The Lovikka Mitten was developed in northern Sweden by a woman named Erika Aittamaa in 1892. The story, according to Sheila McGregor (The Complete Book of Traditional Scandinavian Knitting) goes like this: Erika lived with her poor family in a wooden cabin and knitted for the people in town. A woodsman requested a pair of very thick, long-wearing
mittens, and so she set about to spin and knit two pairs of really thick mittens which she felt would last several seasons. When the customer came back, he was not pleased and even said she had "spoiled good wool." So, Erika took them back, and washed and brushed them. The mittens were a hit and she got many orders for them. She later added the turned back, embroidered cuffs.
These Lovikka mittens are cushiony, being made of two strands of yarn and then fulled (felted)! After fulling to the desired size, the mitten is brushed, inside and out, for warmth and coziness, with optional embroidery and braid on the cuff for a traditional look.
Featured techniques include:
The Double Cast-On
Straight Thumb Construction
Swirled Round Mitten Tip
Directions for Fulling by Hand or Machine
Traditional Embroidered Cuffs and Braids
Photos, technique boxes, an embroidery chart, and schematic are included.
3.5 sts/inch and 5 rounds/inch in st st
After being fulled: 4 sts/inch, round gauge varies.
Your fabric gauge should be somewhat loose in order to full. If it is a dense fabric, it will not full much.
Beth Brown-Reinsel is an author and internationally known teacher of the historic knitting techniques of 19th century Northern Europe. Her love of these traditions comes through on her website which offers her knitting books, DVDs, schedule of workshops in North America and Europe, blog and eNewsletter sign up.