Nov 20, 2014

Meet the Danae Mittens from Graphic Knits

My Danae Mittens design was the 14th pattern I wrote for my book, Graphic Knits.

This design was not part of my original book proposal, but when I had the idea I knew it would be a perfect addition. From the beginning, I felt a little unsure of the title "Graphic Knits" that the publisher picked for the book because my original design proposal included so many classic looking, decidedly un-graphic pieces. I really loved the title though, and I wished that I had been working with the concept in mind the whole time. Even though I was very busy working on other designs from my proposal, I was constantly having new ideas. Inspiration always seems to strike when I'm too busy to do anything about it, but this idea was just too perfect for the book for me to ignore. I emailed my editor and immediately got to work.

If you've kept up with my "Meet Graphic Knits" series, you probably remember that I love knitting Fair Isle on air planes. That's why I saved this design for a big trip I had planned to the island of Crete in Greece, which required 22 lovely hours of travel time from New York City to Chania, Greece.

Traveling to Crete was pretty brutal, but once we got there it was something like heaven. I have such fond memories of sitting under a flower covered pergola with a cup of coffee, looking out on the Mediterranean Sea, knitting away on my little color work project.

This was the most relaxed I had been in probably 2 years. Before the book, before my Winsome Knits collection, before I had an inkling of my future career ambitions, something terrible happened. My dear much-loved father-in-law passed away suddenly from a freak illness.

Dealing with the death of a parent is one of the hardest things a child will go through. For me and my husband, the way we dealt with it was to keep busy–very, very busy. My husband closed himself off for a full year, and all I could do for him was keep the status quo. We were at the funeral when Knit Picks offered me the opportunity to create my Winsome Knits collection, and before I even sent in my first draft for that, I was already working on my Graphic Knits book proposal. It was an emotionally difficult and extremely hectic period, but by the spring of 2013 we had come out the other side.

My mother-in-law proposed a family trip to Crete, and even with everything going on, it was a great opportunity to pull ourselves together again as a family in an uplifting way. We had a really wonderful time and I think it was rejuvenating for all of us. When I returned I found myself more focused and driven than ever before. I still had the second mitten to complete, but every stitch reminded me of the wonderful time we had on the island.

Here I am working on my second Danae mitten on the 19th-floor rooftop garden at my friend's Manhattan apartment building. I'm not sure I will ever look this relaxed again!

On the trip, I took a lot of time to focus on the details of this design. I love to use stripes of color on the edges of my mittens and gloves. It's such a nice way to frame the design, and provides a wonderful place to add decoration to the thumb gusset. Notice how nicely the stripes meet at the point of the mitten.

Also, I'm particularly proud of the fit on these mittens. The base of the thumb features some pretty nice shaping details within the color-work pattern that make my little designer heart sing with delight.

For more information about this design, check out the pattern page here.


  • Dayana Knits
    over 9 years ago

    Hmm, this extra bit about the thumb and the pattern matching so exquisitely has given me a boost! I just might make these. :)

  • Alexis Winslow
    over 9 years ago

    Dayana, you should! This is a particularly fun pattern to knit. You'll finish them in like a week, I'm sure ;)

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