Friday, 8 December 2017

More Mittens

November just gone was a really tricky time for me. My overlocker broke. It was being temperamental, as it can sometimes be, which I forgive due to being over 30 years old and only costing me about £60 a decade ago. But this time it just wouldn't respond to my usual solutions to its difficult behaviours. And then it got jammed, and when I forced it by turning the hand wheel a tiny bit of metal pinged off, and then it REALLY didn't work anymore. I was able to take it to the legend that is Richard Mouland (Brighton-based sewing machine repair and servicing dude), and I waited with baited breath for the verdict. Long story short, he was able to re-weld the teensy bit of metal back on and now it works better than ever. PHEW. 

But those were a tense few weeks, and I was left twiddling my thumbs a bit, sewing-wise. Of course, I know that no one needs an overlocker to sew great clothes, but as most overlocker owners would probably agree, once you're used to having one to sew the seams on knit projects and finish the raw edges on woven ones, it's hard to go without. I did a lot of cutting out, and sewing as much as I could on a few projects before having to set them aside until an overlocker came back into orbit. And I FINALLY got round to making these mittens. 

This must be the 200th pair of mittens I've made (I'm exaggerating, but only a bit), but the first in about four years. I started making them in my former job sewing for the textile recycling charity TRAID, and making the first pair of my own from a felted leopard print cardigan with cashmere lining. Two years later, that pair got recut and reworked, receiving a new lease of life with the introduction of a red wool jumper. Around that time I got back into making these on a larger scale, and made a TON which I sold at craft fairs one Christmas under the name 'Smittens'. 

My plan was to continue reusing whatever section of my own mittens was salvageable each time holes appeared, creating a perpetually renewing pair of mittens, kind of like a wooly Doctor Who. However, I'd let four-winter's-worth of wear pass by without remaking them and they has got so hole-y that they weren't really worth recutting. So I treated myself to making a new pair from scratch. My stash of felted and moth-eaten knitwear is dwindling and this is the best combo I could cobble together: lime-y yellow for the outsides and lower insides, geo-grey for the palms, grey/teal for the cuffs and some grey for the lining. Sadly, the lining isn't cashmere so they don't feel quite as soft as my former pairs, but they are snuggly enough. 

Because of the two layers of wool, these really are the warmest of mittens, and I'd whole-heartedly recommend anyone who lives somewhere that gets chilly to harvest some felted or ropey old knitwear and have a go. This is the pattern that I used, it includes seven sizes including men's and children's, and they are really speedy and satisfying to make. So if you're stumped on what to buy someone (or you've run out of funds) this Christmas, this might be the answer. You're welcome. 


Jo said...

Brilliant, I tried making these once but the pattern wasn't the best so I will try your link. I have two shrunk jumpers on my 'shrunk jumpers pile' (yes I have one!) and see how it goes. This is very much on my mind today as I walked the children to school in snow in Shropshire this morning. Jo x

Kristina said...

"A wooly Dr Who" LOL!!! These look so lovely, thanks for sharing xx

Tasha said...

If anybody wants some cashmere scraps for lining mittens (or anything else for that matter) I have some in my Etsy shop:
You might need to piece them together a bit, but they are amazingly soft.
Cheers to all of you using recycled materials!

Basir Chaudhary said...

This gloves are brilliant. I love the colour and the cotton used for it and those cotton gloves are seems to be good and it is one of the best as compare to company's. I would like to suggest you about Cotton Fabric Suppliers in India The company's cotton manufacturing machinery is one of the best and comfertable to get it with cheapest deals of different products. I came to know about Manufacturing Suiting Fabrics in India The Fabrics are manufactured with highly approved by the govt. as if the company is certified and all products are been approved for Suiting Fabrics in India.

Unknown said...

I loved this so much I bought the pattern with an eye to my hoard of sadly shrunken knitwear. Did you amend the pattern slightly on the cuff, because looking at the Etsy pattern, the cuff is attached on the inside, and then folded over to hide the seam on the outside, but I can't see any seams at the cuff on any of your pairs, or a foldover? I think I'd prefer mine without a foldover cuff, so I'd love to know how you did it! said...

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