Claire’s Fiddlehead Mittens

Claire with her Fiddlehead Mittens

I first saw the Fiddlehead Mitten when my friend Suzanne was knitting a pair in red and white to give as a gift.  It was love at first sight! I just had to knit a pair!  The colors she was using immediately made me think of my niece, Claire, who is away at a college where the school colors are red and white.  I knew that the lined mitten would be toasty warm for her while she was trekking across campus during the dead of winter.

I quickly set off to make her a pair for Christmas.  Suzanne is a big proponent of the magic loop method of knitting so I decided that learning magic loop needed to be first on my list of priorities.  I picked up the book The Magic Loop by Bev Galeskas with Sarah Hauschka quickly learned the basics of using one 40” circular needle to knit in the round.  This worked beautifully as one side of the mitten is knit and then it is turned over and knit across the other side.  There were no double-pointed needles getting in my way and I was able to see the pattern laid out flat before me.  I had read charts before but reading them while changing colors was a little bit different.  I had just recently tried my hand at two-color stranded knitting on a different pair of mittens and was able to knit continental with one color in my left hand while “throwing” with my right.  Utilizing all of these skills at one time was really exciting and it was thrilling to watch it all come together in such an amazing finished product.

I did finish Claire’s mittens in time for Christmas Eve but I didn’t get the lining completed before I gave them to her.  She opened them and was excited to have such a cozy mitten.  I put them back on the needles and picked up the stitches for the mitten lining.  I decided to knit both of the linings together using the Magic Loop method.  I spent all of Christmas Day happily finishing the lining so she could take them back with her to college.

I was so excited about the mitten process and the finished product, I decided to knit a pair for myself in blue and green to match my winter coat.  I also decided that I wanted to share these beautiful mittens with others, so I will be teaching a class (three evening sessions March 2nd, 9th, and 23rd) on how to knit them.  Some of you might be ready to learn one or more of the techniques described while others might just be excited to try all of these techniques together like I was.  Whatever your desire, I hope you will come along with me on my mitten adventure!

Pam Olson

See the Knit’n from the Heart class schedule at  http://www.heartknits.com/schedule.html.

Eileen’s Mexico Vacation

Eileen in Mexico

Just wanted to show that Knit’n From The Heart can travel anywhere.  I returned from a trip to Mexico last week.  Of course, I could not go anywhere without something to knit.  I figured a pair of socks would be easy enough to work on.  And, as you can see by the picture, I had my bag out by the pool.  Now, as for the look I have on my face I don’t know if it was from the sun or the margaritas!

Something I learned from this trip is that Mexico does not like you to carry needles on the plane.  I had no problem having them on board going to Mexico.  But when I was going home they checked my carry-on and were going to take my knitting needles, explaining that I could not carry them on the plane.  Well, I almost had a heart attack because I had 3 Addi circular needles!  Count them, three.  I told Ed, my husband, that I can’t leave without my Addis.  I was lucky enough to have an understanding official who told me I could go back and check them in my baggage.  So I went back through the lines, zipped up my carry-on and checked it.

Eileen's Sock In Progress

I’m glad to be back in Minnesota at Knit’n from the Heart’s Wednesday Morning Divas and my second home.  I wish the snow would just go away!

Eileen B

Knit’n from the Heart comment: Looks like from the picture at the left showing the progress on the sock that the margaritas might have won out over knitting. 🙂

Our New Instructor, Suzanne Wortmann

Suzanne

Suzanne recently taught her first class for Knit’n from the Heart (KFTH), Basic Socks on DP Needles. Suzanne did a wonderful job, and all of the students finished their socks. One of the students sent us an email immediately after the class and said “Hi – I just took a basic sock class taught by Suzanne on Wednesday evenings.  It was wonderful!  Suzanne knew the pattern well and helped each of us individually when needed.  She was very patient with us. We all finished our sock and left happy.  It was a fun class, and I certainly would come back to the shop for other classes.  Thank you Suzanne!” We thought you might like to know Suzanne a little better.

KFTH: How long have you been knitting?

My mother is a great knitter, but so profoundly left-handed, that she was never able to teach me to knit. So, finally, a friend taught me while we watched the 1988 Democratic convention.  I made an Icelandic sweater for my now husband and gave it to him for Christmas.  I chose to knit this first because I wanted to use thick yarn and big needles.  Of course, I didn’t take into account that he would be too hot in it, so my bonus is that I got to wear it and still do!

KFTH: What role/benefit does knitting play in your life?

Knitting is a great stress reliever for me.  I love to see patterns come to life and touch the yarn.

KFTH: What are your favorite things to knit?
My favorite things to knit are socks, hats and mittens.  I do still knit the occasional sweater, but size is always a bit of a struggle for me and the frustration outweighs the benefits.  With socks, hats and mittens, everyone needs them and size isn’t such an issue.  Plus, they are great gifts to give.

Fabulous Feet from Suzanne's Sock Class

KFTH: What is a recent favorite project purchased at our shop?

Lately, I have been knitting a lot of mittens.  It is that time of year I guess!  But I am most excited about an afghan that is in progress with yarn I received for Christmas.  The yarn is Cascade Lana Grande, and the afghan pattern is Umaro Textured Throw by Jared Flood.  It is a beautiful soft 3-ply wool with one of the plys being just a tad darker than the other two.  And the bonus, big needles so it’s going quickly!

KFTH: What do you enjoy about teaching?

I love sharing the gift of knitting that my friend gave to me with other people!  Plus, it is fun to share hints and tips that I have learned along the way.  Knitting is a craft that is fueled by the creativity of others, so to explore that with other knitters (even new ones) makes us all that much better.

Suzanne is on our schedule in March and April. You can view the March-April Knit’n from the Heart Class Schedule on our website at www.heartknits.com. You can also download the March-April Class Schedule At-A-Glance in pdf format on that page. Sign up and enjoy her class.