Saturday, March 10, 2007

Felted mittens with non-felted cuffs

My LYS had a book about felting on display. The book had a section on children's mittens. It recommended casting on in cotton, knitting a few rounds, switching to wool, making the mittens, felting the mittens, removing the waste cotton and then knitting the cuff into the holes where the cotton had been.

Hmmm. would work, yes. You COULD do it that way. But...why? What a lot of work.

Try this instead:
click picture
felted mittens, superwash cuffsDoes it work? You bet. Did it hold up? See for yourself. Here are the same mittens after two Wisconsin winters' worth of wear by a boy, now in second grade, who wears these mittens (and no others) through every snowball fight and sledding adventure, every day at recess, after school and every other time he goes outside--and here, we've still got a foot on the ground (although thankfully, it is melting fast). These mittens are getting too small for him now, the bright colors have yellowed and faded, but he's still wearing them.
click picture
same mittens, 2 yrs laterBottom line: for ribbing on felted garments, put away that waste cotton & bring on the superwash wool.

PS: Make sure to use a non-fuzzy yarn for the shrinky-parts, or the fuzz will get into the non-shrinking cuffs and make a mess. For further information about this, go to  LIVNLETLRN,  an illustrated entry on her blog. 

PPS:  If you want to make these mittens, a pattern is available for sale ($3.25)
You can go to the pattern store on Ravelry
You can go to the pattern page on Ravelry or
you can 


(you have been reading TECHknitting on: Felted Mittens with Unfelted Cuffs)


Anonymous said...

I have to laugh at myself. I decided I wanted felted mittens but I wanted soft knitted cuffs. I researched and probably came across the same book you did, and I used cotton yarn so that I could pick up stitches for a knitted cuff. I feel like smacking myself on the forehead. I really appreciate the knitterly know-how that you share with us.
Punkin in Oregon

Marcia said...

Genius, absolute genius!

noricum said...


Karen said...

How cool is that!! What a great idea.

polarbears said...

Wow, brilliant. The possibilities that opens up....

kmkat said...

I believe that qualifies as an *elegant* solution. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

What a fantabulous idea. I will have to try it!

Vicki Knitorious said...

This is a gem, and you are a treasure. Truly. Thanks so much.

staceyjoy said...

Clever! And very useful at the same time.

Anonymous said...

I am working on some felted slippers that close with a button and buttonhole. The buttonhole is worked horizontally but it seems to me it would hold better if it was vertical.
The patterns calls for a button hole worked into the knitting but I am thinking it might be better to cut the buttonhole after the slippers are felted.
I am confused, the buttonhole on a collar stand (like a man's dress shirt)is worked horizonally for better closure hold so I don't know which way would be best. The button called for is 34mm. I think that is around 1 3/8"--just guessing.
Any thoughts on this?

TECHknitter said...

Hi Anon.: I agree that making the buttonhole after felting would work better. Also, I would stitch around the buttonhole in buttonhole stitch. As far as the direction of the buttonhole, the idea is to put the buttonhole lined up to the direction in which you do not want the garment to slip. So, on a man's dress shirt, you do not want one side of the collar higher than the other. Accordingly, you put a horizontal buttonhole on top--the collar can slip between tighter and looser, but not between up and down.

A different example is lower down on the shirt. You want the two pieces of the bands (button band and buttonhole band) to line up and not have one peeking out from under the other, so you put those buttonholes vertical--the shirt can slip up and down a bit between the two sides, but cannot gape and gap (no horizontal slippage).

On a slipper, you must ask yourself which way it would be worse if there was slippage, and align the buttonhole accordingly.

Thanks for writing


Anonymous said...

Wonderful idea! I am going to copy this.


CricketB said...

The washed superwash looks much tidier than unwashed, even without blocking. Not the intended lesson, but it's still going to save me frustration.

Anonymous said...

This is a great idea! Thanks so much for sharing. I've stumbled upon it with great timing too.

One Christmas knit this year is a pair of felted slippers to replace previous ones that were worn out. Was just going to do the same pattern as before (basically giant ankle socks, felted) but was thinking non-felted ribbed cuffs around the ankles would be nice. I've seen mitten patterns where the cuffs were sewn on after felting but your way is so much more efficient.

~AnickaMarie on Ravelry

Kendra Chase said...

I have made these, they are great! Thank you. I would love them for adults. Is there a pattern yet? :-)

Christine said...

Seeing how as you have a 2 winter-old test sample, how do you deal with these mittens getting dirty? Kids use mittens to pick up slush, wipe their noses, etc, so they need to get washed every now and then. I really like the idea of felted mittens, as we're in the middle of a cold snap, and I'm worried that my little one's mittens aren't up to the job, but the washing is why I rejected the idea in the first place.

TECHknitter said...

Hi Christine--the samples I have on hand are many years old, and some of them have been through multiple kids. These mittens are now waiting in a box for the grandkids! Anyhow, to wash felted items, it's the same as washing regular wool--swish in mild-temperature water, with a drop or two of (hand, not machine) dishwashing detergent. Rinse in water of the same temp. Pl;ace on towel, blot as much water out as you can, dry on a a new dry towel. The thing with felted items is, if you over-agitate them, they might felt some more, so once you have them felted to the correct size, wash them gently, as you would any other woolens. Thanks for writing, TK