First - I must show off my completed Monkeys: Tada!!!! These are made from Jolly Jumbuck Helios - hand dyed by a nice lady in Australia. The fiber is 70% wool and 30 % silk, and it is very soft. I love the colors, too! Finished these in a pub yesterday while watching UConn win their game by the skin of their teeth. Monkey Socks are written as a top-down heel flap pattern, but I made them toe-up with a Fleegle Heel, so they are actually Upside Down Monkeys. They fit great!
Now on with the new! The hat and mitten set for my niece will have a snowman theme, due to some really cute buttons I found. I got this yarn (Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted 100% Superwash) and the buttons at the Dublin Bay shop in Portland last October when out on a LYS Day with the local Ravelry Group gang. This yarn is super soft! I look forward to knitting with it.
For the hat, I plan a wide red ribbing that overlaps on the side, so I have a place to sew the decorative buttons. The crown of the hat will be mostly red, with some white snowflakes stranded into it.
The mittens will be the most fun - I'm going to make them look like snowmen. I plan for the ribbed cuff and thumb to be red, and then the hand part up to the second knuckle or so to be white for the snowman head. Then I'll finish the top of the hand with red to look like the snowman is wearing a hat. I'll embroider the coal eyes and carrot nose onto the faces, and will probably put a little green bowtie on each snowman, too. Gotta see what contrast yarn I have in the ol' stash trunk! I have 225 yards of each of the red and white yarn, so hopefully this plan will come together! I may end up starting the hat and mittens concurrently so that I can distribute the colors between the set pieces most effectively. As you can see from my drawings, I didn't exactly do the math on this project - ha! I'll write down what I do as I go, though, just in case it turns out cute.