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



Mallory Pack

Don’t you love Reverse Stockinette Stitch? I do. And it’s not that I dislike purling, but I definitely prefer knitting. This set accomplished Reverse Stockinette in a sneaky way; you knit all the stitches (stockinette stitch) but turn the mitts and hat inside out at the end to reveal the purl side (reverse stockinette stitch)! The trick is to remember when changing colors to carry the tails of yarn on the outside of your work and weave the ends in on the knit side.

Mallory Mitts

Two things I love about the Mallory patterns? They are great patterns for both men and women and they are knit in a sport weight wool with a good range of colors. The color possibilities are endless! Can you imagine knitting these with a rainbow of reverse stockinette stripes?

If you are a newer knitter, or if you’re not into the stranded colorwork thing, this is the pattern for you.  If I rated my patterns based on difficulty, then this one would be in the easy category.

Here’s another great thing about the Mallory patterns: both the hat and the mitts in the set come in three sizes to fit children, medium adults and large adults.  The hat shown in the picture below is the Medium Adult size, and because of the ribbing, fits a range of head sizes comfortably.

Mallory Hat

Mallory, my model for the whole of The Red Collection, liked this set the best out of all the patterns. She was really excited when she was flipping through an early draft of the book and discovered that I named it after her!

Learn more about the Mallory Hat & Mitts:
Mallory pattern details on my blog.
Mallory pattern page on Ravelry.

About The Red Collection

The Red Collection has 12 patterns for hats and matching mittens (or mitts, or wristers). This is a self-published book and I’ve been working on these patterns, photographs, book design, and marketing for the last year!

The Print Edition of the book can be pre-ordered now, and will ship in October.

Please note: The Print Edition includes special sections on yarn, gauge, and finishing, and also has a special techniques section to help you knit the projects from the book. These sections are not included in digital versions of the patterns.

Ways to Get The Red Collection

For the best price per pattern, please consider purchasing the complete collection of patterns. The digital versions of the patterns are available for instant download (click the links below for more details).

The Red Collection: Print Edition – $20 + shipping
The Red Collection: Print Edition + Complete Digital Pattern Pack – $23 + shipping
The Red Collection: Complete Digital Pattern Pack – $20
Single Pattern or 2-Pattern Pack – from $6

Just want Mallory? Use these links:

mallory pack mallory hat mallory mitts
Pattern Pack: $9 Mallory Hat: $6 Mallory Mitts: $6

We’ll get to the rest of The Red Collection soon!