It is definitely winter now with a major snow storm hitting the east coast, but I am ready for the cold and will be nice and toasty in my new hat and mittens.
Earlier this season, when we had a few cold days I took out my mittens and hat, which I had made four or five years earlier and decided that it was time for a new set. Although there is an abundant stash of yarn in my house, sometimes the right color, fiber combo just isn’t there. On a vacation in Vermont several years ago, I had purchased a fabulous wool jacket from Johnson Woolen Mills and wanted my new hat and mittens to coordinate with that article of outerwear. I was looking for a wool blend in a bulky yarn and found just the ticket at Michaels. Best of all, the Loops & Threads Cozy Wool was on sale!
My plan was to modify the crochet mitten pattern I have previously used (see Mittens and a Scarf post) to eliminate the gaps between the double crochets and to allow for a better fit for my hands. Because, I love cables the pattern on the label of Loops & Threads Cozy Wool was perfect (I would just make the ribbed edge a contrasting color). I was all set to make my hat and mittens figuring I could knock them out in a few evenings.
The patterns were perfect, the yarn was perfect, there was just one small problem – – I didn’t have the right size circular needles. Since I now crochet more than I knit I really didn’t want to go and invest in a pair of circular needles I might not use very often. Donning my thinking hat (since my new hat was still a skein of yarn) I pondered what to do. The light bulb lit up as I remembered the series of hat patterns that Rebecca of Little Monkeys Crochet had recently published. Hopping over to her site, I found a great alternative for my planned hat (phew!). I’ve made several items from Little Monkeys Crochet and have found the directions very easy to follow. Thank you, Rebecca for all the great (and free) patterns!
The Rustic Slouch Hat just needed a few little tweaks to make it perfect for me. I had already decided that I wanted the hat band to be in a contrasting color, so when it was time to add the hat edge (row 45) I switched to slightly larger hook than the pattern called for (I used a J hook) and completed the first row of the hat edge in the same color as the main body. This creates a much neater look when crocheting along a side edge. For row 46 I switched yarn color to a lovely red to really give my hat a pop of color. A vintage black button from my button jar added the perfect finishing touch!
For the coordinating mittens, I had already decided on reversing the colors. Red would be the principle color and the grey an accent. I wrote up the pattern for the Warm and Cozy Mittens which is posted below.
Wool is great for shedding water and keeping you warm even when it gets wet, so tomorrow I am ready to go out and play in all the lovely white stuff that is falling from the skies today. Although, I might just wait until Sunday, when the wind is supposed to die down.
I’d love to know what you think of these mittens and if you try the pattern.