knitting, design process

Annie’s Mittens

Every year the West Coast Knitters’ Guild knits mittens for a kindergarten or grade one class in New York City. One of our members has a daughter who teaches at an inner city NYC public school. These little kids go to school without proper clothing in the winter and it’s the least our membership can do to help out. Last month when Laura went to visit her daughter Annie for Christmas she was able to bring enough mittens for two grade one classes, thanks to our efforts.

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In addition to the nice charitable feeling it imparted, it allowed me to experiment with a design idea I’ve had for a while. I’ve been designing almost exclusively with self-patterning sock yarns for a few years now and there are some limitations – needle size and gauge to name two. I decided to double up on the yarn to see what I would get. Two strands of fingering weight yarn worked together equal a double knitting weight (hence the term, I believe) and I was able to use a 4 mm needle. These mittens were a much faster knit than I’ve been used to! I purposely offset the printed pattern repeat in the ball of yarn and I really like the blurred effect. I plan on applying this idea to a design some time soon.


As president of the Guild, I had the honor of seeing all the photos of the kids wearing their new mittens (3 CDs full!). They all have happy smiling faces and they are so sweet. They even wrote us thank you letters and drew pictures of the mittens. I would love to share with you the darling photos of the two beautiful boys modeling my mittens – their eyes are so expressive. We’ll have to be satisfied with these shots since we don’t have permission to put recognisable photos of the kids’ faces on the internet.


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