These are the cable mittens I made as holiday gifts for my daughter's pre-school teachers.
I absolutely adore cable patterns. Quite simply, I think they're beautiful.
My first cable pattern was pretty much a disaster. I would happily post a photo of it, but I never finished it. Instead, I ripped it out and used the yarn to make something else.
When knitting cables, most knitters use an extra needle called a cable needle. It's a short needle that basically holds stitches in the front or back of your work while you knit the other stitches on the regular knitting needles. I think I'm pretty coordinated, but the cable needle was too unwieldy for me.
I gave up on cables for a while, until I read somewhere that you could cable without a cable needle. I typed "knitting cables without a cable needle" into my good 'ol goodle search bar, and this YouTube video popped up. Revolutionary. Since I watched that video, I've been cabling without a cable needle and loving it.
These mittens are based upon a pair of mittens that Kristen Stewart wore in the movie Twilight. A talented knitter and generous soul created the pattern, Bella's Mittens, and shared it for free on her blog.
I'm such a huge fan of this pattern for so many reasons.
1 – It's well written with clear, concise directions.
2 – Since the directions are so well written, the pattern of stitches is easy to remember, allowing me to knit wihtout refering to the pattern very often. It was a perfect project to knit in front of the TV.
3 – Since each mitten is knitted with one skein of yarn, the project is very portable. I took it with me in the car, and would knit a row or two while waiting to pick up my daughter from pre-school. I also knit this project while the baby slept in my arms during her afternoon nap.
4 – Since the mittens have one large cable, it's the perfect pattern to learn how to knit cables without a cable needle.
Unlike last year (which you can read about here), I planned ahead. I ordered my yarn from one of my favorite on-line yarn stores, Mr. Yarn. Aside from their adorable Mr. Yarn logo, they offer the very best price on some of the best all natural fiber yarns and shipping is free!
This is the first pair I completed. It's knitted with Malabrigo Chunky in Stonechat.
You can't tell from the photos, but the pattern knits up mittens that extend all the way to your elbows. Making them a perfectly comfy, cozy knit for being outside in the cold winter weather.
This is the second pair I knit with Malabrigo Chunky in Deja Vu.
This is my favorite colorway. They almost didn't make out the door. I was seriously tempted to keep these ones for myself.
I'm a planner by nature. I started these mittens well ahead of the holiday season, but I still fell behind. I guess that's what happens when you over commit to hundreds of projects (well, maybe not hundreds, but dozens) while staying home with a sweet newborn baby and a very active, energetic, and absolutely adorable four year old.
The last pair I finished were shorter because I ran out of time.
They are knit from Malabrigo Chunky yet again. This time in Mariposa. Really, all of the variegated Malabrigo Chunky colors are gorgeous.
Here you can see how much shorter they are than the other two pairs.
Here's how I packaged the mittens. I gave each teacher a pair of mittens along with a tin of cookies to enjoy during a much deserved winter vacation.
Here's all the info you need to make your own pair, or two, or three of these soft and toasty mittens.
Horseshoe Cable Mittens
Bella's Mittens pattern available here
2 Skeins Malabrigo Chunky Yarn which I purchased here
A pair of circular US 8 needles
Scrap yarn to hold stitches
Adaptations for the Shortened Mittens:
Cast on at row 22 of the written pattern.
Knit those stitches in the following manner: (p1,k1)10x, p2, k12, p2, k1
Work those stitch directions for six rows. Then start at row 23 of the written pattern, which is to work the cable pattern. Continue the pattern as written from that point onward.