Fiddlehead Mittens

I’ve finished my mittens! Over a year since I first attempted them.

Fiddlehead Mittens

I began them back in October 2009 and knitted the first outer mitten in about a week – then started the second one and got sidetracked onto other things. I was pretty unhappy with my tension on these – as I was holding a yarn in each hand my floats weren’t very even and the overall mitten came out a little smaller than I wanted – which would have made things a tight fit with the lining.

Fast forward on a year and I was determined to get these knitted at some point. I was going to buy new yarn to knit the outers with, but after some consideration I decided that because I have enough yarn and liked my original colour scheme, I’d put the money towards a very luxurious lining instead. So, I saved my pennies and splurged on two skeins of this:

Rowan - Kidsilk Haze Splendour

At over £8 for 25g (£32 for 100g) it’s the most expensive yarn I have EVER bought. This is one of those other yarns that people rave about as being the stuff of dreams, so I was pretty keen to try it.

I also planned to try a new stranding technique to try and improve my tension. A friend shared this tutorial with me (it’s in German, but I just watch the video with the sound off as it’s the images you’re interested in):

I gave it a go and it did the trick. The outer mittens came out more even and slightly larger than the time before. The first mitten took a little longer than the second, which I started after being at home during the holidays. I managed to knit most of the linings in a single day, so the total for this project would be at around 12 days.

I got to use my fancy Tumbbuplokki mitten blockers (you can get them from this shop on Etsy):

Mitten Blockers

and ended up with awesomeness:

Fiddlehead Mittens

Fiddlehead Mittens

Each mitten weighs roughly 54g.

Had an issue with the first line of the lining decreases – the maths for the number of stitches doesn’t make sense, but you can fudge it to end up with the right amount.

These are so warm and beautiful with the lining – there’s no way one ball of Kidsilk Haze would have been enough to double-strand all the lining – even if you used a single strand on the thumbs – unless you’re doing the small size and then it might just work.

That said, the expense of a second ball of KSH is worth it as it gives just the right bulk for perfect toastiness and to fill the mittens out properly. They are super-duper warm – almost too warm for anything but the dead of winter, but given that it snowed AGAIN yesterday, now is the time.

I now have plans for other mittens suitable for not quite-so-cold weather along with a pair for Trev – who borrowed these today and didn’t want to give them back. Plentiful handknits certainly makes going for long winter walks a lot more enjoyable 🙂


2 thoughts on “Fiddlehead Mittens

  1. Thanks so much for the link! 🙂 I only just started checking out your blog properly – you make some pretty awesome things!! 🙂 I absolutely LOVE these mittens! It seems like they cost you quite a lot overall though…
    I learnt to knit and sew when I was a teenager and made many of my own clothes (materials were a lot cheaper back in the day though I think), but I only remember the basics now. Would love to take up some crafting again (wish I had more time); at least I found some inspiration, and that’s a start! 🙂

    1. Very kind of you to comment on my mittens! The yarn I used to line them is certainly not the cheapest, but as always, with some of the cold weather we’ve had recently I’ve been very grateful for them. The yarn I used for the outer mitten was very cheap though (only £3 per ball), so that helped balance things out a bit.

      I know what you mean about materials being cheaper years ago – it’s now less expensive to buy things ready made than it is to buy fabric and materials which I think is a shame as people lose the skills needed to make and maintain things. I still need to learn to sew properly but agree with you on time being the major issue here 🙂 Such a shame we have to work for a living really 😀

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