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Put Your Hands Together: Columbia Mittens

With a few thoughtful details, these simple mittens go from plain to applause-worthy.

Star Athena Nov 29, 2023 - 3 min read

Put Your Hands Together: Columbia Mittens Primary Image

We love these simple but clever Columbia Mittens by Star Athena! Photo by Gale Zucker

Editor’s note: I fell in love with these mittens the first time I saw them. The continuous cable pattern, which grows out of just two stitches and melts back into the stockinette stitch, looks dramatic but is not very difficult to work. Wrapping it around the heel of each hand is a quirky design element that makes the mittens interchangeable. And I love the way that when you press your hands together, as though holding a book open, the full motif appears.

Brown-haired woman wearing red mittens up to her face Photo by Gale Zucker

Star Athena’s first version of this design used a yarn from Columbia-breed sheep raised on the eastern plains of her home state of Oregon. When the original version became unavailable, we decided to re-create them in another yarn produced in the Western states: High Desert Worsted from Knit Picks. High Desert Worsted uses Responsible Wool Standard–certified fiber produced by Shaniko Wool Company.

Finished size 7½ (8½)" (19 [21.5] cm) circumference, to fit a woman’s (man’s) medium. Mittens shown measure 8½" (21.5 cm).
Yarn Knit Picks High Desert Worsted (100% American wool; 217 yd/100 g; worsted weight): wildfire, 1 skein.
Needles U.S. size 8 (5 mm) (see Notes). Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.
Notions Markers (m); cable needle (cn); waste yarn to be used as a stitch holder; tapestry needle.
Gauge 16 sts and 25 rnds = 4" (10 cm) in St st.

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NOTES These mittens can be worked using a set of 4 or 5 double-pointed needles, 2 circular needles, 1 long circular needle for the Magic Loop method, or 1 short circular needle.

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