Today’s Warm Hands pattern is Dissonance – a pair of two-tone mitts knitted in a couple of contrasting and cosy skeins of Àrd-Thìr, and designed by the very talented Sarah Mackay. You may remember Sarah as one of the stars of our Milarrochy Heids book, with her stand-out Every Flavour hat. Sarah submitted her design in the Warm Hands open competition, and Jeanette and I both loved how the mitts combined bold simplicity with a construction that is simultaneously really elegant and technically nifty. All of these things are, I think, hallmarks of Sarah’s knitting more generally. Here she is to tell you more about her work.
“Almost anything can spark an idea for a design, but the best inspiration for me is technique: If my interest is captured by a technique then I want to explore it, and test it to its limit, and apply it in unexpected ways. This means I do an awful lot of messing about with swatching.”
“When working on Dissonance, I’d started out with a much more elaborate design in mind, but it turned out to be no fun to knit. As part of my swatching, I had made a colourblock ribbed thumb with a lovely fit, so, abandoning all my complicated ideas, I knit a simple mitt designed around that thumb”
“Everything fell right into place once I’d made this change of direction. . .
” . . .and I am happy that these mitts make the most of the beautiful, understated Àrd Thìr colours.”
“Beginning with a tubular cast-on, the mitts are knitted seamlessly in the round, but simultaneously back and forth.”
“Both hands are the same, but they are also complete opposites.”
“I would encourage any curious knitter to try intarsia. I am fascinated by its possibilities, and I am sad if knitters are missing out on this fun technique because of its undeserved reputation for being scary.”
“Simple colourblock intarsia works well in the round, and a small two-colour project like Dissonance would be a good place to start. Just dive right in and have a go!”
“The pattern is written in two sizes, to fit most adult hands. I think these are practical, cosy, everyday cosy mitts – yet are elevated by the subtle loveliness of Àrd Thìr.”
Thanks, Sarah, for a fantastically knit-able and wearable pattern.