Strobus Mitts and Hat
These started EITHER because I had a discount at Modern Daily Knitting for my birthday and was intrigued by the Windham mini-skeins, or because I wasn't happy with my current hat collection, or because a certain niece let me know how much she still enjoyed a hat I made her 4 years ago. All these things are true. I bought the mini-skein set (I think with a birthday discount, based on the date). I have enough yarn left after this set to make one of my own, so eventually I'll improve my own hat situation. And these will go out the door as an un-seasonable birthday gift, to await dog-walking and hikes next fall and winter, to someone who has been wearing another hat for four years or so.
I really love this yarn. It's Windham, by Jill Draper Makes Stuff. Modern Daily Knitting sells two different sets of mini-skeins. I bought the "Shade" set. The other one, clearer and brighter colors, is "Sunny". It's a non-superwash (ie hand-wash only). In my opinion, this is a good thing - the yarn keeps its bounce. The palms of the mitts might felt a little with wear. The yarn is just more "wooly." It will felt, which means I was able to spit-splice my joins at the color changes. But it is also merino wool, so it's very soft. I enjoyed playing with the colors of this set. It made me use colors that I didn't love, along with colors I did. It forced me to put colors together that ordinarily I would not have. All that makes for a more interesting set, in the end. I will say that if you like things all matchy, you should buy a full skein of the color you'd like for the cuffs of hat and mitts. The hat ribbing left only enough of that dark green for the stripes in the mitts, not cuffs and thumbs.
The pattern would be a good one for someone who wanted to branch out beyond simple stripes but doesn't feel quite ready for stranded knitting. You only knit with one color at a time, but by slipping stitches you get the chevron pattern. Strobus is a latin word for pine or pine cone. The pattern includes instructions the hat, mittens, and fingerless mitts. I chose to make the mitts because I think they'll be used a lot for dog walking. I know I find I'm always taking my mittens off when I walk our dog, so I think mitts are a better choice. The hat is size L and is just big enough for me (I have a large-ish head for a woman, but not abnormally so), and the mitts are size M. I think the large mittens would be really big. Someone with a large head, or a man, might need an even bigger hat.