Raven Feather in the Snow

I promised to show you what I’d been working obsessively on this week, in between working, and caring for the smallish sick one (who is feeling MUCH better, thank you so much for all your good thoughts and words! To my surprise, she’s actually looking good to potentially go back to school tomorrow, though no gym or dance for a while, I think).

So, before I’d actually finished the second mitt, but while there was still light earlier today (SUNlight! Actual Visible Light from the Sun!), I took some photos of the first completed fingerless mitt on my too-small hands.


(Almost too much Light from the Sun, hope you’re not blinded. Don’t worry, it went away again.)


These are guitar-playing fingerless mitts like my husband’s, for our friend Bill*, an awesome Native American musician.

The feather motif echoes the eagle feather that hangs from Bill’s guitar. I designed the feather myself for this mitt, and am now rather fond of it. I first looked for a feather pattern in books and on the ‘Net. Those I found were lace patterns, but knit in black and on the hand, all you saw visually were the holes rather than the feathers (believe me, I tried a couple versions). And BTW, if you Google feather knitting pattern, you come up with a gajillion versions of feather and fan; very nice but not what I needed! So I modified an embossed leaf kind of idea to be more feathery, and on the third attempt, came up with this, which I am really liking. (Though blocking will improve it, some of the rippling, on the edges, is intentional, to evoke a feathery quality rather than leafy.)


Here’s a perhaps better depiction of the color (Dream in Color “Black Parade”):


The color is black overdyed with different colors, such as subtle greens and reds, and reminds me of the iridescence of a crow or raven feather. Like the Socks That Rock Raven Clan colorways which came out not long ago.

If it were the Knitting Olympics right now, I think I would deserve some sort of award** for: Knitting Black Yarn, in a Personally Unvented Pattern, with Coincident Shaping, in the Dark, at a Concert. With Aging Eyes. And not messing up (that I can tell). I still can’t believe it. I finished the second feather with the last chord of Bill’s last song, I kid you not. I had Bill try the first, finished mitt on, though, after the concert and before I finished the second mitt, so I could adjust or reknit if needed. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! No, really!) But he said they were perfect, so I’m just finishing #2 (if my hubris has not called down the knitting goddesses to strike my Addis with lightning) and he’ll get the finished pair tomorrow morning.

All this marathon knitting of black yarn Continental-style has left its mark.


It’s hard to see in the photo, but the ring around my forefinger isn’t just shadowed, it’s black from dye transfer, despite hand-washing. The mark of an obsessive knitter.

*Hmm, here’s a quandary. My husband emphatically doesn’t want to be outed on my blog. But Bill, a working musician, would have no such qualms. All publicity is good when you’re playing for a living! Well, if you’re curious and want to hear some amazing songwriting and performing of original music with Native American/rock/blues roots, go ahead and set that Googlefier to Native American, Grammy & Bill, and you’ll come up with some wonderful music. Or leave a comment if you’re interested in learning more, and I’ll send you the info. A certain musician whom I live with, might have happened to play on, record, engineer and co-produce that Grammy-winning CD, but no names will be named here.

**I should also have earned an official reproof, however, for once again forgetting to take my watch off when photographing my left hand modeling mitts, leaving the impression of a significant wrist deformity or fugly knitting.

20 responses to “Raven Feather in the Snow

  1. Now, that is the very definition of WICKED COOL! and I am SO going to look in on that music. Might you consider sharing just the feather part of that? I have a sort of NA thing going on too and would love to just knit a wee one into, say, the end of a scarf, perhaps? Love the whole thing: the incredibly cool mitts, the NA musician pal, &c &c

  2. I think the feather came out great! (and the mitts too). Will have to check out that music. DH has become an avid collector of music. Glad the gothlet is feeling better.

  3. martha in mobile

    Your feather is mighty fine! And I love the subtle color variations in the black. As far as your modeling skilz, I thought, “My Word, that is the biggest ganglion cyst I have ever seen!” Glad it’s just your watch. I’m also glad your daughter is feeling better!

  4. It’s lovely! I’m sure Bill will love them. (Not that I’ve met him, but I’ve heard a fair bit about him from my hubby who’s good friends with yours!)

  5. Glad to hear that gothlet is feeling better.

    I absolutely LOVED the feather motif that you added to the fingerless mitt. Inspired, I say. Inspired! They’re lovely. I suppose people will start asking for a pattern and all… 🙂

  6. I love the feather, and I’m so glad your daughter is feeling better. Sounds like a very un-fun week.

    We’re in for more absolutely bizarre weather the next couple of days here in the Land of Cheese … At least it’s staying light a tiny bit later.

  7. The feather turned out really well!

  8. Perfect mitts! I’m glad your daughter is getting better! Here’s to wonder drugs.
    I’m off to google the tunes. (That sounds vaguely nasty, doesn’t it?)

  9. I just came from the fingerless mitts site (shamelessly admitting that I wanted to see if you had a pattern posted for these!)…they are beautiful and one of the more unique gloves that I’ve seen recently. Great job on them!

  10. Those. Mitts. Are. Awesome.

    Everything about them — the yarn, the color(s), the knitting, and especially the feather on a reverse stockinette background — is wonderful. I had to keep going back to look at the photos.

    [/gushing] Seriously. I like them a lot.

  11. Oh, your poor finger! I sympathize. Poor eyes, too, yes?

    Ah, all will be well. Plus, a lovely end-product!

  12. Wow!!! It is absolutely PERFECT!
    I can’t believe I found this… seeing as you’ve only just posted it and all…

    I am working on a knit postcard project, for a workshop to be held as part of an American-Indian themed art expo, in Fredericton, NB – see galleryconnexion.ca. I’ve been looking for a feather motif, and would love to knit a postcard with this feather on it, if you would be so kind as to share the pattern… But then, I would have to knit it *today* in order to get it in on time.

    So, here’s hoping you’ll see my post…

    Take care,


  13. What a gorgeous mitt! The feather looks great! Very cool.

  14. Hi! My first time at your blog. The feather is BEAUTIFUL. I will put my vote in with the rest for a pattern. My daughter has a friend of Native American descent who would love it. He also plays the guitar and lives in snow country. I would consider it a privilege to make a pair for him, and maybe a scarf, too. Thanks for your consideration. I have added you to my feed in anticipation of future beautiful knitting!

  15. The mitt is gorgeous! Now I’m off to Google….

  16. What a wonderful design! I am always so impressed by a new stitch.

  17. Hello,
    Found your mitts in “Fingerless mitts for fall”-Blog
    I like your raven feather that much I tried to add that to my project queue in ravelry before I noticed that there has been no published pattern *laughing* – but I believe you are a great designer (under unexpected or terms too) and managed to make me happy, why not share this wonderful feather shape with us knitters? I would be very proud of you for this design. These mitts are special! Awesome!
    (please excuse my bad english I´m german)

    Many overwhelmed warm greetings from IXE

  18. Could you please post the pattern for these mitts please? I Really want to make them for my Best friend who’s personal symbol is basicly a feather. She’s a great friend who has having a hard time lately. PLEASE

  19. I love these gloves! Is there a pattern or is this just a piece you yourself do?

  20. Beautiful! Would love this in a scarf pattern!

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