Christmas mittens and a Christmas angel

Just arrived in the post box, two skeins of this lovely tweedy green wool for mittens. Not for me, I don’t think it ever gets cold enough in Melbourne for mittens, but for something special…


A little while ago I was reading Adrienne Martini’s Martinimade blog and she had a post about the terrible school shootings in Newtown, and out of those terrible times she had an idea.

Shortly after I heard about the Newtown shootings, I saw a picture of a Norwegian tree made entirely of hand-knitted mittens.

No one can argue against the inherent loveliness of mittens. (They could, of course, because people can argue about anything. But I think we can all agree that the mitten-haters have larger issues.)

The mitten tree gave me a strange kind of hope and, because I don’t respond well to strange hope, it caused a plan to percolate in the back of my head. How cool would it be to line the shop windows in my town with mitten trees? My town could be any town, frankly. It could be Newtown. It could also be your town, if you adjust for scale.

So Adrienne sent out the call for people who might like to knit a pair of mittens for this lovely project. This was right in the middle of an Australian summer heatwave and I wasn’t sure I could I could even face looking at a pair of mittens so I wrote to Adrienne asking when she’d like to get hold of them. Not until October as it turns out so there’s plenty of time and some cooler mitten knitting weather coming up so I’m signed up! Maybe you will too!? Head over to Adrienne’s Martinimade blog to find out more.

Then it was time to go looking for a green yarn and that’s when I remembered that I’d been wanting to try out Rowan Tweed for a while now, and it comes in a beautiful tweedy green called Hubberholme. I reckon this will make toasty warm mittens, can’t wait for a bit of cooler weather so I can get started.

You may know (or perhaps not) that Adrienne Martini is the author of Sweater quest: my year of knitting dangerously, a wonderful book about knitting a fiendishly difficult fair isle sweater, with a good many interesting diversions along the way. There aren’t many books that include both knitting and a fascinating (yes, really) discussion of copyright law, quite apt for me since a copyright lawyer knitter got me started on knitting in the first place. It’s a rollicking good read for any knitter so I do suggest you keep an eye out for it at your book store.

It was also a nice memory of our trip to New York a couple of years back. I bought Sweater quest intending to read it on the long flight home but my reading plans were thwarted when our plane was grounded in Los Angeles. If I tell you I finished reading it while lazing next to the pool of the LAX Sheraton, that will sound a whole lot more glamourous than it actually was.

Continuing the Christmas and fair isle knitting themes, I’ve also just finished the bonus Christmas ball for February in KnittingSarah’s Merry Knitalong. This is number 49, the Angel, from Arne and Carlos’s 55 Christmas balls to knit.


Adrienne described learning two-handed stranded knitting in her book as like walking backwards on a treadmill. I’m with her, I don’t think it’s ever going to feel natural, but I think I’m making progress. Even my crochet hanging loops are getting better.

There’s been lots of fun discussion between Knittingsarah, who had the idea for the Christmas ball knitalong back on New Year’s Day, and Martine of the iMake blog and podcast who has added to the fun with a forum in her Ravelry group. It’s never too late to join in!

You might like to check out…


3 responses to “Christmas mittens and a Christmas angel

  1. I got to meet Adrienne — and the sweater! — when she was in Austin last year. A lovely person. Now I need to read her book — that’s a spot-on description of two-fisted knitting. That yarn color is gorgeous and will make super-cozy mittens. The Christmas balls are fantastic!

    • Wow!!! I’m very jealous, she seems super nice and funny, and I would love to see the sweater in person too! The book is wonderful. Thanks for encouraging words on the Christmas balls, I really can see that I’m getting better. My ambition is a fair isle vest one day.

  2. If you can do Fair Isle balls, you can totally knit a sweater. I’m just sayin’….

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