Up here in the northeast US, Mother Nature has been having a good, extended laugh.  Springtime?  March?  Ha, ha!

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I live 1/2 mile (1.5 kilometers) from the shore of Lake Ontario, and today the wind is howling.  It’s 35 degrees F (2 degrees Celsius). The snow that had been melting is now frozen solid, again!

So, I need something to keep my hands warm, and it has to be Cheerful.

Allow me to introduce… Helianthus!

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Yep, I’m an optimist.  I just could not resist the appeal of bright, friendly flowers on a mitten.

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See, you will be a ray of sunshine, even while waiting on the sidelines at that first outdoor baseball or soccer practice.

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Helianthus uses both stranded color work and duplicate stitch with fingering weight yarns to make a mitten with straight cuffs, traditional thumb gussets and round top shaping.  It can be sized up or down by adding or subtracting plain stitches on either side of the yellow side line.  Larger sizes can also be achieved by using thicker yarns.  I worked mine with the two circular needle technique, but you can choose to use the Magic Loop or double points.  Charts are provided for the cuff, the right and left mittens and the thumb.  There are no written instructions.

Yarns used:

MC (Blue): Pagewood Farms Hand Dyed Sock Yarn in “Denim”, 1 skein

CC 1 (Yellow): Shelridge Yarns Soft Touch Ultra, Hand Dyed, 3 ply fingering weight in “Marsh Marigold”, 1 skein.

CC 2 (Green): Shelridge Yarns Soft Touch Ultra, Hand Dyed, 3 ply fingering weight in “Moss”, 1 skein

CC 3 (White or Natural): Miss Babs Cosmic Naked Sock Yarn in “Naked”, 1 skein

CC 4 (Black): Miss Babs Cosmic Hand Painted Sock Yarn in “Blackbird”, 1 skein

So, smile at Mother Nature and knit some cheery warmth for you or a friend.  NOAA’s long range forecast for the northeast says cooler than average for the next three months…