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Sunflower Mittens

Thu 15 Dec 2016 11:12am


Sunflower Mittens are my contribution to Maine Knits the beautiful new book by Beatrice Perron Dahlen.
I hope they’ll be your first knit of the coming new year, evoking sunny thoughts of summer during the darkest coldest months.

Beatrice has a nice little interview with me up on her blog today. In it I mention my Norwegian Great-Grandmother’s embroidery as an element in the design of Sunflower Mittens. The small motif on the left, is one out of 12 border motifs which are all different. In my imagination turned on end it looks like a Sunflower!


What about those trumpet playing horsemen…or are they smoking pipes?

The palm of Sunflower Mittens features a fishnet. Fishing is another reminder of a Maine summer, jigging for mackerel off the dock. But it could also be a trellis for growing beans or sweet peas.


Maine Knits is a beautiful book which includes designs by Maine based designers Carrie Bostick Hoge, Bristol Ivy, Cecily Glowik MacDonald, Alicia Plummer, Leila Raabe, Elizabeth Smith, Kristen TenDyke and Leah B. Thibault, as well as Beatrice and me.



Clockwise from above left: Machiasport Cardigan by Beatrice, Laurentide Pullover by Cecily, Broadturn Hap by Beatrice,
Astrantia Cowl by Beatrice, Peat Moss Hat, Leila, Beatrice Pullover, Old Orchard Cardigan by Kristen

Watch Beatrice’s instagram (@threadandladle) feed as she continues to tease us with more designs from the book!
Pre-order Maine Knits here:
100 pages, soft cover 8.5″ by 8.5″ in color and black and white.


MAINE knits includes 16 knitting patterns plus essays from MAINE folk. Designs inspired by the Sea, Farm and Wild will keep your hands busy and warm your soul. These are the things that bring us peace, nourish us, help us breathe deeply and remind us to live a beautiful handmade life.

Sunflower Mitts deets:
Yarn:my favorite Starcroft Nash Island Light
22 stitches and 22 rows = 4 inches in colorwork pattern
180 yards (165 m)
Sizes available: 8.5” / 21.5 cm hand circumference and 9.5” / 24 cm long
More info on Ravelry

1 comment

Foula Wool

Mon 12 Dec 2016 04:12pm


I got a treat in the mail today, wool from one of the most remote, permanently inhabited islands in the UK, Foula, one of the Shetland Islands. The sheep on Foula are the least fussed with flock, living in isolation for a very long time, so their wool is probably the most like that of the original ancient Shetland breed of sheep.

The natural colors are beautiful, I got 2 balls of mioget and one ball of fawn. I intend to make a pair if Muckle Mitts so I can enjoy a good view of the yarn all winter! It feels surprisingly soft, which I was not expecting. Because the wool comes from such a small flock, several colors were sold out. I think that just adds to the charm. It seems pretty amazing that the wool can be ordered at all, and so lovely to receive with a handwritten thank you note.

It was easy to purchase online from the shepherds Magnus and Justyna Holburn who raise the sheep that grow the wool. Visit their website Foula Wool to learn more about it and to order. Don’t miss scrolling through the gorgeous sheep portraits taken by Magnus.

I hope to visit sometime, the ferry runs twice a week in the winter and 3 times a week in the summer. You’ve got to stay overnight. There’s good hiking with spectacular scenery and loads of birds to see. Foula means bird island in Old Norse. Sounds like an adventure I need to take!

Last summer, our group took a walk from the top of Sandness Hill, skirting the coast down to the beach at Deepdale and had spectacular views of Foula.





Be sure to visit Kate Davie’s blog for an interview with Gudrun and I about our trips!

Learn more about Foula here!

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Sea Urchin Treasure Bag

Wed 16 Nov 2016 05:11pm



Sea Urchin Treasure Bag is a new pattern of mine found in Making Vol.2: Fauna. My essay describing the magic of the annual sheep shearing on Nash Island, in downeast Maine is also included in the issue.


Making Vol.2: Fauna, is rich with projects and inspiration, as is always the case with Carrie Bostick Hoge’s publications. For me FAUNA is an especially compelling subject, a tribute to the various creatures that intrigue and inspire us, either at our homes or in the wild. I’ll leave you with some eye candy. I suggest ordering your copy today before it is sold out!

©Carrie Bostick HogeFox ToothStag Pullover
©Carrie Bostick Hogebutterfly and cocoon©Carrie Bostick Hoge

Making is a bi-annual themed publication for knitters and makers. 

Order your copy here:

All photos @Carrie Bostick Hoge

1 comment


Fri 14 Oct 2016 08:10am


I’m  honored to have been invited to contribute a design for the Istex 25th Anniversary Celebration. You know them as the makers of your favorite Icelandic yarn, Lopi,Léttlopi, Bulkylopi, Einband lace yarn and Plötulopi, unspun roving.

For Sigla, I wanted to make a sweater that was as quick to knit as Stopover. I wanted a graphic modern geometric look, being influence from working on Geo Knits, my new book. I chose a pattern motif that I think looks better from the top down, triangles shapes – like sails. The very top of a top-down triangle motif is especially crisp and sharp, exactly what I wanted. So as a result the sweater is knit entirely in the round from the top down. I made the triangles encircle the yoke like a fleet of sailboats! Hence the name, Sigla means sail in Icelandic!

Sigla is available in my Ravelry shop where I hope you’ll buy it, and also on the Istex website.

I had delusions that I would make a new one for Rhinebeck this weekend, but no…unless I can make one on the drive there…never say never!

I’ll be signing copies of my new book Saturday.



Sigla, an Istex 25th Anniversary Celebration Design

A lopapeysa with a modern geometric yoke. Worked entirely in the round from the top down. The loose gauge promises a quick knit and an exceptionally lightweight garment.

Finished Size S (M, L, XL) Bust 37 (40½, 44¼, 48) in, 94 (103, 112.5, 122) cm.
Length to Armhole 13½ (13¾, 14, 14¼) in, 34 (35, 35.5, 36) cm.
Sleeve Length 17½ (17¾, 18, 18½) in, 44.5 (45, 45.5, 47) cm.
Yarn Léttlopi 1.7 oz (50g) balls, 109yds (100m); 5 (6, 6, 7) balls in
#56 Light Grey Heather (MC), 1 ball each in #1414 Violet Heather, #1416 Moor, #9427 Rust Heather, and 9426 Golden Heather.
Needles US 10½ (6.5mm) 16 and 32 inch (40cm, 80cm) circular needles and 1 set dpns, US 9 (5.5mm) 16in (40cm) circular needle and 1 set US 9 (5.5mm) double pointed needles – or needle size necessary to get gauge.
Gauge 13 sts and 18 rounds = 4x4in (10×10) cm in stockinette st on US10½ (6.5mm) needles.
Notions Stitch markers, 2 stitch holders or pieces of scrap yarn, tapestry needle.

Note Body is worked in the round from the top down. Stitches are put on holders for each sleeve while the body is knit to the bottom ribbing. Sleeve stitches are then picked up and knit down to cuff.

This pattern is released jointly with Istex and Mary Jane Mucklestone and is formatted with Istex branding.