As soon as we moved in to Camden, Maine for the winter, I found a little knitting and needlepoint shop in the village called Stitchery Square. I bought several skeins of Debbie Bliss alpaca silk double knit yarn (80% baby alpaca and 20% silk) in bright pink and made matching Mama and Baby scarves.
The scarves are knit in a 2×2 rib with US size #6 straight needles. For Baby’s, cast on 32 stitches, then knit 2, purl 2 till the end of the row. Repeat for each row until one skein of yarn is used up. Bind off. Easy does it!
Mama’s is similar, except I cast on 44 stitches. Knit 2, purl 2 till the end of the row and repeat. When one skein is used up, add a second skein of the same yarn, and bind off at the end of the second skein. The rib makes the scarf so soft and thick, very snugglicious!
I used the same yarn and 2×2 rib pattern, this time knitting in the round with double pointed needles, for making legwarmers for the little one, which actually wound up being pulled over snow boots to keep the snow from getting into the boots.
I also made myself a pair of arm warmers using the same Debbie Bliss alpaca silk yarn, the same 2×2 rib pattern with double-pointed needles.
For both my arm warmers and my little one’s legwarmers, I cast on 48 stitches, divided among three double pointed needles. With a fourth double pointed needle, I knit into the first stitch I cast on, forming a triangle. Knit 2, purl 2 around and around until the end of the skein. Bind off.
For Christmas, I made my mother-in-law a pair of these luxuriously soft armwarmers using Debbie Bliss cashmerino aran. Cashmerino Aran is thicker than Alpaca Silk, containing 55% merino wool, 33% microfiber and 12% cashmere. Knitting them in 2×2 rib pattern thickens the fabric even more, but the vertical lines are slimming.
For my mother-in-law’s arm warmers, I cast on 60 stitches, divided among three US size #8 double pointed needles. Knit 2, purl 2 all around till the skein is used up. Add the white Cashmerino Aran, knit 2, purl 2 for 3 rows, then bind off. The white cuffs give it that winter snow edge to finish the look.
I still had a lot of leftover Cashmerino Aran in white, so I made matching earwarmers for the little one and me. I based mine on the Head Huggers pattern in Stitch ‘n Bitch Nation, page 59, but left out the decorative flowers and leaves. I just wanted a simple and classic look, not too many floral frills. For the smaller earwarmer, I started out using the neckwarmer pattern, then just carried on as it made sense to fit my little girl.
These earwarmers are really warm. Sometimes I forget and leave them on while indoors, to keep my hair out of my face like a hairband. Before long I get a headache from being too warm.
One more project using Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran is my 3-year-old’s mittens. I originally tried making up my own pattern, but failed miserably. Look at this pathetic-looking mitten on the right. At first I thought I’d make arm-warmers-cum-mittens, thin in the arm part, tapering off in the wrist, ribbed for elasticity. It was really a bad idea, but I just had to see it come to fruition before I realized I needed to humble myself and look to the master knitters for complicated projects like mittens.
Junior Knits has a pattern for mittens for 3-year-olds. In fact, you can see the pattern in its entirety in the “Search Inside” function for this book on Amazon. The pattern is called Nell mittens.
I modified it slightly by changing it from a button wrist to one that’s ribbed. I also decided to knit it in the round instead of using straight needles.
Using double pointed needles US size #7, I cast on 30 stitches, divided among 3 double pointed needles, and knit 3, purl 2 in the round for 15 rows. On rows 16 to 20, I knit all 30 stitches around.
From here, refer to the Nell mittens pattern, starting at “Shape thumb.” Instead of doing the purl rows, do knit rows since we are knitting in the round, except on the 7th row where one must follow the pattern exactly.
Happy knitting! Stay warm!!!