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Knit Yourself Mittens from the Mitten State

A cold winter calls for the right handknitted mittens: warm, durable, and snug-fitting. Michigander Amy Tyler designed the perfect pair.

Amy Tyler Aug 14, 2023 - 7 min read

Knit Yourself Mittens from the Mitten State Primary Image

In the northernmost part of Michigan, known as the Mitten State, a good pair of handknitted winter mittens is a must.

The Lower Peninsula of Michigan is in the shape of a mitten, and that’s the reason Michigan is referred to as “the Mitten State.” I live in the northwest corner of the Lower Peninsula. Winters are long here; it can start snowing in October with snowfall sometimes continuing throughout April. Mittens, therefore, are essential winter wear.

Most important to me, mittens must be warm. To accomplish the needed warmth, I chose a slip-stitch pattern. I have always been fascinated by slip-stitch patterns; they produce amazing textures and can result is surprising color effects. Many years ago, I designed and knitted a jacket using several slip-stitch patterns. While designing, I must have swatched 20 to 30 different stitch patterns. On one pattern that pleased me, but was not going to work for the jacket, I wrote myself a note: “This would be a good stitch pattern for mittens.”

It is the Nubbly Tweed pattern, and it is good for mittens. At first glance, this pattern looks like a simple seed stitch. But it is so much more! Slipping stitches as specified results in what is essentially a thick two-layer fabric, with the inside layer smooth (a nice feeling against the hands) and the outside layer “nubbly.”

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