Felt Mittens with Knitted Cuffs
I am so excited that autumn is here! I love the chill in the air and the rich colors of the leaves as they turn from green to red and gold. The fall makes me want to can fruit, bake bread, knit and sew. But alas, I'm not a canner or a very good bread baker... I am however a sewer and a knitter!
The mitt part of the mittens is sewn out of Mary Flanagan Felted Wool, one of my all time favorite things we carry. It is warm and soft and comes in the most beautiful array of hand-dyed colors, from the vibrant "Holiday Red" pictured here to lovely naturals and blues. To compliment the soft feel of the wool I used Blue Sky Alpacas Solid Sport Weight 100% Alpaca to knit the cuff. Since I haven't been knitting very much lately I had forgotten what a joy this yarn is. It comes in such amazing colors and the fabric it makes is unbelievably luxurious.
To make one pair of medium size women's mittens (10-inches long by 4 1/4-inches wide.):
- Two pieces of Mary Flanagan Felted Wool in Fire Brick
- One skein of Blue Sky 100% Alpaca Sport Weight Solids in color 531 Paprika
- One spool 100% cotton thread in color 5910
- A #13 needlepoint needle
- One Felt Mitten Pattern available to download for free here
- One set of five double pointed knitting needles in US size 3 or size needed to get the gauge.
- Tailor's chalk
The gauge for the knitting in this project is 8.5 stitches per inch in an un-stretched knit one purl one rib in the round.
Cut out your felt according to the Felt Mitten Pattern Templates. You will have:
- 2- Mitten Backs
- 2- Top Palms
- 2- Bottom Palms
Since the Mary Flanagan wool doesn't have a right side and a wrong side you don't need to worry about which of the pieces are for the left and which are for the right while you're cutting. Make sure to include the marks on the side of the Bottom Palm Pieces.
Pinning and Sewing
Pin the Bottom Palm pieces on top of the Top Palm pieces along the thumb and short side as shown above. Make sure that the thumbs on the two pieces are facing different directions.
Sew along these pinned sides with a 1/4-inch seam. Try to sew the curve of the thumb as smooth as you can.
Trim the seam allowance to a scant 1/8-inch.
Pin the Mitten Back pieces to the newly sewn pieces, right sides together. Fold the thumbs in and away from the edges so you don't sew them into the seam by accident.
Sew around the perimeter of the mitten with a 1/4-inch seam allowance back stitching at each end.
Trim this curve to 1/8-inch and turn them right side out, including the thumb.
If you've sewn them correctly the thumb will have a neat "Y" seam at it's side as shown above.
Attaching the Cuff
Using the tailor's chalk, mark a horizontal line 1/2-inch from the bottom edge of the mittens on both the outer and palm sides. Then mark the middle of each side along the horizontal line.
Thread the needlepoint needle with a 36-inch length of your yarn. Tie a knot 4-inches from the end of the yarn.
Pull your needle up from the wrong side of the fabric at the marked midpoint of the palm side of the mitten and then stick your needle back into it's exit point. Place one of the knitting needles in the resulting loop and pull the loop snuggly around the knitting needle. This is your first stitch!
Pull your needle out approximately 1/8-inch to the right of the first stitch and loop the yarn over the knitting needle and go back into that stitches exit hole just as you did to create the first stitch.
Add stitches in this way until you have 15 stitches on the needle and have reached the side seam. If you end up with a different amount of stitches pull everything out and start again.
Keep going in this manner adding 15 stitches in each of the four marked sections. Try to keep your stitches straight along the marked line.
You will end up with 60 stitches total. Take care to do this stage neatly and don't be afraid to pull the stitches out and start over from the beginning.
Knitting on the Cuff
Now that all of your stitches are cast on you can start knitting on the cuff. You'll be knitting in the round. Place the mitten so it's upside down and begin your knitting at the center of the palm side.
Round 1: Knit all stitches through the back loop.
All subsequent rounds: *Knit one, Purl one, repeat from * for entire round.
Work in this knit 1, purl 1 rib unitl your knitting measures 2 1/4-inches.
Bind off in pattern and weave in your ends.
Block the mitten by pinning it to a towel or your ironing board and spraying it with water and letting it air dry.
Repeat for the second mitten and enjoy!