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Copyright 1996, 1997 by Esther Smith Bozak. All rights reserved.
Please read full copyright notice at end of patterns.

CAVEATS: These mittens and hats are intended to be fulled, either by hand or in the washer. Be sure to use a fiber and yarn which will full -- wool, alpaca, and mohair or blends of these fibers are some which will. Yarns made with synthetic material or superwash wool are unsuitable. And generally speaking, woolen spun and softly spun yarns work better than worsted. The mitten or hat you knit should be 1-2 sizes larger than you normally wear before fulling; once fulled, they will be the proper size. Also, remember that different brands of yarn may full at different rates; I'm told this is true for some colors within a brand, too. Therefore, you may need to make one or two sets before achieving the desired fit. Fulling by hand seems to give better control over the amount of shrinkage, but is more time consuming. (See Appendix B at end of pattern for details.) Consider giving any mittens and hats made as you refine the fit to a charitable organization which helps clothe the needy. With all the possibilities in differing hand and head shapes and sizes, they are bound to fit someone.


GAUGE: 10 sts = 4" (10 cm); 14 rows = 4" (10 cm).


FINISHED MEASUREMENTS: See Appendix A at end of pattern.

Hat: Using circular needle or 10" dp needles, cast on 50 (55, 60, 65) sts and join into round, making certain sts are not twisted on needle(s). Knit 8 (9, 10, 11) rnds. Purl one rnd. Knit 20 (22, 24, 26) rnds.

Start decreasing for crown, switching to 6" dp needles when more comfortable: Knit next rnd, decreasing 8 (7, 6, 5) sts evenly along rnd -- 42 (48, 54, 60) sts. Knit next rnd even. On next and all remaining rnds, knit rnd, decreasing 6 sts evenly along each rnd until 6 sts rem. Cut yarn and thread through rem sts. Secure yarn on wrong side.

Optional -- Attach 3 12-15" lengths to top of hat by pulling one end of each strand through the fabric. Using two of the six resulting ends for each arm, make a firm braid, ending in a small tassel.

Full by hand or in washing machines. Dry flat or in dryer. Optional trim -- brush the outside of the hat to enhance the look, and add embroidery to area below the ridge formed by the purled rnd, if desired.

Mittens (Make 2): Using 6" dp needles, cast on 18 (20, 22, 24, 26, 28) sts and join to make rnd, making certain sts are not twisted on needles. Knit 6 (7, 8, 9, 10, 11) rnds for cuff. Purl one rnd. Knit 6 (7, 8, 9, 10, 11) rnds. Knit next rnd, putting middle 5 (6, 6, 7, 7, 8) sts on a holder for thumb and casting on an equal number of sts over "hole." Knit 12 (14, 16, 18, 20, 22) rnds or the number of rounds necessary to cover the end of intended wearer's fingers.

Begin decreasing for mitten tip:
Rnd 1: Knit, decreasing 6 sts evenly spaced along rnd.
Rnd 2: Knit even.
Rnd 3: Knit, decreasing 6 sts evenly spaced along rnd.
Rnd 4: Knit, decreasing 3 (4, 5, 6, 6, 6) sts evenly spaced along rnd.
For Adult Medium and Large sizes *only* -- Rnd 5: Knit, decreasing 3 (5) sts evenly along rnd.
Cut yarn and thread through rem 3 (4, 5, 6, 5, 5). Secure on inside.

Thumb: Slip the thumb sts from the holder to needle and knit them. Pick up 7 (8, 8, 9, 9, 10) sts around thumb opening to complete rnd -- 12 (14, 14, 16, 16, 18) sts. Knit 8 (9, 10, 10, 11, 12) rnds or number rnds needed to cover the intended wearer's thumb, decreasing 1 st on each of the first 4 rnds. Next rnd: Knit, decreasing 3 (4, 4, 6, 6, 6) sts evenly spaced along rnd. Next rnd: Knit, decreasing 2 (3, 3, 3, 3, 4) sts evenly spaced along rnd. Cut yarn and thread through rem 3 (3, 3, 3, 3, 4) sts. Secure on inside.

Optional -- Make braid as for hat, attaching the yarn strands to opposite side of mitten from thumb, centering them on purled rnd and the rnds immediately above and below the purled rnd round; pull each strand through one stitch on each row.

Full by hand or in machine. Dry flat or in dryer. Optional trim -- brush mitten to enhance look and add embroidery to cuff area.

I hesitate to assign ages to the various mitten sizes because I know hand sizes vary so among same-aged individuals. If forced to do so, I guess I'd say Toddler = 3 years and under; Child's Small = 4-6; Child's Medium = 8-10; Child's Large/Adult Small = 10+; Adult Medium = Average Women's; Adult Large = Average Men's.

This is a bit harder for the hats -- My normal hat size is 6.75-6.875 and the Medium fits comfortably. I can wear the Small, but it is a bit snugger than I like. My husband David wears a whopping 7.5 hat (he tells me this is in the very large hat size range); the Large fits him because it has some stretch, but I think I'd add another 5 or so sts to the hat's width if I were to make him one to wear commonly. So, I guess I'd say that the Large fits an average adult; the Medium, a small adult or child aged 8 and above; the Small, a young child, say 4-8; and the Toddler, 3 years and under.

I measured 2-3 of each size mitten and hat I've done since "finalizing" my pattern. The finished measurements will give you a better idea, I think, so you can better adapt width and length for your intended wearer's actual hand and head measurements.

Keep in mind that these are approximate finished measurements. The actual measures of your mitten will depend on the fulling properties of your particular yarn and the level of fulling you achieve. I know I tend not to full the hats and mittens as much as possible -- the stitches are still somewhat visible and there is still a bit of stretch left in the fabric. My collection is mostly done in Custom Woolen Mills Ltd.'s Prairie Wool, but also includes a couple of sets in Brown Sheep's Lamb's Pride Bulky. (I have used Reynold's Lopi, too, for the initial Lovikka mittens in what would be comparable to my Child's Medium. From what I remember based on how they fit/did not fit my hand, I would say that in this yarn, the fulled mittens' measurements would be consistent with those I have more recently done in Lamb's Pride Bulky and Prairie Wool.)

If you want a more densely fulled fabric, you might want to go up a size for the knitting and then put the mittens or hat through a more rigorous fulling process. Don't forget, though, that the more dense the fulled fabric, the less stretch and flexibility it is liable to have. All measurements here are in inches. The mittens' are outer measurements so include the fabric's thickness. I was able to measure the hats on the inside.

                    Child's   Child's   Child's Large/   Adult     Adult
          Toddler   Small     Medium    Adult Small      Medium    Large
Girth     5.75-6   6.5-6.75   7.25-7.5    7.625-8       8.5-8.75  9.25-9.5

Length      2         2.25    2.5-2.75     2.75             3      3-3.25

Hand Length
  Total  6.5-6.75  7.25-7.5   8.25-8.5    9.25-9.5     9.75-10.5  10.75-11

   Cuff   5-5.125   5.75-6      6.5        7-7.25       7.5-7.75   8.25-8.5

  Thumb    3.75     4-4.25      4.5        5-5.25         5.75        6

                  Toddler     Small     Medium     Large
Circumference     18.75-19   20-20.5    21.5-22   23-23.5

Fulling is the process of creating a dense, felt-like fabric from a woven or knitted one. You may see it referred to as felting, but this term is more correctly used when starting with non-woven or -knitted batts of fibers.

Whether called fulling or felting, the process is basically the same. However, as you read different references and directions, you will find many variations on the basic theme. All methods I've come across require a minimum of three things -- heat, moisture, and agitation of the fabric. The process can be further enhanced by adding in an alkali, such as soap (not detergent), and some sources advocate alternating between hot and cold water to additionally shock the fibers. Fulling can be done by hand or in a washing machine. Many sources say to dry the finished product flat, but you can use a dryer with no ill effects; in fact some additional shrinkage may occur in the dryer, shortening the overall time needed to achieve the desired results.

The methods I have used are described below. These work for me; you should feel free to explore other variations as you may find a combination which works better for you. This is not an exact science. Whichever method and variation you ultimately use, you will want to periodically check on the progress of the fulling, especially in terms of the amount of shrinkage. As noted above, fulling by hand may give you more control over the amount of shrinkage, but it is more time consuming.

Fulling By Hand: Fill a sink or basin with hot, soapy water. Be sure to use a real soap, such as Murphy's Oil Soap, and not a detergent. Fill a second sink or basin with icy cold water. Add mittens or hat to hot water, and start scrubbing them vigorously. You can even add some soap directly to the fabric as you scrub, too. Be sure to scrub entire surface. Periodically, rinse in the cold water. (When I did this, I could actually feel the fibers contracting.) When the mittens or hat have reached the desired size and state of fulling, which may take many minutes, rinse thoroughly in lukewarm water and roll in a towel to absorb excess moisture.

Dry flat out of direct sunlight, or in dryer; see notes about drying at end of next section for additional details if using dryer.

Fulling By Machine: Set washer to its lowest water level and hottest water settings. Start filling machine and add in soap (my current favorite is Murphy's Oil Soap), and garments to be fulled. If you are only doing one or two items, add in some towels. Avoid using terry cloth towels which may shed onto the mittens and hats. I prefer to use smooth-weave kitchen towels. I'm told denim jeans work well, too. (Crowding the items in the washer will achieve greater agitation and increasing the fulling.)

I've also found it advisable to full only similarly colored garments in the same load, as the yarn is likely to shed fibers during the fulling process. Because of the amount of fiber shed by some yarns, some sources recommend putting the garments in a some sort of cloth case; I haven't found this to be necessary when doing these mitten and hat sets, and I commonly full up to 6 sets at a time.

Run washer through a full set of wash, rinse, and, spin cycles, checking frequently on extent of fulling if very concerned about amount of shrinkage. You may need to put the garments through additional cycles to achieve the desired fulled effect. I often put the hats through one cycle, and the mittens through two, depending on the actual yarn I'm using.

To dry, smooth out any wrinkles and either lay the mittens and hats flat, out of the direct sun, or throw into the dryer for one or more cycles until dry. If using a dryer, set it to normal heat, and be sure to check every 10-15 minutes since the mittens and hats may shrink some more.

Note: While wet, some stretching of the fulled fabric may be possible, if the mittens or hats shrink a little bit beyond the size you want.

Hansen, Robin. Sunny's Mittens. Camden, Maine: Down East Books, 1990.

Hiatt, June Hemmons. The Principles of Knitting. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1988.

Lind, Vibeke. Knitting in the Nordic Tradition. Asheville, NC: Lark Books, 1991.

McGregor, Sheila. The Complete Book of Traditional Scandinavian Knitting. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1984.

Pagoldh, Susanne. Nordic Knitting. Loveland, CO: Interweave Press, 1991.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Copyright 1996, 1997 by Esther Smith Bozak. All rights expressly reserved. This pattern may be used by individuals for personal use and charity knitting only. It can be distributed to and shared with others as long as it remains fully intact, including this copyright notice. It may not be sold, used to produce items for sale, or used in a compilation or archive of any kind without the expressed written permission of the designer.
Last update: July 30, 1999
Esther S. Bozak, ebozak@cs.oswego.edu
URL: http://www.cs.oswego.edu/~ebozak/knit/esb-patterns/lovikka-set.html