Saturday, August 17, 2013

Kinda-Alabama Mittens

I am obsessed by things that keep hands warm, people. It's because it is so freakin' cold here!
Anyway, I have lost my purple merino mittens. I'm not too worried as I wasn't really happy with them. So, I've had another go. And I LOVE the new ones.
Boiled wool in my favourite warm red forms the body.  I was going to do some felt applique, but then I remembered my unfulfilled curiosity about the reverse applique techniques used by Alabama Chanin. If you've not heard of it, Google it, it is amazing. I bought one of the books and every now and then I dip into it.
It was a cold day on Sunday, we were nestled on the couch watching Midsomer Murders in DVD, and so I decided to entirely hand sew them. I used a grape purple ponte as the underlying fabric in my negative applique. Purple and Red, mmmm...:)
The Chanin method involves stencilling and dyeing but meh, I wasn't going to muck about with messy stuff. I drew around my hand, added some width to allow for 3D ness, cut them out, then just drew a design on one piece. I cut it out with little sharp scissors, then pinned a piece of ponte behind, and sewed it on with a running stitch in embroidery floss around each cut out. The assembly was just overlapping the pieces and stitching them, with a blanket stitch finishing the thumb to finger seam, for a change of pace.

They took about 2 hours from start to wearing and I LOVE them. And as I have loverly nails now, it's a nice chance to show them off! They are different as I freehanded each design - I prefer the first one - and very warm. No need to hem as the boiled wool won't fray.
I have more boiled wool and ponte in black and grey, and I may have to run a class in this as it is lots of fun and is a non-threatening start to hand sewing, applique and Chanin work.
For a far more ambitious and impressive Chanin project, check out Zara's new blog! She is a local and VERY stylish!


  1. Very pretty and extremely useful. It is cold here too.

  2. Oh loverly. There's nothing worse than having cold hands lol.

  3. So very cool! I love warm hands, I have a great range of mitts and assorted arm devices but I never remember to change them up. Next winter...

  4. They look so warm and such yummy colours. I love the pretty nails :-)

  5. Cute! I love purple and red together, so lovely. :-) (Plus, your nails are fabulous!)

  6. Such elegant mitts and boiled wool too... how heavenly. x