Twisted-Stitch Mitts from Stitch Mountain

Last year I got the opportunity to design a pattern for Stitch Mountain, the unique book that paired winter sports athletes with knitwear designers and resulted in beautiful garments and accessories tailored toward those cold days on the slopes. Though I am a hopeless skier myself (not to mention snowboarding, I've never even tried that!), I love watching the superb talent these athletes demonstrate each time they compete! MarcoSullivan_Twisted-StitchMitts

My design in Stitch Mountain, the Twisted-Stitch Mitts, was inspired by Marco Sullivan, an amazing downhill skier based in the Truckee/Lake Tahoe area. Since I am somewhat local here in Reno and certainly love spending time up at the lake I was super excited to take on the challenge of designing a pair of green and white fingerless mitts as requested by Marco.

Twisted Stitch Mitts

I started with corrugated ribbing at the cuff and then moved into the ever squishy and warm garter stitch stripes for the body. This allowed a traveling slipped stitch design to feature prominently in the design. I was inspired by the tracks left by skis in the snow, which is how I came up with the woven trails stitch pattern for the back of the hand. Finally, Marco has a large fan base that all wear green and white hats that say "Marco Rocks" on them so he also wanted the fingerless mitts to say this across the knuckles. It was easy enough to embroider this in a third, contrasting color across the corrugated ribbing. Using Rowan Pure Wool 4-ply, I chose a dark green and cream for the body and a bright lime green for the embroidery, which is a more earthy spin on the stark green and white of the "Marco Rocks" hats, but which suited my color sensibilities perfectly!

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As an added bonus, the incredibly talented photographer, Brad Swonetz, managed to find a fence post with the *perfect* color lime green moss on it to take the photos. That combined with the model's jacket (also the perfect shade of lime green) makes a gorgeously composed photo that really brings out the color of the mitts. They did such an amazing job with all the photography, but I must say this is my favorite of the photos. I'm not biased, right?

This was a super fun project to be involved in and I am so grateful to be included in Stitch Mountain. I encourage you all to go take a look at all the gorgeous patterns in the book. Some of my favorites are the Diamond Cowl by Kristen Ashbaugh-Helmreich, the Podium Pullover by Sally Melville and the Slouchy Socks by Gwen Bortner, but I've seen all the designs in person and they are all beautiful! Today, on the Stitch & Unwind blog by AllFreeKnitting.com, you can win a bouquet with all the yarn you need to make the Twisted-Stitch Mitts, as well as your very own copy of Stitch Mountain. Check it out for this giveaway as well as many others for the rest of this month!

New Design: Star Trek Hat

Introducing my latest design, the Star Trek Hat, in which I expose just how truly nerdy (and proud of it!) I really am! 20130909_173641

Hey all you Trekkers out there, this hat design is for you! I have really enjoyed the recent Star Trek movies, in fact, it has kicked off a crusade to watch every episode of every Star Trek television series and movie ever made (we found this awesome chronological list and are *trying* to follow it!). So far my husband and I have watched all of Enterprise, The Next Generation, and most of Voyager. Right now, we are halfway through the Original Series, and I must say, it is testing my devotion to this cause. Every once in a while I can see past the cheesy 1960's special effects and bad acting to the true genius of the show, but for the most part it is a slog that I can't wait to be done with. I will finish it though, because I feel like you can't call yourself a true Trekkie until you make it through the entire thing! Our next plan is to watch TNG, Voyager and Deep Space Nine all at the same time, in the order they would have originally aired, how’s that for nerdy!!

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Back to the hat! I was inspired by the redesign of the original Star Trek uniforms for the latest movies and decided to make a hat pattern based on the colors and material. The colors in the new uniforms are a little brighter than they have been in the past and I found the *perfect* red and yellow in Trendsetter Yarns Merino 6. They also have a pretty good blue (I would have liked one with a smidge more turquoise in it but oh well!) and of course the black is a nice deep, dark shade so I decided to go with it!

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The part that really captured my interest was the textured fabric used for the uniforms. I found a slipped stitch pattern that mimics that fabric pretty well and used it for the hat’s folded brim. It is super warm and cushy, perfect for those cold and windy away missions...ummm, I mean winter hikes! The black comes in just for the plain stockinette top of the hat. And then the final (and most awesome!) finishing touch is the insignia pin for your chosen track! I got these from Thinkgeek; they are a little pricey but look very authentic so the cost was totally worth it in my opinion. Of course, for a more subtle Star Trek hat you can skip the pin entirely!

So, pick your favorite track (Command, Engineering, or Sciences) and…..ENGAGE (but if you choose red be sure and avoid away missions)! You can purchase the pattern on Ravelry here.