Pattern: Felted Mittens
Designer: Theresa Schabes (yes, she (works and - EDIT: an anonymoued out that she does not work there, just teaches there) teaches at Knitche, as does the lace designer Karen Joan Raz and lots of other very talented and kind people)
Yarn: Malabrigo, worsted weight, 216 yds/skein, color: Purple Mystery
Source: Knitche, for pattern and yarn
Needles: size 10.5 circular for palm section, size 6 double points for cuff
Gauge with size 10.5: 14 st and 18 rows to 4", before felting
Knit flat from wrist to finger tip, with stitches picked up for the thumb, and then seamed. The cast-on is a crochet cast on (much easier than it sounds) and the live stitches are held on the crochet chain until you've felted the mittens. You then unravel the cast on chain, pick up the stitches and knit the ribbed cuff. Eh voila. Felted where you need the warmth, not felted where you need the knitting to hug around the wrist so that the cold air stays out.
I managed to knit two mittens and cuffs 4" long and still had a small ball of yarn left over. I note this because the pattern calls for 250 yds, which is just slightly more than one skein of Malabrigo. Keep in mind that I have smallish hands and did not knit the ribbed cuff the full 6" suggested, so if your hands are larger or you're knitting for someone who plays the piano or you want a cuff that stretches a good way up the arm, you'll need two skeins. And don't skimp on the yarn. Malabrigo is the Platonic ideal of yarn for felting: soft, drapey, flexible even after felting (which you want to do lightly for mittens so that you can grip the steering wheel and not emulate a ping pong paddle), and colors that will bring pleasure both in knitting and wearing.
The Malabrigo cheered me up so much that I spent much of the weekend working on a Velvet Grape and Rhodesian version of the Blue Sky Alpacas Snap Cardigan. Thank you, Lori. You were right. Burnt orange works great with deep purple. I'm throwing away the color wheel. Maybe.