Sanders Mittens

Remember when this image went viral last year as a whole mood for what was happening in the world? Well I’ve got a pattern for that!

As soon as I saw this image of Bernie Sanders hunkered down in the cold with these cozy mittens, I knew it needed to be a knitting pattern. That very same day I pulled out a pencil and some graph paper to chart out a similar colorwork pattern as to the ones shown in the picture. By the end of the day, I had a Sanders Mitten and my version of the pattern was born.

I wanted to make sure my mitten pattern would be available in at least two sizes, so I picked a totally different color palette for the second pair of mittens. Of course the smaller ones would be for me, so I went with pinks and reds. What I didn’t realize is that when I substituted in the red color, little hearts appeared!

I also wanted to make sure the pattern would be beginner friendly, so the colorwork does not use more than 2 colors per row, has solid rows of knit in between each chart for a break, and no colorwork on the thumb or top decrease section. I also used a 9” circular to knit my mittens, which helped make the entire project just fly off the needles. A light blocking helps smooth everything out, and I recommend starting the second mitten right away so you won’t have second mitten syndrome, like I do a year later! I made the two sample mittens in the two colors but didn’t finish the respective mates. Now I need to find them and finish them! Thankfully my testers were able to finish a pair of mittens during testing, so the pattern is fully tested and edited.

And there you have it, the Sanders Mittens knit pattern by Jenny GL! You can find the pattern on Ravelry here and on Etsy here. Make sure to tag me @kountingsheep and use hashtags #kountingsheep and #sandersmittens on Instagram if you post your project.


Change Your Mind Shawl & More

I keep forgetting that I’m trying to revive my blog and post more regularly. But this pandemic has been a whirlwind the last few months, and I took a designing break to give myself permission to just craft for myself. I also took a detour back into sewing, and I’ve been selling and donating cloth face masks. You can shop for them in my Etsy store here.

I did break my designing hiatus to release the Change You Mind Shawl pattern and help raise funds to donate to a charity doing the work to fight police brutality in America. 50% of pattern sales through June 30th will be donated to Campaign Zero. If you are interested in learning more about doing the work of dismantling racism in your own life, a good place to start is with these books on Amazon (affiliate links): Me and White Supremacy or How to Be Antiracist. Here is also a helpful list of ways to actively put your words into actions.

Change Your Mind Shawl was born out of a happy accident because I couldn’t decide on what pattern to create or colors to use. Sometimes momentary indecision can lead to a creative breakthrough. Instead of ripping out my work, I just kept going. It’s rare when I don’t plan out a design beforehand, so it was fun to let the creating happen as I knit. The simple garter stitch makes for a soothing project while the eyelets and color changes add just the right pop of fun.

Change Your Mind Shawl is an elongated triangle shawl that uses 3 colors of fingering weight that fade from dark to light. The fading sections use rows of eyelets to create both a lace pattern and a shift in colors. This shawl is a great way to use 3 special fingering weight yarns from your stash. And if you change your mind about the colors, you can always make another one! Grab your copy of the pattern on Etsy here.

The last thing I want to mention is that I have decided to move my pattern testing group over to Slack instead of Ravelry, due to the redesign that has made Ravelry inaccessible for people with certain disabilities, since the design is highly triggering for migraines, eye strain, seizures, and other health concerns. If you would like to join my new tester group, please follow this invite link here. Slack is an app you can download on your phone that allows users to create private work groups and chat threads to collaborate and work together. It’s also easier to upload and share files and photos, as well as receive notifications. If you are interested in testing knit and crochet patterns for me, I would love to have you join and come say hi in the general chatter thread!

Please note this post contains Amazon affiliate links. This means that I receive a small commission when you shop through the link at no additional cost to you. All opinions and pictures in this post are my own.

Penelope Infinity Scarf

The newly redesigned Penelope Infinity Scarf knitting pattern is now available for sale! Grab your copy on Ravelry here or in my Etsy shop here.

Penelope Infinity Scarf is a loop of fun that is a perfect transition piece for Spring, when the weather starts teasing you of warmer days, but it’s still a little chilly. Wrap yourself up with this soft scarf that feels so squishy around your neck! Penelope Infinity Scarf uses one skein of Caron Cakes yarn. Learn how to cable without a cable needle with a picture tutorial included with the pattern.

This cozy infinity scarf is sure to become a staple in your colder weather wardrobe. Download the pattern today!



Several years ago I made the above pictured hat out of my handspun yarn, and as soon as it was finished, I knew it was the wrong pattern for the yarn. The complicated cables got muddled in the self striping sequence and the softness of the yarn didn’t lend well to the structure this hat needed. When I wore it, the hat constantly slid down my head and was too floppy. I loved the yarn but I didn’t love the hat.


Fast forward to last week when I decided to frog the hat (and matching fingerless mitts, which also didn’t work for the same reasons and had developed a hole needing mended) and make something that I would love to wear. I knew a simpler pattern would help showcase the yarn, so I decided to knit a garter stitch hat instead. The finished hat is perfect now, sitting just right on my head and not sliding off, not too slouchy, and the garter stitch gives the soft yarn just the right structure it needs.


The handspun was one of my most favorite ones ever so I couldn’t stand to have a finished object that I didn’t love to wear. Now I am super happy with the new hat and so glad that knitting can always be taken out and redone.

New Website

Welcome to the new Kounting Sheep Website.

If you are seeing this post, then you are in the right place. Yes, my website is still but things might look a little different. That’s because I have completely moved to a new platform, WordPress. I have been using blogger/blogspot as my main blog since 2007, but as I start to expand Kounting Sheep, I figured it was time to move to a platform that will grow with me and give me more control over my website.

You will still be able to find all of my old blog posts both by scrolling through the main homepage  and by the clicking on the archive drop down menu in the sidebar. And I will be posting new blogs from now on over here. If you had bookmarked, please make sure to change it to, as I will no longer be using blogspot.

Thank you to all of my followers and enjoy the new website!

A Book and Some Mittens

I have another pair of finished mittens to show off. These ones should look familiar because I’ve made them before, but this time they went to my mom for her birthday. So far, I’ve been giving away Christmas gifts for the intended recipients’ birthdays instead, so I have to come up with a new plan for Christmas gifts.

{Strawberry Mittens by Spilly Jane
US Size 1 needles
Scrap fingering weight yarns
Mods include changing thumb pattern}

My mom has several out of state trips planned this fall and winter, so I figured she could put these to good use now rather than waiting until Christmas. When I made this pattern for myself awhile back, my mom wanted them immediately. Unfortunately, it only took me a year and a half to make her a pair for herself. Better late than never, I guess!

Besides celebrating my mom’s birthday this month, we are also celebrating the release of her first published book, My Porcelain Doll. This book is special to our whole family because it details the cancer journey of my sister and how our family fought alongside her. This week it is finally available on Amazon (My Porcelain Doll), so if you are interested, you can buy a copy now.

Lobster Mittens


Yes I did finish the Lobster Mittens. Although it seems weird to be knitting mittens in the summer, they are actually an ideal project because they don’t take up a lot of space or cause heat stroke to work on them. Also, mittens make me look forward to cooler weather (which won’t happen until November), although it did strike me this week that since I won’t be getting up every morning and driving to work, I may not get as much use out of mittens as I’m used to, since my hands won’t be exposed to the cold morning air as much anymore.

Regardless, I still love mittens, so here are my new ones for this year finished:

{Lobster Mittens Pattern by Spilly Jane
Size 0 needles
Started 22 June 2013
Completed 23 July 2013
Modifications include shortening for my small hands
and doing a plain thumb because I like plain mitten thumbs.}

I’m taking a break from knitting mittens for a few weeks probably, and then I’ll be back to knitting them again to continue preparing for Christmas gifts. Also my husband will be getting a pair of gloves before the weather turns cold, since he will actually be getting up in the early mornings to work, so stay tuned for when I begin knitting my first ever gloves with fingers!

Photo Friday: Lobster Mittens

 I can’t explain why I love these mittens so much. I don’t even like lobsters, either to eat or as cute companions. But when I saw the pattern for these mittens, I had to make them for myself as my new pair of mittens this upcoming winter. First mitten is done, and I’m about halfway through with the second one. Sometimes I just can’t explain why I knit what I knit.

Totoro Mittens

I finished my first pair of mittens for the year, and I’m happy to be able to share these now that they have been given to the intended Totoro-loving recipient. I just couldn’t wait until Christmas, so I decided they would be a great birthday gift instead, even if she can’t use them for the next six months.

I’m very pleased with how these turned out, especially since the patterning had long floats (not quite a traditional fair isle pattern), and I did manage to do patterning on the thumb. The Knit Picks Palette yarn was a great choice for these, and I’m liking how the yarn is knitting up for other mittens I’m working on, too (and it’s the yarn used in my Diatom Shawl, so very versatile).

Size 4 US needle
Knit Picks Palette Yarn in White & Ash
(less than 1 skein of each)
Modifications include shortening the top and adjusting the thumb pattern}
My friend was so happy with these, especially since she was hoping to find a cute pair of mittens to wear this winter. I love it when I know my handmade gifts will be used often. Even though I haven’t watched the movie that these are based off of (My Neighbor Totoro), they were so cute that I almost wanted to keep them myself. But of course I have lots more mittens to make, including at least one new pair for myself this winter.

Circular Shawl Love

This makes my fourth circular shawl to knit. I love how fast they start out and progress, but I always forget that the bigger it gets and the further from the center it gets, the more stitches I have on my needles, thus the slower it knits.

This particular shawl I started on my birthday back in March, thinking I would have it finished by Easter (which did not happen, so I ended up wearing a different shawl). I’ve been craving another white lace item to wear since the wedding, so I was happy to already have this kit in my stash waiting to be knit. The center and main body of the pattern emerged quickly (as seen in this photo), but now that I’m about 40 rows from the end, it’s taking a long time. The end will have gradient colors out to a dark grey, so I’m excited to see the finished piece with this fun color addition at the end.

I’m looking forward to finishing this soon (hopefully this month) so I’ll have a nice shawl to wear in the great cold indoors over summer dresses.