Gift Guide, Knitting Notes, Project Ideas

A Great Gift Set

A Great Gift Set

Luminosa & a fur pompom
All I need for a great gift set

Last week I knit up a sample for the shop – a Beloved Aran hat made using Cascade’s Luminosa.  I topped it off with a black fur pompom and the end product was pretty darn cute.  You may have read my musings on this yarn in last week’s blog.  Thinking back, I shouldn’t be surprised that I enjoyed knitting it so much.  One of our knitters observantly pointed out that it was very similar to another of my favorites: Katia’s Cotton Merino.  Like Cotton Merino, Luminosa has a sturdy chainette core surrounded by a soft fuzz of alpaca.  It knit up so beautifully, quickly and easily and I wasn’t quite ready for the project to be over.  Plus, each skein of Luminosa is a generous 240 yards, so I had a lot of yarn remaining after knitting the hat.  I decided we needed some matching fingerless mitts!  So, I set off and knit some up and now I have a pattern for all of you!

Luminosa Beloved 2
Beloved hat in Luminosa!

The Luminous Mitts (very obvious name, I know!) have a double seed stitch pattern across the top of the mitt to complement the texture of the Beloved Hat.  I’m one of those people whose fingers turn white and numb when they’re cold (aka Raynaud’s) so I like my fingerless mitts to cover a good chunk of my fingers.  I made them so the section above the thumb is about 4” long – but they can easily be shorted if you prefer less coverage for your fingers.  These are also written for an average adult woman’s hand, but this pattern is easy to modify and make bigger. 

Luminous Mitts
Luminous Mitts

You’ll need to be comfortable with small-circumference knitting in the round to make these mitts – or ready to give it a go. If this skill is new to you, I highly recommend Addi’s FlexiFlips for your first foray into this technique.  While even the most experienced knitters will appreciate the speed and comfort that goes along with these new needles, they are less awkward than double points and more intuitive than magic loop.  (I often tell knitters that working with them is like a hybrid of using double points and magic loop!)  This pattern lends itself nicely to using magic loop, 2 circular needles or FlexiFlips for your small-circumference knitting in the round, as the stitches are easily divided between the “top” and “underside” of the hand – so dividing the stitches between two needles (ie using FlexiFlips, magic loop or two circulars) really makes sense. 

As a gift recipient, I’ve always loved getting a hat and mitten set.  These small accessories can go a long way into adding a fresh look to your cold weather gear, and having a matched pair looks polished and put together.  As the Beloved hat has been such a popular gift knitting project, a pair of mitts to match just made sense to me.  Plus, this duo can be knit up with one skein of Luminosa, which is even better for those of us doing the gift knitting! I love the Beloved Hat topped with a fur pompom, but this combo of patterns will leave enough yarn to make a pompom out of your remaining Luminosa.  As Luminosa comes in all dark colors, an obvious alternative for yarn is Katia’s Cotton Merino.  Also, a set knit up in the new Icon yarn is another wonderful option!  (If you go with either of these yarn subs, you’ll need two skeins of each.)  Both of these yarns have a wide variety of color choices, and they both feel sublimely soft next to your skin (just like Luminosa). 

It’s never too early to start thinking about your gift knitting, and we hope you’ll add this little set to your go-to projects this holiday season! 

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