Bernie Sanders and his mittens at the inauguration have taken the internet by storm. If somehow you missed this or would like to read more about the mittens, click HERE. The short description is that the mittens were felted out of old knit sweaters and lined with fleece. Let’s talk about some ways that we can replicate these now famous hand warmers.
Felting is a process that happens with animal fibers, most commonly wool. When heat, agitation, and moisture are added to wool you are able to get a dense fabric. Sometimes when a yarn crafter hears felting, they may be terrified. No one wants to spend time on a beautiful piece only to find that it has shrunk after being tossed into the washer and dryer by accident. Other times felting is EXACTLY what we want to happen. For Bernie’s mittens to be nice and toasty and resist water absorption during the cold winter months, you need that dense felted fabric.
Learn how to upcycle the wool sweaters in your closet
Learn more about the science of felting.
What Yarns Can I Use to Felt?
At Love & Stitches the best yarns for felting are Cascade 220 Fingering and Aegean Tweed. 220 Fingering is a fingering weight (size 2) 100% highland wool so it will felt very nicely. We have an assortment of colors and at $4.74 a skein it is great for colorwork projects. Aegean Tweed is a sport weight (size 3) 100% organic wool that comes in a rich palette of colors. All of the colors of Aegean Tweed work beautifully together for some amazing colorwork projects. They are also rich enough to create gorgeous solid color pieces as well. The little tweed flecks throughout the yarn add that little bit of something to anything you make. Shop the yarn HERE and HERE
Knit & Crochet
Now if you don’t want to venture into the world and felting, you can knit or crochet your own pair. Thanks to some very busy knitters and crocheters there were free patterns up on Ravelry before the end of the day on January 20th. Not going to lie I wish I didn’t have to work on Wednesday so I could whip a pair myself! Silly work getting in the way of yarn time.
I created a bundle on Ravelry to share with you so you can get working right away! https://ravel.me/love2crochet9490/bm3
Afraid of colorwork?
That is okay. These are my favorite basic mitten patterns for knit and crochet.
Stay warm! It is going to be chilly this weekend :)