This could get addictive

There’s been a major cold snap in the UK (and it’s always a source of satisfaction when I have all the family out on a walk with hats, mitts, and sweaters that I have knitted!) and Oldest Child has been patiently waiting for some new mittens, having outgrown hers last year. These were on their way from Diligent Grandmother, who also knits :-), but they were a bit tight when they arrived, so have been passed down to Youngest Boy.

This meant that Oldest was still cold-handed. I’ve knitted several sets of mittens in the past but have always made pretty basic ones:

Basic mittens

because they do rather tend to get lost at school, caked in mud, or outgrown very quickly.

However, Oldest Child is now reaching an age of discretion and also slowing down a bit growth-wise, so I thought I’d make her some rather nicer Norwegian-style ones. I’ve made a pair before for a friend but wanted to try a different pattern so I downloaded one from Ravelry. I’m using some yarn frogged from a sweater that the children outgrew unusually fast, so it was still in good shape. I think it’s Rowan merino DK – in any case it’s knitting up nicely (albeit slightly bumpily).

Norwegian mittens

The bumps are because it’s made with frogged yarn and will smooth out when it’s blocked. The most interesting thing for me is that it’s using a thumb method I haven’t encountered before. Usually you leave your thumb stitches on some scrap yarn and then come back to them – picking up some additional ones and carrying on. These mittens knit-in the scrap yarn like so:

Scrap yarn for the thumb

You knit along the thumb stitches with the scrap yarn and then reknit the same stitches using your ‘proper’ yarn. At the thumb-knitting stage you then unpick the scrap, leaving two sets of live stitches. I’m looking forward to this part because it could be an interesting technique for ‘afterthought’ heels on socks too, so I will report back!

The other excellent thing about this pattern is that it provides a useful template that one could use to design one’s own mittens…

Author: Carolyn

I'm a knitter and blogger, a cook and a quilter, a woodworker and writer.

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