These mittens are going to be a Christmas present for my sister. They are traditional North Karelian mittens. North Karelia is a region in eastern Finland and it’s where our father comes from. This makes me and my sister half North Karelians, yes?
Traditionally these mittens are very dark brown, white and red. I didn’t have all those colours and as I wanted to start these mittens sooner rather than later, I tweaked the colours a bit: dark gray, light gray and red. I used Novita’s discontinued Florica yarn, which is 100% wool.
The symbolism of these mittens is as follows:
Dark brown (dark gray): Karelian earth/land
White (light gray): Snow and cleanliness (my version is a bit dirtier!)
The traditional Karealian snowflake motive is also a reminder of the (Russian) orthodox tradition of the region.
I’m very pleased with the mittens and with the fact that I actually made them – at last. It’s been a plan for a few years now. I want to make a pair for myself too sometime. I will make mine with a slightly thicker yarn though because my hands are a lot bigger than my sister’s and these mittens are a little bit small for me.
I finished a quick pair of mittens.
As so often, these were knitted with Novita’s 7 Veljestä (7 Brothers). It’s my go-to yarn for lots of things – mittens, socks, jumpers, you name it. This yarn is available in our local (and by local I mean 20 km away) supermarket, making it really easy to get the yarn/colour that you need. This is not something that I can do easily with many things, living out in the sticks. Of course I could order yarn online (and I do!) but those cases when I’d like to start a certain project NOW and not a few days/weeks later, a supermarket yarn aisle is handy. I
often always walk down the yarn aisle even when I don’t need/want anything. It has become a joke with us that I say: Let’s go and touch the yarns!
The pattern for these mittens is here. Unfortunately, it’s in Finnish. They have leg warmers in English with the same colour work, but for some reason they haven’t translated the mittens (nor the hat or socks).
So, I was complaining about the black yarn on my hoodie, and then go and knit mittens in black. Well, black yarn in general isn’t a problem, even in low light. Smooth yarn can be knitted eyes closed, mostly.
Here is a star mitten I started to knit…
And ta-daa! I’m done!
I can hear you thinking that a) she’s a really fast knitter or b) there’s a bottleneck here somewhere. No prizes for guessing that it’s the latter. Actually, the WIP picture is quite rare for me – I almost never remember to take one. I’ve always finished the project until I remember and then it’s too late. Also, the WIP picture in my mind should be a quick snap of a picture but as we are heading towards the darkest time of the year, a quick snap is not really an option. This is why: today November 26th, sunrise 10:07, sunset 13:54, length of the day 3 h 47 min. Just as you think it’s getting lighter, it starts to get darker. Ha! Of course there are ways around that, but I digress…
Back to the mittens. The pattern is by Drops Design and the yarn is probably not much younger than me. It’s my grandmother’s old stash and it’s by Finnish Novita, called Brunners Polka. I’ve not managed to find out anything at all about this yarn but my guess is that it’s from the early 80’s, possibly older. Weird thing is that the yarn label is in blue and yellow (Swedish colours) and it has on it, in my opinion, a very Swedish looking image of a couple in national dress. Also, all text is in Swedish only. And yet, Novita is a Finnish company. Perhaps those days they had a range just for the Swedish market, who knows.
So, the yarn has a possible Swedish link, the pattern is Norwegian and the knitter is Finnish. Hurrah for Scandinavian co-operation!
Anyway, I digress again. The pattern is very nice to knit and it makes a rather long pair of mittens, which is good on these latitudes, as I don’t like cold wrists. Two shades of brown is actually quite nice, even though I almost never make or buy or wear anything brown. These mittens look like dark and milk chocolate to me. Yummy.
I have never ever knitted mittens, fingerless or otherwise, on two needles. Until now. I don’t know what made me try.
I had tiny balls of some nameless yarn. I knitted two rectangle pieces, did the seam and left a little gap for the thumb. Done.
These fingerless mitts are ok but I have to say that I do prefer knitting mittens in the round – doesn’t everyone? Unless, of course, there is a reason why they are done on two needle, like these. I want to try and make those babies one day.
When out and about, I often have fingerless mittens in the rucksack. I swap my proper mittens to fingerless mittens when having a break. This way the hands still keep relatively warm but the grip on a mug is a bit more secure. Also, easier and tidier to hold on to one’s muffin!