Classic Elite Yarns



Issue 418 –Valais Blacknose Sheep Mittens

When designer Rachel Henry first brought these mittens into CEY, EVERYBODY in the office tried them on and asked for the pattern – they are so soft and irresistible! Thanks Rachel for allowing us to share your lovely design and its story with our Web-Letter readers!

Susan Mills

From the designer, Rachel Henry:

Last spring, a friend of mine brought me some knitwear in distress. I was a little afraid Val would ask me to mend her beloved, but very felted and holey, sheep mittens. Thankfully, she had a more intriguing request...could I design something similar? Val bought the original pair as a souvenir from a trip overseas, and had literally worn them to pieces. She was already missing them, and hoped I would be able to make her new mittens that would be loved just as much.

I took some reference shots, noting that the lack of thumb gusset probably led directly to the holes in the palm. I would definitely add thumb gussets to my design! I asked her what she loved about order: sheep on the backs, fully lined, and stripes. This I could do!

After much hemming and hawing I selected CEY Fresco for its softness, warm, and an array of gorgeous colors. I elected to copy (mostly) the original mittens, but added a fourth color of yarn, rather than risk running out of any given color. (Hint hint: I would love to see a pair of technicolor sheep mittens!)

My design has four sizes, thumb gussets, and slightly longer cuffs, but I think they capture everything Val loved about the originals. They are adorable, soft, and cozy – all a mitten should be.

View Rachel’s designs on Ravelry

(file size: 905 KB; published October 27, 2015)

The Yarn

60% Wool, 30% Baby Alpaca
10% Angora

Fresco is a smooth and even 3-ply sport weight yarn. The plies are twisted together tightly enough to make a firm, springy yarn, but not so tightly that the yarn loses its lofty, soft hand. The fiber blend – wool (for warmth and strength), alpaca (for loft and sheen), and a bit of angora (to provide a soft halo) – makes a yarn that's warm, soft, and slightly fuzzy.

Fresco is available in an expansive palette, which makes it great for colorwork projects. However, because of the ply, the yarn is also great for textured stitches and lace.

More Designs in Fresco

Osci hat in 1513 Artistic Differences Providence from 1509 Inspired by Patchwork Iarrobino cowl and vest in 1514 From Folly Cove Continental from 1509 Inspired by Patchwork

Sign up for the CEY Web-Letter: