This mitten pattern is based on a pair of Sami mittens I saw in Lulea, Sweden, at the Norrbottens Museum. It is a typical mitten from Karesuando, which is at the farthest northern tip of Sweden. These mittens were originally meant for men. Both Per and Dagny Kuhmunen come from this area.
Unlike many of the other Sami mittens I have seen, these Karesuando mittens have a staggered mitten-tip decrease. That is, instead of decreasing at the edges of the mitten, which creates flat mitten fronts, the knitter staggers decreases evenly across the rounds up to the red tips. At that point, regular decreases create a slightly swirled tip.
The Karesuando mittens I observed at the museum had patterned thumbs, but Per Kuhmunen’s Karesuando mittens have a thumb in solid blue. This is not only easier, but eliminates the constriction that can occur much more readily in small-circumference stranded work.
Rauma Finullgarn, 100% wool yarn, fingering weight, 191 yards (174.7 m)/50 gram (1.8 oz) ball, 1 ball each of #437 Bright Royal Blue (MC), #418 Red (CC1), #4405 Bright Lemon Yellow (CC2), and #401 Off White (CC3)
Needles, size 1 (2.25 mm) or size needed to obtain gauge
Waste yarn, smooth
Cardboard, 3½ inches (8.9 cm), 1 piece for making tassels
Finished size: 8 inches (20.3 cm) hand circumference and 10 inches (25.4 cm) long, excluding braid and tassel
Gauge: 32 sts and 43 rnds = 4 inches (10.2 cm) in stranded patt
Download a copy of the November/December 2015 issue of PieceWork to knit your own pair of Sami mittens, the “Karesuando Mittens to Knit.” And read Laura’s article, “Jokkmokk Winter Market,” which explains Per Kuhmunen’s role in the market. Plus, read about a pair of Sami inspired socks in our blog post, “Skolt Saami Sock Knitting Traditions.”
Laura Ricketts knits, crochets, spins, reads history books, and combines all of these in her articles, her patterns, and the classes that she teaches. Visit www.laurarickettsdesigns.com to see more of her work.