Winter Buzz – Part 1

Happy New Year and welcome back to the Progressive Needles Knit Along sponsored by Skacel!  We kick off 2012 with a toasty warm mitten pattern using the deliciously soft and durable Simpliworsted.  As always, this project is full of tips, techniques and videos to increase your knitting know-how.

Mittens get their warmth from good wool that is knit on needles smaller than the size recommended by the yarn.  This firm gauge keeps the wind out and helps to retain the body’s heat.  Simpliworsted is especially nice since its cushy loft allows for the use of different needle sizes while still maintaining a beautiful stitch definition.  (It doesn’t hurt that it is machine washable, too!)

Winter Buzz is designed to fit the average woman’s hand.  The length of the mitten will be customized in Part Two by matching the knitting to the height of your hand.  The circumference may be adjusted by altering the needle sizes.  The pattern and the yarn easily adapt to smaller or larger needles.

Because hand lengths vary greatly, the yardage each knitter uses for the mittens will vary as well.  My hands are on the small side and I just needed a small portion of my second skein of yarn.  Having the second skein provides ample yardage to accommodate longer hands and a longer cuff for those who like more wrist coverage.  If you are choosing to knit fingerless mitts, one skein should do the trick.  I will reveal several patterns to use with your leftover Simpliworsted at the conclusion of Winter Buzz. 

In Part One, we will be knitting the cuff of our mittens.  The cuff is knit with a nice firm rib to keep the drafts away.  I recommend casting on for the cuff using the German Twisted Cast On.  This variation of the Long Tail Cast On is a bit firmer and will help the cuff hug your wrist.  This cast on is not crucial to the design but it is a great skill to add to your knitting repertoire.  I substitute it for the Long Tail method in most projects because I favor its clean line.  Check out the German Twisted Cast On” Video to learn this sophisticated technique.

Part One

Click here to download printable version

  • 2 skeins Simpliworsted, 55% Merino Superwash/28% Acrylic/17% Nylon, 100g/140 yards each.
  • US #5 (3.75mm) AND #7 (4.5mm) 6” double points (see NOTE below) or size necessary to achieve desired gauge.
  • Cable needle
  • Stitch holder
  • Markers

NOTE:  Mittens hands may also be knit with two 24” circular needles or one 32” circular needle for Magic Loop method.  See Magic Loop Video.  Sample was knit using the Magic Loop method on 32” addi Lace needles.  For thumb, #7 double points are recommended.

5 stitches = 1 inch in stockinette on larger size needles.

Women’s Average – Size may be adjusted by changing needle sizes.

Finished wrist circumference:  approximately 6” unstretched and will comfortably stretch up to 10”.

Finished hand circumference:  approximately 8” unstretched and will comfortably stretch up to 10”.

Finished length:  10” (may be adjusted).


With smaller needles, cast on 42 stitches using German Twisted Cast On method.  See “German Twisted Cast On” Video

Divide stitches evenly between needles and join in the round taking care not to twist the stitches.

Work a k2, p1 rib for 20 rounds or until cuff reaches desired length.


Next week’s clue brings a great cable pattern for the hand.  Happy knitting!

We have a weekly prize winner!!!  Congratulations to Pat G.!  This week’s clue was posted right here.  The remaining weekly clues will be a bit harder to find.  Look on the Skacel and Knit Purl Hunter sites on various days for your best chance to win.  Here is what this week’s clue looked like:

Wondering about those hidden clues to win a weekly prize?  Here is a clue hidden in plain sight for you!  Be the first to email [email protected] with “Happy 2012 KAL” in the subject line and you will win this week’s prize.

Thanks to all emailed me!

33 thoughts on “Winter Buzz – Part 1

  1. I am in Western Massachusetts – but willing to travel to nearby states if you are out this way! Sarah

  2. Your yarn sounds fabulous! I love blacks and grays. Isn’t it great how a “mistake” has turned into a lovely design element? Can’t wait to see the pictures!

  3. I would love to meet you! My first book signing is 1/31 at my LYS in Dublin, Ohio. I will be in Phoenix next week for the TNNA trade show and will have a firmer schedule after meeting with the retailers. Where are you located? Hopefully I will be at a yarn shop near you soon!

  4. I am using a stash superwool machine washable yarn that I dyed myself. At the time I thought I had failed, but now that I am knitting it up, it looks cool. I will post pix later on… Like knitting up a black Leopard- areas of grey, sheep’s white, and black

    The reason I didn’t like it was though I had soaked & squished water through my yarn (I thought I was thorough…) I missed a lot of areas, so the dye didn’t penetrate all the fibers- and the black took well in some places, but left areas of natural color. It is knitting up beautifully!

  5. Where can we find a listing of where you will be promoting your book? Would love to meet you and have an autographed copy. Sarah

  6. This is my first knit along! The yarn is fabulous, the instructions are great and I can’t wait till Thursday!!!

  7. I love doing the KALs, but I will be taking a bit of a break to promote my new book. Rest assured, I will be back soon! Be sure to sign up for my newsletter to receive updates. Thanks for your kind support!

  8. Michelle, I’ve really been enjoying this KAL and I know it’s a premature question, but will you be starting another after the February socks? Please? 🙂

  9. Thanks for choosing us as your first KAL! As a new knitter you will love my new book, Building Blocks, that is released this month. It is a skill building series that moves you through all the major knitting principles and each technique is supported with free online video instruction. Hundreds of knitters have moved through the program successfully!

  10. This is my first KAL – I have both of my cuffs completed and am ready for the next step – I am a new knitter (less than a year) so this is my first project that isn’t a dish cloth, scarf or afgan! Your videos are perfect for getting me over the bumps –

  11. Help, how do I cast on two at a time for the magic loop. All I have tried 2aat is with socks that are toe up not anything like the mittens. Thank you

  12. It sounds like your hand measures perfectly for the mittens. Finished size is the same as your hand. Ribbing is typically done on smaller needles so you may want to go down to size 2. Keep me posted as I want to help you get your best fit.

  13. After discussing the current mitten KAL with a longtime mitten knitter and consulting several references in knitting books, I have a question.
    When measured over the knuckles, my hand is 6 1/2 around and without the knuckles
    (where the fingers join) the measurement is 6 in. To get 5 st./in on the Simpliworsted yarn I have moved down to size 3 needles.

    Is there something I should change to get a better fit? Should ribbing be on a size 2? I’d really like these to fit as I have made several pairs that are too large and therefore not as warm as they could be.

    Thanks so much for your help. I’m looking forward to casting on!

  14. This is my first knit-along.
    Got started on the cuffs.
    I’m doing [email protected] on 1 47″ circular.
    LOVE the German cast on…easy to learn and you’re right…
    it’s a really nice cast-on for cuffs!
    Thanks! :o)

  15. I’ve started the mittens as magic loop two at a time. Will this work out ok for the rest of the mitten? Or am I setting myself up for trouble?

  16. I’m so glad you chose our KAL as your first! Be sure to join the Knit Purl Hunter KAL group on Ravelry to chat with other KALers and see their work. I am there daily as well.

  17. Hi! Finally joining a KAL. Got my cuffs done this morning. Doing 2AAT on sep needles. 🙂

  18. Absolutely! The “clue” is posted on this website. Just click on the Knit Along icon on the homepage to view the instructions. You may also download a printable copy. There is no registration and Skacel is generously supplying fabulous prizes. Please let me know if you have any questions!

  19. I’m getting a late start, but would like to join the knit-a-thon (again). Is this possible?

  20. Your hand will be larger with 4.5 st gauge. Did you measure the circumference of your hand? If your hand measures a bit bigger than the stated 10″ you should be fine. If you have a smaller hand then you need smaller needles.

  21. On my swatch I got 4.5sts/inch using 7’s. Is that close enough or should I go down to 5’s? I don’t have 6’s.

  22. Thanks for the reminder about the German Twisted Cast On – I like it alot, but never think of it until well after cast on.

  23. You may be just fine with the stated measurements. Knit a bit of the cuff and try it on and see if you like it. It is the best way to determine how the fabric works on your body. The hand circumference is measured around the widest part of your hand – generally where the fingers meet the palm.

  24. My wrist is 5.75″ will the 6″ cuff be okay or should I make it smaller? Where on the hand do we measure “hand circumference?” I have very small hands and I’m trying to determine if I need to make adjustments in the coming weeks for that as well. Thank you 🙂

  25. I had no problems with 2aat toe up socks. I have cast on twice and I think I keep twisting the first row. Do you think I would have better luck if I started on dpns for a few rows and then transferred them?

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