I’ve been experimenting for years with knitted mittens for my kids. We live near Ottawa, Canada, and playing outside here is serious business. This year, I’ve reluctantly admitted to myself that plain old knitted mittens are great for moving from the house to the cold van, but they just don’t suffice for serious playing in the snow. The snow seeps through them and even though I’ve used wool, their hands just don’t stay warm.
Enter the felted mitten. They’re made of wool, so they have all the great properties that wool provides: they stay warm even when damp, they breathe, and they’re heat & flame resistant. (Not necessary for snow play, but a great thing nonetheless.)
The felted woolen mitten is perfect because it gets super thick as the fabric shrinks. The felted fabric is solid yet velvety soft, and it provides a warm barrier between my kids’ hands and the snow. This year, with their felted mittens on, they stay out for hours and come in with snow-covered yet warm hands. Success!
I also made myself a pair to use when I’m clearing snow off the van, shoveling the driveway, or tobogganing with the kids. They are wonderfully cozy, so I made some for my husband, too.
This pattern includes instructions to make mittens for the whole family, from babies up to grandpas. You can even use the largest two sizes as oven mitts. (Remember the heat and flame resistance of wool?)
You’ll need an aran/heavy-worsted weight of 100% wool. I used Cascade Eco+ and Cascade Ecological Wool in my experiments, and I provide detailed notes on yarn substitutions in the pattern notes. The mittens knit up quickly, and their giant pre-felting size will amuse and amaze your friends. You don’t need a special washing machine to felt them; any machine will do, and the pattern tells you exactly how to felt them. I’ll warn you, though: felting gets addictive. It’s like knitting magic.
With one skein of Eco, you can make at least two pairs of mittens, even if one of those is in the MM size. Here are the specifics:
60 (65, 95, 105, 110, 120, 130) grams
Pattern Also Includes
~ Extensive notes and instructions on felting, in front-loading or top-loading machines
~ Instructions and video link for picking up stitches at the thumb: https://youtu.be/wsxUGBgpn3A
~ Ideas for modifications and yarn substitutions
~ Cheat Sheet Chart for all sizes, to use as a quick reference once you’re familiar with the construction