Pihta and Huippu

Pihta and Huippu mittens are worked in stranded knitting with two colors. The cuff is simple ribbing, using one color only, to make it comfortably stretchy.

The colorwork patterns are very simple. The palms are plain pinstripe, as are the tumbs of Pihta. Huippu thumbs have a small upside down “V” in the gusset, the rest is pinstripe. The back of the hand has checkerboard patterning on top of pinstripe. Pihta has upside down “V” motifs, while Huippu shows a silhouette of a line of mountains – especially my blue and light grey model mittens look like mountains.

Both Pihta and Huippu patterns are easy for stranded knitting. The floats are short, there are only few five stitch floats, the rest are mainly one or two stitches long. The colorwork pattern is simple so you don’t need to pay as much attention to the charts as with more complicated patterns. Since there is almost an equal number of stitches for both colors and the floats are short, it should be effortless to keep the tension of the yarn even, which makes knitting rather pleasant. In all, these patterns will probably suit beginner stranded knitters.

The top of the palm is grafted, as well as the top of the Pihta thumbs. Huippu thumbs have decreases making the top more round.

Pihta stranded mittens with a ball of yarn

Pihta is a Finnish word that means fir – the back of the hand patterning reminds me of these evergreen coniferous trees. Huippu then again means peak, as well as something very good.

Pihta and Huippu patterns are now available in my Ravelry store: Pihta, Huippu.


Miriam is the warm-up pattern of Tour-de-Sock 2018. It is worked from the cuff down in stranded knitting. In my humble opinion it is a rather good pattern for brushing up your skills in stranded knitting thanks to the short color runs and very simple pattern repeat. You can concentrate on your hands instead of charts.

Miriam socks, front

I had had the idea for the pattern as early as in December 2015 when working on a design for another sock competition. That other design ended up not meeting my requirements, so it never saw daylight, but Miriam stayed in the back of my head, waiting for the right moment.

Miriam socks, side and back

In the summer of 2017 I finally got to working on Miriam. Yet again there were obstacles, this time pain in some of my fingers, so I had to leave the sock in the middle of the heel. Last winter I saw the call for designs in the Tour-de-Sock Ravelry group and thought that this would be my opportunity to finish up the design. I picked up the work and continued, running into much greater technical challenges than I had expected, but finally I had a finished sock that met my standards. I even managed to submit a day before the deadline!

Miriam socks, sole

Miriam is currently available via the Tour-de-Sock website for the registered racers. Registration is open for everyone and ends on July 5. Please don’t mind the ‘June 25’ on the registration sheet (follow the link on this page), the correct date is stated on the main page of the Tour-de-Sock site. The registration fee is $10 and it (minus the Paypal and shipping expenses for prizes) goes to to Doctors Without Borders. Being a racer doesn’t bind you in any way: you will get the patterns – 1 warm-up, 6 stages, possibly yet something more = at least 7 patterns – but you aren’t obliged to knit at all. So in my opinion, it’s definitely worth the cost!

Miriam socks, side

This is the first Miriam sock, photo taken for the Tour de Sock pattern submission in late February:

Miriam sock, white cuff