Are you obsessed with mini-skeins? I think I’m getting that way too! I’m not quite sure what it is about them: whether it’s their cuteness (like little yarny babies) or if it’s their moreishness (that element of collecting a little bit of each colour reminds me of pick n’ mix sweeties)? And if you celebrate Christmas, then you might be gearing-up to peak mini-skein season, with a mini-skein advent calendar? Or maybe, like me, you’ve got a lot of leftover yarn that are ‘mini-skeins’ in themselves?
It should come as no surprise to you to learn that I’ve designed several shawl and cowl patterns that make the most of these little yarny babies. And since I’m gearing-up to hosting a winter mini-skein knit-a-long (1st Dec to 29th Feb), I thought I’d write a little run down of some of my mini-skein patterns, incase you want to join-in and get planning. All of these patterns contain instructions to customise the design to suit the weight of the minis that you have, and if you’re inclined to do this you might find my recent blog post about weighing your yarn handy.
Zastruga, Winter 2017
My first pattern designed for 4ply/fingering weight mini skeins of 20g each is named after a Russian word for wind-eroded ice. Knitted in five sections, each representing a gradually worsening snow storm and featuring a different stitch pattern. This makes Zastruga a motivating knit and the pattern also includes ‘Off Piste’ instructions to help you get the most out of your special mini skeins. This version was knitted in minicakes from Easy Knits.
Hover, Summer 2017
A bit of an experiment in side-to-side shawl knitting, Hover is named after the shawl’s shape, which resembles a hovering bird. Each mini skein section begins and finishes with a small textured pattern, and the stitch count increases towards the mid-point and then decreases back down. The desire to reach the next mini-skein and a decreasing stitch count in the second half, make Hover a moreish and fun shawl to knit.
The pattern has been written for 4ply/fingering weight mini skeins (in both linen or wool) ranging from 13g to 20g , and also includes ‘Gone Wild’ instructions explaining how to adapt the pattern to use other sizes of mini-skein.
This version was knitted in linen mini-skeins from Midwinter Yarns.
Patience, Winter 2018
Last winter’s mini-skein knit-a-long pattern was Patience, a versatile double-loop cowl, which works really well with 4ply/fingering-weight mini-skeins from 5g upwards.
The knit-a-long last year was based around the advent period where knitters worked on a wee section of their cowl everyday. It seemed like such a little thing, but by spending a small amount of time each day, they had created a wonderful knitted accessory by the 25th December! It was lots of fun seeing what colours people chose or what was in their yarny advent calendar each day.
The Patience Cowl will work equally well with other types of mini-skeins or with leftover yarn (there’s instructions for 5g, 10g or 20g + mini-skeins). It’s also fab for fade-effect yarns, speckles or variegated yarn too. This sample was knitted in 5 x 20g 4ply/fingering-weight mini-skeins (Futrets) from Rusty Ferret Yarn.
Two more MHD mini-skein patterns coming soon (work-in-progress shots below)!
The Choose Colour! Cowl (left) and the fourth Shawl Saturday Series shawl (right), both of which will be eligible for the MHD mini-skein knit-a-long, and released by 1st Dec.
>>> Come and join-in with our Winter Mini-skein Knit-a-long <<<
If you’d like to join along with me and knit one of my mini-skein designs over the winter months, then come and take part in my knit-a-long, either on Ravelry or on Instagram. On Ravelry you can post about your planned mini-skein project in the special KAL chat thread or on Instagram, post photos of your minis or project plans using the hashtag #mhdminiskeinkal to take part (this will help me find your posts and I love drooling over mini-skein pics!). The knit-a-long officially begins on 1st Dec and will finish up on 29th Feb but feel free to post about your KAL plans or tell us all about your mini-skein advent calendar. There’ll be live knit-night chats, random prize draws and perhaps some real-life meet-ups here in Edinburgh. Come and join us!