Knitwise, January might be my favorite month of the year. Coming as it does right after the holidays, the first month of the year gives license to knitters to knit for themselves (assuming they managed to finish their holiday gifts before New Years, which I admit is not always a safe assumption). Anyway, since I did finish my holiday gifts before the holidays on which they were distributed this year (#knitwin), when January rolled around, I resolved that I would spend the month knitting for myself — no shop samples, no gifts, no objects for friends, no dog items.
Enter: Fiona Alice's Queensland Beach headband from the masterful Take Heart collection. I adore this pattern — it is uses big, bulky cables to scrunch a lot of yarn into an elegant braid, which is pretty ingenious if you want to have a super warm winter headband. I have been craving a knit object in Shibui Drift since I made a Christmas hat for a friend out of this super squishy cashmere-merino worsted weight in November. With great stitch definition and a good amount of spring, it was truly the perfect yarn for this project.
I sometimes think the accessories I knit must have codependency issues — I can't seem to make a hat, pair of mitts, or cowl/scarf without at least one other matching piece. All 3 would be too much (like this Cable & Rib Set — here is where I draw my line in the sand), but when I simply knit ONE object, I always wonder: what if some other part of me is cold, and I have to don mismatched accessories? What if my hat clashes with my mitts AND my cowl/scarf? The horror.
My Ravelry is a testament to this insanity, as I often post objects and then a few weeks later, sheepishly add another coordinating piece. Hands down, my favorite set is Kate Davies' Fugue Tam & Mittens, which I loved so much, I decided to make a coordinating headband as well. Two sets out of three objects? Match efficiency for the #win.
So back to the Queensland Beach headband: yes, I made matching mitts. It was a bit of a challenge, because the cable pattern on the headband purposely scrunches a lot of yarn into a number of stitches that, if knit straight, would be much wider. So I had to modify the cable pattern significantly to work with the straight cuffs of the mitts, but I was pleased with the results.
I will say — I have never done worsted weight mitts before, and they are quite heavy! But for early morning walks — when I need my fingers free to give Raii treats and manipulate the poop-bag dispenser but it's too cold to take my gloves off — heavy, fingerless mitts into which I can curl my hands make all the difference in the world!
I am teaching a cabling class in February that will feature the Queensland Beach headband. Call the shop at 434-296-4625 to sign up!