Mitten Maintenance

trimming pills

After being used frequently last winter, my Fiddlehead Mittens were looking very ragged. They’re knit with Cascade 220 and handspun and they are so pilly! I went through the wool basket this morning and found a few other mittens and mitts that were also in need of some pill maintenance.

My Girdwood Mittens in Cascade Eco:

trimming pills

The Mallory Mitts knit with Nature Spun Sport:

trimming pills

And my Zigzag Study Hall Mitts knit in Reynolds Whiskey:

trimming pills

My method of dealing with pills is to snip them off carefully with scissors. If you have read The Knitter’s Book of Yarn by Clara Parkes, then you know that for many fibers, pulling the pills off will only lead to more pills. By snipping the pills off with scissors (or a sweater shaver if you have one) you leave the surrounding fibers undisturbed. Clara discusses it much more eloquently in the book – it’s on pages 64-65 if you own the book. Read it again, it’s worth it.

After snapping my “before” pictures, I did some careful snipping.

trimming pills

The Fiddlehead Mittens look dramatically different after their haircut!

trimming pills

Nice, right? It just takes a few minutes of attention, plus some vacuuming, and my raggedy mitts and mittens look like new again!

trimming pills

 

4 thoughts on “Mitten Maintenance

  1. I need to sit down and do this with some of my knits. I’m guilty of pulling off the pills when I’m bored in class event though I know I shouldn’t.

    Your Fiddlehead mittens look beautiful.

  2. thank you for an a-ha moment. I sat at work pulling off so many pills from my most recent hand knit wondering when it would stop pilling. I actually have a sweater shaver, it just takes size C batteries and for some reason we never have any of those around the house and never seem to remeber to put in on my shopping list.

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