I've gotten a lot of questions about the mittens, what do I do with them, what kind of yarn etc, so I better write something about them. In today's picture you see the traditional pattern my mittens started out as. In Norway, this tradition is dated back to the 1860's (approx) and the woman that sort of "invented" this type of knitting in Norway, or at least is credited for it, is Marit Ernstad, who came from Selbu, a small community in Troendelag, right in the middle of Norway. That's why this kind of knitting is often referred to as Selbu-knitware. The pattern often used is an eight-pointed star. Even my mittens has a kind of that, the small one in the center of every motif and also the rounded one outside the smaller one. Originally the colour choices were few. Black or "sheepish black" as it was called and white or unbleached. During last century it became normal to knit with blue and red for girls/boys instead of black. There is a vast variety of patterns, a lot of variations of the 8 pointed star but also motifs taken from the nature. The second photo (taken by my husband) shows a version I knit for my husband a couple of years ago. They are the most complicated mittens I've ever knitted.
Originally a homespun two-ply yarn was used. I'm sticking to the two ply's, but my yarn is a soft baby wool quality from Dale. It's Merino wool. doesn't itch and can be washed in the machine. The needles I use are 2,5 mm (don't know the American equivalent). My husbands mittens are knitted on 2mm needles. That's very thin!!
So why did I go from black and white to colours? One summer after knitting 5 pairs in black and white, I was so bored with the colours. Earlier that summer I had taken a class with Kaffe Fassett and got a new view on colour. So one day I passed a shop window with colourful sweaters and jackets, and Eureka! I ran into the shop and bought colourful yarn. I knew for certain that the babywool yarn was used for some of the jackets I saw, and decided to give it a try. I'm been satisfied ever since.
What do I do with them? I started selling them locally at the arts and crafts society's Chirstmas Sale. Then a friend of mine wanted to sell them in her flower shop. And a gallery owner here where I live also have them for sale. Now I have an order for ten pairs which I'm working on. I'm wondering about making a webshop where I can sell both mittens and patterns I've designed, but at the moment I think it's going to be just wonderings.
And if you are curious, the headband is a design I developed on basis of the mittens.