I’m a life-long book collector. In addition to piles of books of knitting, fiction, art, counted cross-stitch, needlepoint, gardening, as well as a fair number of other things, I have always been attracted to stitch dictionaries, and little books of patterns on a given theme. All three motifs in these designs came from a slim volume of Swedish stranded colorwork designs that I’ve had so long that I no longer know where or when I acquired it. Once I had these lovely motifs working together, I needed a name for the cowl design. I thought that something Swedish would be appropriate. A dear friend of mine is actually from Sweden, so I went to her for inspiration. Without my telling her, she thought the main motif looked like berries, and so suggested Vinterbär for the cowl, which is Swedish for “winter berries.” When going for a name for the coordinating mitten pattern, Björnbär, I named it after the blackberries that grow wild around my house. I named this small leaflet after the main berry motif used in both designs, with a twist. It’s also in Swedish.
Both designs are knit in the round, and feature the same three stranded colorwork motifs, though the main motif on the back of the mittens has been slightly modified to work on a hand. The mittens can be worked whatever method best suits the knitter: DPNs, two circulars, magic loop, or anything else that gets the job done.