The thought of Thanksgiving puts me right into the heat of my mother's kitchen. We chop and stir and baste for days, scrupulously following stuffing recipes many pages long, peeling endless sweet potatoes like we're in the galley of an aircraft carrier, praying that some relative will notice the difference between a parsnip and a turnip and the fact that we've pureed both.
Of course all the toil is an act of love, and while the meal is important, the preparations are the true heart of the holiday. So this Thanksgiving, I'm adding to the pleasure with the sumptuous goodness of hand knit Felted Oven Mitts. Now I'm looking forward to every basting!
- Manos Del Uruguay's Handspun Semi Solids, 100% Wool. These colors are, from the top, Natural, Mist, Cameo, and Pumpkin. Each Oven Mitt requires about 190 yards, or 2 skeins. For Oven Mitts like mine you'll need 2 skeins of each of the Main Colors (Natural and Mist) and 1 skein of each of the Contrast Colors (Cameo and Pumpkin).
- A US #11, 16 inch circular needle.
- A set of US #11 double pointed needles.
- A stitch holder and stitch markers.
12 1/2 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette (before felting)
14 inches in circumference and 13 inches from cuff to top (after felting)
For the gray mitt my colors were:
- Main Color - Mist
- Color A - Pumpkin
- Color B - Cameo
- Color C - Natural
And for the cream mitt I used:
- Main Color - Natural
- Color A - Cameo
- Color B - Pumpkin
- Color C - Mist
With the Main Color and the 16 inch circular needle, cast on 61 stitches. Leave a 24-inch tail which you will use later.
Place a marker and join for working in the round being careful to not twist your stitches.
Round 1: Purl.
Round 2: Knit.
Round 3: Purl.
Knit every round until piece measures 2 inches from the cast on edge.
With Color A, knit 1 round.
With Color B, knit 2 rounds.
With Main Color, knit 1 round.
With Color C, knit 2 rounds.
With Color B, knit 1 round.
With Main Color, knit 3 rounds.
With Color A, knit 2 rounds.
With Color C, knit 1 round.
With Color B, knit 2 rounds.
With Main Color, knit until piece measures 7 inches from cast on edge.
Rounds 2 and 3: Knit.
Round 4: Knit to first marker, slip marker, m1r, knit to next marker, m1l, slip marker, knit to end of round. (2 stitches increased)
Repeat Rounds 2-4 until there are 19 stitches between the gusset markers. (79 stitches total)
Knit to the first gusset marker and put the next 19 stitches on a stitch holder, removing the markers.
Turn the work so the purl side is facing you and use a Cable Cast On to cast on 2 stitches.
Turn the work back around so the knit side is facing you again. Join for working in the round, knitting from the second cast on stitch to the first stitch after the stitch holder. (62 stitches on needle and 19 stitches on holder)
Knit for 4 1/2 inches.
Next Round: K1, ssk, k25, k2tog, k1, pm, k1, ssk, k25, k2tog, k1. (58 stitches)
Next Round: K1, ssk, knit to 3 stitches before next marker, k2tog, k1, slip marker, k1, ssk, knit to 3 stitches before next marker, k2tog, k1. (4 stitches decreased)
Repeat the last round until 10 stitches remain, changing to the double pointed needles when necessary.
Cut the yarn and thread it through the remaining stitches, pulling tight.
Slip the 19 stitches from the holder onto 3 double pointed needles.
Join the Main Yarn and knit the 19 stitches.
Pick up 3 stitches at the base of the the thumb in order to bridge the thumb into a circle. Place a marker for the beginning of the round. (22 stitches)
Knit for 3 1/2 inches.
Next Round: K1, ssk, k5, k2tog, k1, place a marker, k1, ssk, k5, k2tog, k1. (18 stitches)
Next Round: K1, ssk, knit to 3 stitches before first marker, k2tog, k1, slip marker, k1, ssk, knit to 3 stitches before next marker, k2tog, k1. (4 stitches decreased)
Repeat the last round two more times.(10 stitches)
Cut yarn and thread it through the remaining stitches.
Using the cast on tail, crochet a single chain about 5" long.
Dip the crochet hook back into the cast on edge where the chain began, and pull a stitch through. There are now two stitches on the crochet hook.
Pull the first stitch through the second, and bring the tail through the remaining stitch.
Your oven mitt should look pretty wacky by now. Big, floppy, and quite ungainly. Something like these!
Put your mitts inside a pillowcase and then into a top-loading washing machine. Throw in a pair of jeans (or tennis balls) and some delicate wash detergent. Set the temperature to hot and start the wash cycle. You want maximum agitation, so for quickest results, keep the machine in the wash cycle.
Everyone's machine is different, so check your project frequently. When your mitts are about 14 inches in circumference and 13 inches from cuff to fingertip (or whatever size you like them!), take them out and sqeeze out the excess water. Let them dry (and dry and dry...).
Now think about that turkey!