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Dear Kay,

Now that I’m almost four hats into the Setesdal Hat knitalong, it’s time to find my next adventure from Field Guide No. 23: Glow. I’m thinking about mittens.

Arne & Carlos cooked up an extremely jaunty design, the Rosy Mittens.

The shape of these mittens is a venerable Norwegian silhouette—the pointed tips are classic.

The fronts are fancy, a riff on a traditional Norwegian stitch pattern. The palms are simple.

Feeling a bit fraught at the moment, I’m going to make my Rosy Mittens with this simple colorwork on both sides, not just the palms.

I love the geometry of it, and I think I’ll enjoy the groove of a pattern that repeats.

One thing that is going to be interesting: my color choices.

I’m using this Rosy Mittens yarn bundle, in the Ravn colorway that we’ve got in the Shop.

Five skeins of Rowan Norwegian Wool, in primary colors plus black and pink.

Allison and I were studying this bundle, and the pairing that intrigues us is a most untraditional combination: Frost Pink and Gold Nugget.

Knitting stranded colorwork in two colors that are so close in value? Not traditional! Light/dark contrast is a familiar component of Norwegian stranded colorwork. For my combination, I’m throwing tradition out the window—you can see the value of each color when you view it in black and white.

Very little light/dark contrast here.

By comparison, the traditional black-and-red colorway has a decent amount of light/dark contrast when viewed in black and white.

These are Ribbon Red and Peat.

I’m OK with my combination having little value contrast. I’ve made stuff before with low contrast, and it’s just a different, subtle effect.

My duplicate stitch game will be interesting. I’ll have red, black, and blue to use for accents, no idea what I’ll do with them.

Stay tuned! Itching to get started on these.

Meanwhile . . .

The Setesdal Hat knitalong is getting really fun, now that so many hats are being finished. The colorways are fascinating to see. Have a peep over in the Lounge to see what I’m talking about.

And to everybody’s who’s getting those hats finished, my hat’s off to you! Well done!




  • That Rosy Dawn pair you’ve got is a treat! Eliminating (or at least reducing) the value contrast makes it all about the COLOR, which to me is the important point of stranded. (Besides the warmth, that is.) But I find this can complicate finding yarns that work for me, because my hopes doesn’t always match the yarn-makers’ palettes. And I make things harder by trying for at least 3 hues.

  • LOVE your subtle color choices—rose and saffron! They’ll be gorgeous as mittens.

  • Okay, I feel like I’m new to the game of knitting even though I’ve been knitting for years. I’ve always struggled with pairing colors. My inclination is to pair similar color values (unknowingly) and then the combo looks like mud. TAKE A B&W PHOTO! The values are obvious, and with a camera in every phone it’s easy peasy. I think I’m ready to jump into colorwork again.

  • Is that a Blue Willis sweater? The mitts are gorgeous against the blue!

  • Um, this is maybe a totally mean comment – and by mean, I mean that I hope you will take my suggestion, which I think would actually be a fair amount of work, and do it, so the rest of us can enjoy it without having to actually knit it ourselves – but I think you should use the blue and/or black to duplicate stitch the original large (back of hand/showoff) motif.

    It’s like, meta. Like a super mashup of the already super mashup of knitting colorwork + duplicate stitch.

  • I have finished the hat and am also eager to start on the mittens. I have never made mittens, but have been thinking I would like to make some for a while. I think I will stick with the red and white for stranding, but may change up the colors for duplicate stitch. Until now I never used the colors suggested by the designers, but am really enjoying the colors Arne and Carlos used on the hat. I’m eager to see how your pink and gold combination comes out too.

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