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Mitten Fever

['At the Library with Chantelle Taylor']
['At the Library with Chantelle Taylor']

At the Library with Chantelle Taylor

Two weeks ago I posted a new knitting book on the library’s Instagram account and it’s got me thinking about mittens.  

Mittens happened to be one of my favourite things to knit, but in the last couple of years it seems socks have replaced mittens and looking at my Ravelry page(social media for knitters) I haven’t knit a mitten in over a year and the last mitten I knit was for my niece, not me. So with a bag of new yarn sitting in front of me, it’s time to cast on some mittens.

Knit Mitts: Your Hand-y Guide to Knitting Mittens and Gloves by Kate Atherley is the book that ignited my fever to knit some mittens.  Kate Atherley is a well know pattern designer, and the library owns all three of her books. Knit Mittens includes not only patterns, but gives you some basics like how to measure your hand to get a good fit, how much yarn you will need based on the weight of the yarn.  I have my eye on ‘Instant Mash’ a bulky cable mitten and ‘Guillemet’ a geometric colorwork mitten. 

Our second new knitting book just about mittens is The Mitten Handbook: Knitting Recipes to Make Your Own by Mary Scott Huff.  This is another great resource with various patterns, but also great tips for how to design your own patterns.  It walks the reader through various cuffs, thumb gussets and tops of mittens, so you can customize a pattern to your liking.  I have now added the ‘Winter Garden’ (a felted mitten with embroidery) and the ‘Gurnsey’ (a textured pattern mitten) to my Ravelry queue!

Mitten patterns can vary depending on the country you live in.  Of course here in the Maritimes, we love our thrummed and honey comb mittens.  Favorite Mittens: Best Traditional Mitten Patterns from Fox & Geese & Fences and Flying Geese & Partridge Feet by Robin Hansen, looks at some of the traditional patterns from the east coast. I have knitted a couple of pairs of mittens from this book including the ‘Sawtooth” pattern.  If you are looking for a challenge, Mostly Mittens: Ethnic Knitting designs from Russia by Charlene Schurch, contains lovely intricate colorwork patterns.

There are also lots of books that are not exclusively mittens including: 60 Quick Knits: 20 Hats, 20 Scarves, 20 mittens in Cascade 220 by Tanis Gray, New Twists on Twined Knitting: A Fresh Look at a Traditional Technique by Laura Farson, Magnificent Mittens and Socks by Anna Zilboorg, or Monster Knits for Little Monsters, 20 Super-cute Animal-themed Hat, Mitten and Bootie Sets to Knit by Nuriya.

There are also books about mittens; The Mitten, A Ukrainian Folktale by Jan Brett, Mittens to Share by Emil Sher, Knitty Kitty by David Elliott or Peter Cottontail and The Great Mitten Hunt by Laura P. Norton.  For more books on knitting or anything else, check us out at [CT1]

Chantelle Taylor is the deputy chief librarian at the Cumberland Public Libraries

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