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Guest Blogger: Nikki Wagner

Andrea Sanchez

Today's guest blogger is Nikki Wagner, designer of the Sylvan Hat and Mittens.

Sylvan is a word used in mythology for Woodland people. I loved pairing the name with this design because the cables remind me of twisting roots and branches in a forest. When these mittens and hat are worn, little ones can add their own stories and outdoor adventures to the tales of the Sylvan. Growing up in the Rocky Mountains gave me priceless childhood memories. Chasing butterflies in a meadow outside our family home or drinking snow melt from a stream on a family hike are some of the precious adventures that have stayed with me decades later. Childhood adventures lead to strong experiential learning in young minds. The wonder and mystery that come with exploring outside are two things that I want to encourage in my young son. He too is growing up in the shadows of the Rocky Mountains and I want wonder and mystery to guide his learning and discovery.

NWagner-Sylvan post

I am pictured above with my little guy, doing what we love best - exploring outdoors! Below is a picture I took of the Rocky Mountains with all its wonder and mystery. 

NWagner- Sylvan post 2

Sylvan Hat and Mittens provide practicality and style while also encouraging little ones to explore the outdoors up close and personal. These accessories can be worn with folded or with unfolded brim nd cuffs. With an unfolded brim, the hat wears as slouchy, but with a folded brim, it fits snuggly to the head and with unfolded cuffs, the mittens insulate well for colder winter days. For times when you have a squirmy worm on your hands and just need to get out of the house with warm clothes on, the folded cuffs will slip on easily. When I developed the idea for this pattern, I considered versatility and a child's changing temperament. If your child is like mine, one day he has aversion to a certain piece of clothing, and then the next day he begs me to wear it. It was my desire to design knitted hat and mittens that could be worn in different ways to cater to differing situations and preferences. 

The cables are worked over 4 stitches, every other round, and are placed 2 stitches over (each Right Side round) to create a cabe stitch that looks larger than it actually is. Early in the designing process, I was looking for a large cable stitch but I didn't want to perform a cable over more than 6 stitches. I found that if I move the cable stitches over by 2 stitches on every other row, it will give the appearance of a large cable pattern but it will lay much flatter. This turned out to be a perfect choice for this design, since it is easy and practical. 

The pattern is written to fit Toddler, Child, and Teen sizes. Since children grow so quickly and at such different rates, I tried to provide a large range within the sizes to give children room to grow and play. The hat circumference is super-stretchy and is written with a few inches of negative ease. The mittens are also fairly stretchy, so you could pick a finished hand circumference that is the same or slightly smaller than your child's actual hand circumference.

For Sylvan Hat and Mittens I wrote the pattern to fit the following dimensions and approximate ages:

Hat: Toddler (Child, Teen): 15 (17, 19)" finished circumference and 9 (10, 11.75)" tall without pom pom. To fit 17-18.5 (19-20.5, 21-22.5)" head circumference.

Mittens: Toddler (Child, Teen): 5 (5.75, 7.25)" finished hand circumference; 4.5 (5.5, 6.5) length from top of wrist to fingertip.

Approximate ages: Toddler, 2-5 years; Child, 6-12 years; Teen, 13-18+ years. 

Please share pictures of your child's Sylvan Hat and Mittens as your children explore the mystery and wonder of the outdoors. 

Thank you Nikki! I think this hat and mitten combo is fabulous. I've been rummaging through my stash the last few days to find a yarn that would be perfect for the mittens for D. As always, the accessories at Knittin' Little are intended to be unisex and I think Nikki nailed it with this design. You can find more information about the Sylvan Hat and Mittens here. 

ou can find Nikki on Ravelry, on her blog, on Instagram, and Twitter.  

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