I love hand-painted yarns, so was very excited when Knit Now wanted designs for Artesano 's hand-painted alpaca/wool blend double knitting yarn. Hand dyed yarns can sometimes be hard to work with, creating unwanted or unexpected pooling when knitted in straight stocking stitch, and cables and lace are often lost. To make the most of the yarn's colours, I designed my Shake It Up mitts. They feature a slipped stitch pattern that break up stretches of knitting, shuffling the colours in the yarn as you knit. To reduce the chances of pooling even further, I alternated skeins every couple of rows while I was knitting, a technique that can be really useful with multi-coloured yarns.
I'm really pleased with the finished mitts. They're lovely and cosy - alpaca is well known for its warmth, and the slipped stitch pattern makes for a thicker fabric, so these mitts are properly snuggly. The yarn comes in lots of lovely colourways: my mitts are knitted in Grape Harvest, but I also love Sea Serpent and Peacock Feather, and might even make a second pair in one of these colourways.
I meant to photograph these mitts before they got sent off for their official photoshoot, but in my rush to get them dried (we'd had several days of rain when I knitted these, which is not the best weather for blocking things; so much for summer) I totally forgot, so you'll have to make do with a photo of the photo of them in the magazine. Should you wish to knit a pair, the pattern is available in this month's issue of Knit Now, which is available from today.