Felted Mitten – keep your hands COOL

Felted Oven Mitt

This pattern features an unusual 2 piece construction, knitting separate fronts and backs. I don’t see why it couldn’t be used to make cold weather mittens as well as oven mitts.

Materials:

  • 100% wool worsted weight yarn: 150 yards ecru (MC); 50 yards red (CC)
  • size 11 straight knitting needles
  • stitch markers (M)

Gauge:

11 stitches and 18 rows = 4 inches in stockinette (St) with yarn doubled

Notes:

Yarn is doubled throughout. Abbreviation M1: Make 1 increase by making a backward loop on right hand needle.

Pattern:

With MC, cast on 19 sts. Work 16 rows St stitch.

Row 17: *K to last 2 sts, K1, M1, K1

Row 18: Purl

Rows 19-30: Rpt rows 17 & 18 (27 sts).

Row 31: K 19, BO 1, K7.

Thumb:

Working on 8 thumb stitches only, work even in St stitch for 3 rows.

Row 4: K1, ssk, K2, K2tog, K2.

Row 5: Purl

Row 6: K1, ssk, K2tog, K2.

BO last 4 sts.

Hand:

With RS facing, attach yarn and work on remaining 19 stitches.

Row 1: purl.

Row 2: K2, place M, beg Chart, place M, K1, M1.

Rows 3-25: Work in St st, following Chart.

Rows 26-28: Remove markers,work in MC.

Row 29: K1, ssk, k to last 3 sts, K2tog, K1.

Row 30: purl.

Rows 31-34: Rpt rows 29 and 30.BO remaining 13 sts.

Make second piece, reversing pattern and omitting chart.

Finishing:

With RS together, sew pieces of mitt together and weave in ends.

Optional: Blanket stitch around edges with CC, placing sts 1/2 inch apart and 1/2 inch deep.

Felt using your favorite method.

You can easily knit some matching potholders using chart and sizing as desired.

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Before and After Felting -When Size Does Matter

felted-purse.jpg

I’ve been doing different kinds of felting for several years now, and people sometimes ask how I know how big to knit something when I want it to be a specific size after it’s felted. The simple answer: it depends. You have to know your wool. Some yarns, like Paton’s merino, shrinks for me by about 1/3, so I always knit things made with that yarn about 1/3 larger. Other yarns, like those specially designed for felting, I’ve found shrink far more, at least by half and sometimes more. The only way to relative certainty is to knit a swatch, measure it, felt it, then measure it again and calculate the difference. I know this is heresy in the eyes of some felters, but I’ve been known to spin wet knits in the dryer set on medium, let it tumble for about 2 minutes, take it out and check the size, and repeat as necessary. Works for me.

This bag was knitted with Lion Brand Monet yarn, which unfortunately has been discontinued.

My Favorite Felted Mittens Pattern

photo: LGP

This past winter, I knitted, felted and sold about 20 pairs of felted mittens at pre-holiday craft fairs. I don’t mind making socks on circular needles, but not mittens – guess the hole for the thumb bothers me, I dunno. Anyway, I use the 2-needle pattern below, but I make the mittens much larger than if they weren’t about to be felted. That means, for a child, I make a small adult size. For men, the bigger medium or largest  size. You have to use your judgement and know your yarn. Use your judgment for women.  For felting, I’ve found that Paton’s 100% wool worsted weight gives me predictable results. It is readily available, inexpensive, knits up beautifully, and comes in many lovely solids and blends. Yarns made specifically for felting shrink too much for this application.

Traditional two needle mittens work up quickly, and suit everyone from child to adult. Use up your yarn stash and knit a pair of mittens in a different color for everyone in the family.
Sizes: small child, medium child, large child, adult

# Materials: #5 and #7 needles
# 200 yards of worsted weight yarn
# 1 stitch holder
# 2 stitch markers
# tapestry needle

Gauge: 5 sts = 1″ on #7 needles

Cuff: With smaller needles, loosely cast on 24(28-32-36)sts. Work *K1, P1,* ribbing until piece measures 2 1/2 (3 1/2, 4, 4 1/2)”. Change to larger needle.

Hand: Row 1 (right side): K2, inc in next st, K to last 3 sts inc in next st, K1. Row 2 Purl. Continue working in SS until piece measures 1″ (1 1/4, 1 1/2, 2″) from end of ribbing, ending with a P row. For the last 3 sizes only Work 2 more rows. (SS)

Thumb Gusset: Row 1: K12 (12-14-16-18), place marker on needle; inc in each of next 2 sts, place marker on needle: K12 (14-16-18) sts. Row 2: and all even rows Purl. Row 3: K to marker, sl marker, inc in next st; K to st before next marker, inc in next st, sl marker, K to end. Repeat Rows2 and 3 until there are 8 (10-12-14) sts between the markers; end by working Row 2.

Divide for Thumb: K12 (14-16-18), drop marker; K8 (10-12-14)sts for thumb, and then place thumb sts on holder; K 12 (14-16-18) Work even in SS until work measures 4″ (5 1/2 -6-7″) from start of Hand, ending by working a purl row.

Top Shaping: Row 1: *K2, K2tog; rep from* across. Row 2: Purl. Row 3: *K1, K2tog, rep from * Row 4: Purl. Row 5: K2tog across; break yarn, leaving 18″ end. Thread yarn into tapestry

needle, run needle through remaining sts. Slip sts off needle, pull yarn up tightly and fasten securely. leave yarn for sewing.

Thumb: Sl sts from holder to needle, purl one row. Work even in SS until thumb measures 1 1/4 ( 1 3/4-2-2 1/4″) ending with a purl row. Next Row: K2 tog, rep across row cut yarn leaving 12″ end finished the same as above. Fold mitten and sew seams.

Your mittens will be comically large and floppy. That’s OK, that’s what you want. Follow your best felting instructions until they shrink to size. I’ve been known to throw wet mittens in the dryer, medium setting, to get to where I want them.

Good luck, happy knitting , let me know how you do!

(updated 2/2/11)

Basic Felting Instructions

I’ve felted many knitted items and this is my basic procedure:

Felting tips

  1. Agitation is the key to felting. To help increase the agitation, you may wish to add an old pair of jeans to the wash. Be careful not to add anything like towels, as lint may get caught up in your felt.
  2. Hot water is used to soften the wool and speed the felting process, but extremely hot or boiling water is not needed. It will make little difference in the felting time and makes it difficult to handle your knitted item during the process.
  3. Detergent or soap works with the hot water to soften the wool and speed felting.
  4. To protect your washer from excess lint, place the knitted item in a zippered pillow protector, or at the very least, a fine mesh bag.
  5. The most important step in felting is to check on the progress regularly. That is the only way that you will be able to stop when the size is right.
  6. Some people do not use your washer’s spin and rinse cycle as it may set permanent creases in your felt. I have not experienced this as a problem.

Felting Instructions

To begin felting, set washer for hot wash, low water level, and maximum agitation. Add a small amount of a mild detergent. Place the bag with the knitted item in the washer.

After about 5 minutes, check on the progress. Check again every 3 to 5 minutes. Every time you check on the progress, remove the knitted item(s) from the bag and change the way they are folded before returning to the washer. Reset the washer to continue agitating if necessary. Do not let it drain and spin. Just keep agitating and checking on them, until they are down to size and firm enough to hold their shape. Smaller items may take quite awhile to felt. When the items appear to be the right size, remove and rinse by hand in cool water. Use a towel to remove some water and check the fit.

If they are still too large, return to the washer and continue agitating. When you are happy with the size, remove and rinse by hand. Machine rinsing is not recommended, as it is impossible to control the amount of additional shrinkage that may occur (I don’t have a problem when I machine-rinse.)

Fall Knits: Felted Pumpkin

It’s not  Halloween yet, but Fall is most definitely here, and Thanksgiving’s waiting in the wings.  I don’t like most of the Halloween patterns that I found while surfing, but these little beauties are more sophisticated than most of what’s out there. They are knitted in segments, sewn together, and then felted. I made four in orange, gold, and rust, and for the tops, I felted an old dark green sweater and cut out the shapes. Came out great!

pattern

The Versatile Blogger Award

 versatileblogger111
I just found out that the amazing Erin  from kniterly nominated me for a Versatile Blogger award. The best recognition is the kind you get from your peers. Plus it’s nice to know that there are people enjoying what you’re writing 🙂
So this is what I have to do:
If you have been nominated, nominate 15 fellow bloggers that you love and who are relatively (fair warning, I am taking “relatively” and running with it) new to blogging. Let them know that you have nominated them. Share 7 random facts about yourself. Thank the blogger who has nominated you. Then add the Versatile Blogger Award picture to your post.
Because I follow only nine blogs, I’m nominating nine rather than fifteen.
Here are 7 random facts about me… I am going to attempt to make them non-knitting/cat/library related. This is going to be HARD
1. I have lived in Connecticut most, but not all, of my life..
2. I love to travel, especially to England, Italy, and France, but it’s getting so expensive.
3. I have naturally curly hair that I have only recently come to appreciate.
4. I am a psychologist.
5. History is my avocation, something that travel stimulates.
6. I love cats, dogs, goats and animals in general.
7.I’m most proud of my long marriage, my two kids, and my two grandchildren.
The blogs I would like to nominate are:
These are great blogs, always interesting, timely, and, well, versatile. Check them out and add some quality to your RSS.