Hazel’s Fishing Mittens: A Knitting Project

9 February 2022
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These utilitarian mittens imitate the traditional fishing mittens knit in great quantity by my grandmother Hazel—we called her Nanny—and used by my father and grandfather while fishing and lobstering offshore during bitter Nova Scotia winters. I’d rather not call them felted mittens since felting wasn’t a thing for Nanny—she just knit mittens that became sturdy through hard use. The mittens are knit oversized to allow for shrinkage and felting either from deliberate technique as described in the instructions, or from rough outdoor wear.

image description: a lined index card, with handwritten notes for a knitting pattern

Cynthia’s grandmother Hazel’s original pattern notes.

Finished Size

Adult: One size. Fishing mittens are deliberately oversized to allow for shrinkage and felting.

Materials

Yarn

100% wool yarn, fingering weight, non-superwash. About 325 m/355 yards in 75 g / 2.65 oz.

Shown in: 100% wool, unknown variety, handspun, natural colour (undyed).

Needles

3.5 mm/US #4 needles for small circumference in the round: your choice of traditional or flexible DPNs, 1 long circular for magic loop, or two shorter circulars.

Notions

Yarn needle
Stitch marker
Waste yarn for holding thumb stitches

image description: a pair of handknit mittens worked in off-white wool, oversized and somewhat loosely knit, ready for felting

Knitting complete, before felting.

image description: a pair of handknit mittens in a pot of water

Felting.

image description: a pair of handknit mittens worked in off-white wool, after felting

After felting.

Copyright © Cynthia Levy except as indicated.
image description: a three quarters head and shoulders portrait of a white woman wearing glasses

About Cynthia Levy

Cynthia Levy is a craft enthusiast and knitting designer living in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories but originally from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Recently retired from a career in law, she now makes time each day to indulge obsessions for knitting, weaving, quilting, pottery and more. Whenever the weather permits, she’ll be found outside exploring the northern wilderness by floatplane or snowmobile. See more of her work at www.redtigerdesigns.weebly.com.

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