I was watching so much television this fall, I decided to do something useful while doing it. Besides, I was taken by the opening of a new shop on Water St here in Peterborough called Needles in the Hay: they stocked Briggs & Little yarn! Briggs & Little is a yarn mill in the Canadian Maritimes. They take wool from sheep herders and spin it; some can go back to the sheep farmer if he/she want; the mill sells the rest. The heathery colours are particularly nice.
When I lived in Nova Scotia, there was a cluster of sheep farmers about 15 kilometers up the road from me who I got to know quite well. I learned to spin from them; I got raw wool from them. One woman, Janetta Dexter, specialized in collecting double-knit patterns and knitting double-knit mittens from her own yarn. In a double-knit mitt, colours are carried behind the face of the knitting. This produces a very warm mitten.
She published a small booklet of just the patterns. Later she shared them and some others in Flying Geese and Partridge Feet by Robin Hansen. The patterns you see here, starting from the top left and going clockwise, are: Shining Star (front) and Fleur-de-Lis (back), vertical strip on mitt body and Peek-a-boo on the cuff, Salt and Pepper in the wristers, Candlelit Windows in reversed colours, and Northern Star.
After the third pair of mittens, I found my old stash of wool! So the green and white pair are knit from that.
After Christmas I want to start making socks. I have books, needles, and sock yarn on the way.