The debate continues… Which is more important in winter, to keep your hands warm or your head warm?
Both of course!
And what better way to keep your hands, your head and your heart warm, than by re-purposing and up-cycling old wool sweaters into new (to you), warm mittens and hats!
This post tackles Warm Winter Mittens DIY. Click here for Part 1 – A Warm Winter Hat DIY…
Start with an old favorite wool sweater that you don’t wear anymore or shop thrift to come up with a 100% wool sweater if you don’t have one in your closet. We’ll help you turn that old (or new to you) wool sweater into a fabulous warm pair of mittens in just a few easy steps! Just a little hand sewing involved… you don’t need a sewing machine or any experience at all!
First, make sure your sweater is 100% wool or a mixture of wool and animal fiber (alpaca, cashmere, or angora). Machine washable acrylic or cotton blended wool sweaters will not work well for this project because they will not turn to felt.
Once you have chosen sweaters, place each in a lingerie laundry bag and toss them in your washing machine. Set your machine to HOT wash and COLD rinse and let it agitate away… exactly the opposite of the garment care directions! How much fun is that! If you are felting a number of sweaters at once, you might separate them to felt dark colors together and light colors together to avoid lint from a dark sweater glomming onto a light color sweater. Add a little detergent and step away to allow your washing machine’s agitation do it’s thing. Once it’s done, remove your sweaters from the washer and take a look. You will find that the fibers have all “felted” together, creating a wonderful, thick fabric. Now just lay them on a dry towel and allow them to air dry.
Now you’re ready to turn that wonderful treasured sweater into a pair of nice warm mittens.
The mitten pattern we have developed is available in two adult and two child’s sizes. Click here for printable instructions and the mitten pattern pieces (page 2-4 of the instruction pdf).
Step 1: Determine your hand size by measuring your hand against the printed pattern. Once determined, use that same size to cut all three pattern pieces.
Step 2: Lay your sweater on a flat surface and pin all three mitten pattern pieces to the sweater. Use any ribbed or finished lower edge of your sweater as the lower edge of your mittens – both front(palm bottom) and back pattern pieces. Pin the pattern in place through both thicknesses and cut around the outside of the pattern. You will now have two cut pieces for each pattern piece. In our example, the red ribbing on the sweater becomes the cuff of our new mittens.
Step 3: Next, match up the two mitten palm pieces – palm top and palm bottom. The two sets should be mirror images, one for each hand. Pin across the flat edge and around the thumb of each. Hand sew this pinned seam together across the flat edge, around the thumb, stopping at the star as indicated on the pattern piece. The pattern allows for about a quarter inch wide seam all around. Repeat for the second mitten.
Step 4: Open the palm pieces and match them up with the mitten back pieces. Sew up and around through both thicknesses, leaving the bottom ribbed area open.
You’re done! Remove all of the pins and try on your new mittens! They can be worn either with the seams facing out or turn them inside out for a more snug fit.
Now… go out and build a snowman!
Thank you to Heather Hamilton for developing the pattern and instructions!