Constantine.[7] Alternatively the herbalist John Gerard noted of basil that those stung by scorpions would feel no pain if they ate of basil.[8] and Nicholas Culpeper notes of basil that it is "a herb of Mars and under the Scorpion, and therefore called Basilicon",[9] relating it to basilisk. The Oxford English Dictionary quotes speculations that basil may have been used in "some royal unguent, bath, or medicine". Basil is still considered the "king of herbs" by many cookery authors.[10]

I agree with the latter statement. Basil is probably my favorite herb for seasoning and I’ll be sad when I cannot walk a few steps outside my door to pick some basil.

Last night, October 8, 2014 there was a big show in the sky. There was a lunar eclipse with what they called Blood Moon because the moon appeared to be red, or rather orange red. There are loads of photos online right now and it was quite spectacular. I saw it through the trees from the comfort of the bedroom around 4 am. I could barely make out through the leaves that the eclipse was in progress. The moon appeared to be normal in color. That will have to suffice for me as I didn’t get outside early enough to see it this morning. Bronwyn, Missy, Pat and I were texting back and forth last night. Bronwyn recalled the solar eclipse in 1994 or 95 and how the shadows of the leaves were unusual. That is what I remember best about that eclipse as well. I was standing under the trees in our front yard and the shadows of the leaves looked like crescents. I still don’t understand why the shadows changed although I did read an explanation of it at the time. I probably took photos but if I go looking for them I’m sure I will get distracted and end up spending several hours looking at old photos.

Our quote today is from one my favorite nature writers, Edwin Way Teale.

For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together.
For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad.”
~ Edwin Way Teale
Needle Notes

I finished my Opal Sock Bunny from the workshop by Susan B Anderson at the Knitting Pipeline Maine Retreat. He’s pretty cute. Once I set my mind on finishing him it didn’t take that long.

Susan has come up with techniques so there is very little finishing work and you don’t have to figure out how to place the appendages. I like that so much!

Why knit mittens?
These are some of the reasons that people gave for sock knitting on our board. I think these apply to mittens as well as socks.

  • Mittens are portable. You can memorize a basic pattern and knit it without having to pay too much attention.
  • Mittens can be as easy or as difficult as you like. A beginning knitter can easily make a simple pair of mittens or you can get into more complicated mittens such as Norwegian Selbu Mittens or Latvian mittens with super fine yarn.
  • Mittens are great stashbusters for single and partial skeins of worsted weight.
  • They will fit someone. Your gauge might be off a bit but someone will be able to wear it.
  • Knitting mittens connects us with the past and with knitters around the world. People have been wearing mittens or some form of handwear for centuries. And people have been knitting mittens for centuries.

I like to knit mittens on dpn’s. I have used Magic Loop and its  fine but mittens for me lend themselves to dpns. Many mitten patterns are written for use on dpns but experienced Magic Loopers can convert.

Kathleen Kibblehouse Sweetart77 on Rav

Susan’s probably created a run on Noro with her Noro striped mittens with blog post A Pair and A Spare.

My friend Missy and I are on yarn diets. I suggested that she use the Magic Cake with scraps of worsted weight for mittens. So here’s how you could do it.
  • You will need 60 to 70 g of worsted weight yarn for an adult mitten.
  • I would probably find 30 to 40 g for a main color and then use any scraps for the other color. Then if the scraps are not coherent the mittens will still look like a pair.
  • Gather up worsted scraps and splice them together using the Felted Join or Double Knot.  I would probably prefer a Felted Join when possible because the colors would transition a little more smoothly.
  • Alternate 2 rows of MC with 2 rows of Magic Cake. You could knit the thumb in a solid color. You will need about 5 g for each thumb. Wouldn’t it be cute if the thumbs were different colors?
What are you waiting for? Go get Susan B Andersons Waiting for Winter Mittens pattern and cast on!

Favorite Mittens by Robin Hansen 2006
From Torirot:
I was listening to you podcast, and it was interesting that you mentioned “the mitten day”, October 14th. This day was known in Norway to be the first day of winter. This was marked on the “primstav”, the wooden stave they used as a calendar.The symbol for this day was often a mitten. They say this has nothing to do with the fact that you need mittens for winter, the symbol is suppposed to be a bishop’s glove (sometimes a bishop’s hat) to remind of some catholic saint. But anyway, we who like knitting mittens, we can interpret that as we like.
It was also fun to hear because I will be releasing a mitten e-book on October 14ht this year. It’s made together with some fellow Norwegian knitters, bloggers and designers. It will be published in Norwegian on the 14th, and then, as soon as we get the translation ready, also in English.
So I thought I’d ask you if you would be interested in doing a giveaway on your podcast for the e-book later this autumn. The mittens are colourwork mittens, in fingering and sport weight yarn, and there are both children, woman and man’s sizes. One of the mittens is currently beeing knitted as a mystery Kal, see here.

Best regards,

Have a great week, haste ye back, and hold your knitting close!

No comments:

About Me

My photo
I play the Great Highland Pipes, knit, observe nature, and read. My name on Ravelry is PrairiePiper. Find me on Instagram as KnittingPipeline.