Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Free Pattern: Lake Effect Muff

Living in Wisconsin, you get pretty used to not seeing the grass from November through May. It was that way when I lived in Madison and it's even worse now that I'm in Milwaukee because of lake-effect snow. The past 2 months have taught me to add 3 inches of snow to the forecast just because I live close to Lake Michigan. Still, I don't mind the snow so long as I have ways to stay warm.

(I should add that, as I wrote this, an ad for ice fishing supplies came on TV. Welcome to life in the north!)

Living around so much snow means that I'm always on the lookout for things that are both warm and stylish, and nothing says winter glamour quite like a muff. I made this one out of bulky and super bulky yarns, so it knit up quickly and provides a lot of warmth. It's going to keep my fingers super toasty this winter when worn over my gloves (because, seriously, it's too cold to go outside with only one layer on the hands).

The muff itself is dead simple to make--it's simply two stockinette tubes, one inside the other, with optional fiberfill stuffing. The trickiest part is actually grafting the last row of stitches to the cast on edge, though you could always seam everything if you don't like grafting. Either way, I hope you enjoy the pattern and are finding lots of pretty and cozy ways to stay warm this winter.

Requires ~70 yards each of super bulky (MC) and bulky (CC) yarns.

I used:
MC: 1 skein Istex (nee Reynolds) Bulky Lopi in Gray [100% Wool, 67 yds per 100 g skein]
CC: 0.2 skein Cascade Eco Wool in Natural [100% Wool, 478 yds per 250 g skein]

Another good option is Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick (MC) paired with Wool Ease Chunky (CC).

Size 10 dpns (or 16" size 10 circulars)
Size 8 dpns

Fiberfill (optional)

Darning needle for grafting

MC and size 10 needles: 14 st/20 row = 4 inches in stockinette
CC and size 8 needles: 18 st/25 row = 4 inches in stockinette

(The gauge is a little tighter than normal so as to keep fiberfill in and wind out)

Provisionally cast on 48 stitches in MC on size 10 needle.
Join to work in the round, being careful not to twist your stitches.

Knit 9 inches in stockinette.

Switch to CC and size 8 needles.

Continue to work in the round in CC for another 8.5 inches.

Cut yarn, leaving long tail. Weave in all ends but this one.

Fold CC lining down into center of MC cylinder, with wrong sides of the fabric together. Stuff lightly with fiberfill between the layers, if desired.

Remove provisional cast on and graft CC stitches to MC stitches using long CC tail. Weave in end.

Wear and stay warm!

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