His and hers Fingerless mitts created for the Nordic Knitting Conference in Seattle, 2021.
I originally designed a pair of mitts especially for the 2021 Nordic Knitting Conference and named them Kjell after our dear friend and mentor Kjell Borge. After I made them, I just couldn’t help but think of Kjell’s dear wife Randi. Randi and Kjell immigrated to the United States in the 50s. He was a baker and she was a National Folk Artist in Norway. She designed tapestries, knitwear and rosemaling.
In the late 1980s we were lucky enough to buy our first house on Randi and Kjell's street. They shared recipes, patterns, knitting tricks, Christmas traditions, freshly-baked bread, paintings, handmade mittens for our children, handmade furniture, rosemaling, baking skills, Norwegian traditions, baby sweaters, meals, friendship, and life with us. It dawned on me that they were the perfect couple to represent Norwegian immigrants at the National Nordic Museum.
The mitts with hearts honor Randi, and the Selbu star mitts honor Kjell, because when I think of Kjell, I think of the cardigan he wore to church that was covered with Selburosen. These mitts can be made in two sizes for men or women. One of my favorite things I learned from Randi was the symbolism used in Nordic knitting. These mitts tell the story of immigration, courage, love, humility, longing and life. The pattern also includes a bread recipe we fondly call Viking Bread–inspired by the bread Kjell would bake and Randi would leave on our doorstep.
Sizes Women’s large/men’s medium Women’s small/medium Finished Measurements 4.5 (11.25 cm) x 7.25” (19 cm) 4.25 (10.6 cm) x 7” (17.77 cm) Yarn Rauma Gammelseries | 2-ply Fingering| 100 % Norwegian Wool | 160 m (175 yd) per 50-g skein| Main Color: 1 skein 400 White | approximately 82 meters/90 yards Contrasting Color: 1 skein 410 black | approximately 77 meters/ 85 yards Needles double-pointed needles 2 mm and 2.5 mm for larger size mitts 2 mm and 2.25 mm for smaller mitts (or size double-pointed needles to obtain correct gauge) Notions Darning needle Gauge and Swatch 30 stitches/34 rows = 4 inches or 10 cm for men’s medium/ women’s large mitt 32 stitches/38 rows =4 inches or 10 cm for a women’s small mitt to medium mitt Skills Used Gauge (which determines the size of the mitts) Long-tail cast on Knitting in the round with a small circumference (I.e. DPNs, Flexiflips or Magic loop) Knit Purl Stranded colorwork Catching floats Gusset Backward loop Binding off Two-color long-tail cast on Picking up and knitting stitches k2tog Duplicate stitch