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Warm Green Mittens

1937034042_33ae5540a8_oIt’s getting to be that time of year. The air starts to cool, the leaves start to change and you can sometimes catch a whiff of fireplaces being stoked. So finding a project for the winter is great fun.

I love to knit, duh, and I’ve been learning to felt. So the perfect project came along and I could not resist.  Felted Mittens!

I used 100% wool. NOT SUPERWASH. Make sure your yarn is wool and the label should warn you to not wash in hot water.  That is key. Felting is all about the wool and hot water!  So I picked a nice bright green wool and got busy knitting up these great mittens.

Normally I would knit mittens using about a size 8 needle. For this project, I knitted using a size 10.5 needle. You want to use needles that are way bigger than what you are used to for the size of the yarn.  Needless to say the project will be huge when finished, but that is ok, the felting process shrinks quite a bit.  I finished each mitt and then threw them into the washer.  Super hot water and agitation is all it takes to felt wool.  I also have an old pair of blue jeans that I toss into the washer with the mitts that helps to agitate the knitting. When I’m felting, I do not leave the washer.  I do this because walking away and allowing the machine to complete a wash cycle could take the felting too far.  Meaning the garment continues to shrink and shrink and will become unwearable. Sometimes I have even had to go through 2 wash cycles to shrink the felt down far enough.

So I stand next to the washer and pull the knitting out every couple of minutes to check it’s progress. 1936199961_d49f000a46_o When the felting has claimed the yarn and I cannot see the actual stitches anymore, and it’s the size I want, then I pull out the mitts, rinse them in cold water and let the spin cycle take out all the water from the mitts.  I will also wrap the knitting in a huge towel and dry the mitts as much as possible.  Then I leave the mitts to dry for several days.

So if you over felt, you can’t go back and make the piece larger…so watch it as it felts and shrinks, and pull it out of the hot water when it’s time and you should be fine.

Wool mitts are super warm because of the yarn, but add the thickness of the felting process and your hands will NEVER be cold.  I’ve also felted slippers and those will keep your toes nice and warm. So the cold weather is coming, find a project to keep you warm!

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