Posted by: mick | March 5, 2010

FO: Fliptop Mitts (aka Basia’s Mitts)

Pattern: My own flip-top pattern

Yarn: Worsted Weight BFL, handspun by me from Sandy’s Palette fiber, about 150 yards (and I’ve still got a ton left for a hat/scarf/cowl!)

Needles: Addi Turbo US 3s

Notions: Two wooden, hear-shaped buttons from Field’s Fabrics

Began: January 29, 2010; Completed: February 27, 2010 (Raveled here.)

Notes:  I spun this yarn up last spring and, while I loved spinning with BFL, I wasn’t too pleased with the yarn.  The colors just weren’t really me, in some undefinable way.  My mom really liked the colors, though, and when she requested flip-top mittens last year, I knew this yarn would be my choice.

I’m really crafty in that, when someone requests a knit, I wait and wait until they think I’ve forgotten.  Then I pounce!  And by “pounce,” I mean oh so slyly email them, asking for detailed hand measurements so that they know exactly what’s coming.  Since these mittens weren’t a surprise, per se, I kept the details a secret from Mom and didn’t post any photos.  She received them in the mail today, in time for her birthday next week, and I’ve been given the go-ahead to post about them.

Since my mom likes homemade gifts,  I wanted this process to be as custom and made by me as possible, so I sat down with the yarn, knitted a swatch, and drafted a pattern to her measurements.  I didn’t consult any flip-top or mitten patterns, just started and figured it out as I went along.  I ended up ripping back a few times when a particular element wasn’t working, but in the end I got something that I (and, hopefully, my Mom) really love(s).  I added an i-cord loop at the top and put the buttons on the cuffs, so she can easily clip these back when walking if her hands get warm.  I also added a little hole in each thumb so she can pop the tip of her thumb through to grab her train ticket, answer her phone, etc.

I had a fantastic time knitting up these mitts, and I feel the end result is a real triumph.  I forced myself to take my time, experiment, and rip something out if it wasn’t perfect.  It was a labor of love and a real learning process, and I walked away with not only a new sense of just how far I’ve come as a knitter, but a pretty cute pair of mittens.  Also, can I just tell you how soft BFL is after a good soak?  These mittens are feminine and pretty, but they’re also remarkably strong.  Ironically, just like their new owner.  Happy birthday, Mom!



  1. mick — these are awesome. how could your mom not love them? high five on the spinning, designing, and knitting. and i love those buttons! (and happy birthday, mick’s mom!)

  2. Mick, I am so impressed with your spinning! The yarn is just gorgeous…anytime you spin some blue that isn’t you…let me know 🙂

  3. The colours here are beautiful and your mum’ll be so proud you made them all from scratch! x

  4. mick, you did a great job on the mitts! i am sure you mom just loves them!

  5. yes, everyone, I adore them!!! I’m almost sad that it’s getting warmer outside and I may not be able to truly enjoy how warm they will be. But I certainly will next year. I love the fact that they were hand spun, and knitted without any pattern. They are very special. Thanks, Mick. I love them so much.

    Love mom

  6. So cute! What a lucky mom you have 🙂 You’re really becoming an expert spinner!

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