Hands holding a mug, wearing hand-knitted fingerless mitts in a variegated red and purple yarn.

The Gilded Cage Mitts are here!

 I'm really excited to introduce my third pattern to the world. Say hello to the Gilded Cage Mitts - a cosy, unisex mitt pattern that runs from sizes S to XL, fitting a wide range of hand sizes.  I loved designing these mitts. They were inspired by Mary Wollstonecraft, one of the pioneers of feminist thought, who published her treatise A Vindication of the Rights of Woman in 1792. Western Europe was in turmoil at this time, with the French Revolution in full swing and the American War of Independence only a decade past. 

Mary was a passionate, intelligent, unconventional woman who fervently believed that women merely lacked education and opportunity when it came to being the equal of men.  She argued that women's stereotypical weakness and focus on the superficial was a result of nurture rather than nature. "Taught from infancy that beauty is woman's sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison." Her writing reads powerfully today, as it would have when she wrote it.

If you haven't read A Vindication of the Rights of Women, I heartily recommend it.  The simple slipped stitch pattern on the back of the hand represent the bars of a cage, and they're topped and tailed with an Estonian braid - a detail which looks like a row of sideways knitting.  The cuff and rim feature a 1x2 twisted rib which flows into the slipped stitch pattern.  The thumb is mostly plain with a central slipped stitch detail which ties the whole pattern together.  I really wanted to make sure this pattern was size inclusive too - hands come in all sorts of different sizes, as do bodies, so this pattern is graded for 15cm up to 19.5cm circumference at the knuckle. 

I've also dyed some limited edition yarns to go with it in shades of red, blue, green and gold. You can find the yarns here, which include a pattern on purchase, and the pattern is here.  Releasing a pattern into the wild doesn't stop being nerve-wracking. Even though it's been tech edited and test knit, it still feels like a fledgling being pushed from the nest into the wide world.  For me, deadlines and accountability are the only thing that result in a pattern making it out into the world.  I have to tell a lot of people it's going to happen, because then it's as if it already has, and I'm powerless to fight against it.  So, it's free!  Now, I'd better get on with this sock I'm designing if I want it to be released this year ...

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