The Naturalist's Mitts
These mitts are named after Maria Sibylla Merian, born in 1647, who was both an artist and a researcher: At a time when the transformation of caterpillars into butterflies was unknown to most people, she developed a deep fascination for insects and eventually undertook an extraordinary expedition to Surinam, resulting in her chief work – a magnificent volume with 60 coloured engravings featuring tropical plants and insects.
The Naturalist’s Mitts are worked in two-colour brioche (for the best effect, choose two colours with high contrast). They’re a satisfying small project for the seasoned brioche knitter, but the pattern also includes helpful tips and tutorials for those with less experience who want to advance beyond plain brioche ribbing.
Skills required: Basic knitting techniques such as casting on, binding off and working in the round over a small circumference; plain ribbed brioche knitting.
Additional techniques such as brioche increases and decreases as well as the picot bind-off are explained and shown in photo tutorials.
The pattern includes full written instruction for both mitts. Additional charts are provided for the cuff and top section of the mitts.
Size: The pattern is written for one size. The sample is shown in Sock by Malabrigo Yarn (light fingering weight), worked on 2.75 mm needles.
At the recommended gauge, the glove measures (unstretched)
Around the wrist: 15 cm/6’’
Around the palm: 16 cm/6¼’’
Length: 19.5 cm/7¾’’
Brioche fabric is very stretchy and accommodates a range of sizes, but you can additionally vary needle size or yarn weight.
Variation: The Naturalist’s Cuffs
If you’d like to practice a bit of plain brioche ribbing before venturing into more complicated patterns (or just prefer cuffs to fingerless gloves), you can use the charts and instructions to make the pair of cuffs pictured.
Your mitts or cuffs will be fully reversible if you carefully hide all ends when finishing.