Every year I make Maddie a pair of handknit mittens. Her favorite so far were these knit back in 2003. (OMG -- how long have I been blogging?! And isn't she the cutest little thing! When did she grow up so much?)
Other years we've had varying success (complaints that the yarn was too scratchy or not the right color), so this year when we made an unplanned stop in Geneva, IL and found a parking spot *right in front* of Wool & Co., I decided it was time to start this year's mittens. I let Maddie walk around the shop and decide on the yarn that she wanted and the girl has good taste. She picked out a ball of Nashua Creative Focus Worsted -- 75% wool/25% Alpaca -- in a lovely, saturated teal blue aptly named Brilliant Blue.
I've never knit with this particular yarn before and was a bit worried since it is just a single ply yarn, but after knitting about an inch of K1, P1 ribbing for the cuff, I was impressed. This yarn has lovely memory -- making the ribbing nice and tight -- and is very soft.
I took the easy route (maybe I'm learning) and pulled out Ann Budd's The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns. I just love this book for simple items like mittens. I knit a wee swatch and found my spot in the table for mittens and I was off. Sizing for 6-8 yr old girls was spot on and I had mitten #1 knit in no time. If you have some holiday knitting to do for a girl or boy, I highly recommend mittens -- quick easy and fun to knit!