I had a goal to finish 7 pairs of mittens by the end of November. There is nothing wrong with admitting that I may fall short of that aspiration, because I feel accomplished in that I was able to complete four pairs of mittens and there is also a pair of finger-less gloves in the works. And, I just might get one more pair done in the next few weeks.
This week at the library I picked up a couple of pattern books to help spur my interest in continuing the mitten goal. I really want to make at least one pair in a traditional folk technique. This book has some amazing patterns to be daring with:
The opening paragraph in the introduction of this book connects me to the author in our view of fiber arts as being a practical and necessary skill. She writes:
Kitting has always been, to its very roots, a practical art, with craftsmanship grounded in inventiveness, utility, and common sense. For centuries, harsh climates around the world inspired the knitting of wool garments that provided an unrivaled defense from the elements. Yet handknitted garments were created for more than winter protection. They were knit to express care for the wearer, to identify homeland and family, to fulfill traditions of courtship and marriage, to follow fashion, to increase family income, or simply for the sheer pleasure of giving expression to creative talents. All this and more can be seen in the humble mitten.
After reading that how can you not want to try your skill at knitting up a pair of folk mittens? I will admit, some give me knitter’s anxiety, but others are just challenging enough to spark my desire to give it a try.
Here are the non-folk mittens mostly created from my own “inventiveness” that have been off the needles for awhile: (these are in addition to the ones shared in my first post on knitting seven pairs of mittens.)
This little pair is for my toddler son. The pattern for these just came as I created them. the finger portion was made from a wool sweater and is double in thickness. Then stitches were picked up with some squishy wool yarn and knit in the round. Because I was making it up as I went the thumbs are a little different on each-but that’s okay, he loves them anyway!
This set was created using the free mitten pattern I designed. It knit up quickly in this bulky acrylic blend yarn that was laying around in my stash. I love how the striping of colors ended up different on each mitten. This yarn was so soft and easy to knit up that this pair had to have a hat to match!
**I must insert an apology here concerning the free mitten pattern. When I was knitting up this last pair I realized that the directions to knit up the after-thought thumb were left out of the pattern! I will be updating this mistake ASAP!**
Here is another repurposed sweater mash-up. These are some finger-less gloves I began for myself. The glove portion is from the sleeve and cuffs of a cotton sweater and the crochet cuff that is being created is from a lovely cotton. I wanted this pair to be easily washable as they are likely to be worn daily around the house. And yes, this knitter does also enjoy the use of a crochet needle from time to time!
The first folk-style mitten that I intend to try is the “Fana Mittens”. It is worked with only two colors and uses a similar technique that I have tried before in adding tufts of raw wool as you knit to create a soft cozy inside. I have known it as “thrumbing” but it is mentioned in this book as “tufting” but I believe it to be the same. The pattern is worked in blue and white with a checkerboard edge. The author tells us that this design “became a symbol for peace during World War I” in Norway.
Thanks for being a friend!