Saturday, October 5, 2013

Felted Mittens

(Click on photos to enlarge)

I’ve been machine knitting for many years but I've never made a pair of felted mittens.  I’ve been wondering what I could make with some worsted wool that I’ve had on hand for awhile, so guess it’s about time for some felted mittens.  They’re based on my favorite mitten pattern with size adjusted to compensate for the felting.  They feature a thumb gusset for better fit and a shortrowed fingertip.
One 4 oz skein will make the size in this pattern.  But they’ll take a bit more yarn if you need a bigger size or want longer wrists and cuffs.  To save on main color yarn, a contrasting color could be used for stripes or a contrasting cuff/wrist.   These are a basic mitten but could be dressed up with colorful yarns, fairisle or embellished with embroidery, needle felting, adding a braid or woven ribbon, line with a pretty fabric, etc.  Another nice option would be to knit a ribbed cuff in non-felting yarn and sew it to the inside of the mitten wrist.  Use your imagination.

The 2nd pair was made with 2 strands of Sweet Feet by Interlacements Yarns, a non-superwash variegated sock yarn, with a gauge of 5 sts and 6 rows per inch.  (3.7 oz)

Felted Mitten

Size:  Woman’s Medium
Machine:  KX-350 midgauge
Yarn:  Aussi Wool Worsted Weight, 4 oz
Gauge:  Pre-Felt 4 sts, 5.5 rows = 1”

1)   CO 42 sts with waste yarn, knit 6 rows with waste yarn and knit 1 row with ravel cord. 
2)   With main yarn, e-wrap each needle by pulling the e-wrap thru the stitch created by the ravel cord already on the needle.
3)   RC000, T6, K6R.
4)   Hand manipulate 2x1 latched rib, beginning with the 2nd stitch.

1)   RC000, T7,  K16R (or desired length).

1)   RC000, T8, with 2 prong transfer tool, increase 9 sts on each side by increasing 1 st on beginning of every row 18 times.  Fill in the empty needle with the heel of the previous stitch from the main body.  (The last inc will be on RC017, then K across to RC018, with COR).
2)   Opposite the carriage, scrap off 8 sts with several rows of waste yarn.
3)   K1R, opposite the carriage, scrap off 8 sts with several rows of waste yarn.

1)   RC000, T8, K26R on remaining 44 sts.
2)   Put machine on hold and half the stitches opposite the carriage into hold position.
3)   Shortrow on working needles down to 8 sts and back out.  (Use a simple shortrow, do not wrap needle on the increases).
4)   Cut yarn leaving a tail to be used for seaming.
5)   Scrap off both sections with several rows of waste yarn.

1)  With wrong side facing and thumbs in the middle of work, hang a total of 18 stitches with the 8 sts from the left thumb section, 1 stitch from that edge of the mitten body, 1 stitch from the edge of the right hand mitten body and 8 sts from the right thumb section.
2)   RC000, K2R.
3)   With 2 prong transfer tool, dec 1 st on each edge.
4)   K12R even.
5)   With 1 prong transfer tool, transfer EOS to its neighbor to the right and move stitches together.
6)   K2R.
7)   Dec EOS as above, move stitches together.
8)   K1R and gather.

1)   Loosely graft the fingertip seam from the purl side.
2)   From the public side, loosely sew all seams with Bickford style stitching.
3)   Felt to size desired.  (Mine took 3 cycles of hot/cold).

1)   Use no knots in felted objects.  Knots will result in lumps that you don’t want.  Simply weave the yarn ends in as you normally would.  The felting process ensures that the yarn ends will not loosen and disengage.
2)   During felting, the fabric will shrink up more in length than width.
3)   Before starting the felting, I place plastic bags inside the mitten and pin in place with small safety pins so the layers won’t felt together.  After each wash/rinse cycle, I examine and reposition the safety pins if they’ve gotten dislodged and hidden in the fabric.  My felting for these mittens took 3 cycles of hot/cold wash/rinse and after the 2nd cycle, I removed the safety pins and plastic bags.
4)   All wool is not created equal and the felting process may vary with water temperatures and length of washing cycles.  So check your felting periodically….there’s no turning back if they get too small.

1)   After making several of these mittens, I found that with some yarns the thumb base was a bit tight and needed some stretching while drying.  So I've reworked the instructions for the thumb gusset by adding 2 stitches.  Then when knitting the thumb, I knit 2 rows and then decreased 2 stitches, then knit the rest of the thumb as in my original pattern.  It works out well.
2)   I found it totally unnecessary to place a plastic bag inside the mitten while felting.  The sides do not felt together as I would have suspected.  But you can add the plastic if you're worried that they will.


  1. Very generous of you to share all of this information. I think many will take advantage of it. It's the time of year to start thinking about mittens and gifts.

    Thank you!

    1. You're very welcome. Yes, old man winter will be knocking on our door soon, not to mention anything about Santa. Hope the info is helpful.

  2. Thank you for the pattern! Our guild is doing felted things this month, so one more pattern will be most welcome!

  3. Thanks for this pattern! Other felted mitten patterns seemed too bulky, but the first pair I made with your pattern look great. One thing though, on the thumb gusset, since I'm increasing one stitch every row, for 16 stitches, my RC at the end is at 16, not 15 :) I made a few other changes (some by mistake and some intentional) which I'll post on my blog when I get the chance.

    1. You're welcome, Tracy. I've updated my pattern about RC015 vs RC016 in the thumb gusset. Guess I wasn't very clear in my wording but the intention was there. ☺ Since the RC is at 000 for the first increase, the last increase will be made on RC015, then knit across to RC016. I consider any pattern a guideline and I very seldom work a pattern as is; I usually have to change it in some way too to fit my likes or needs. I'll be watching for your changes.