This fall I knitted mittens for my mother´s birthday in November. I knew she had worn out the ones she knitted for herself, and I also wanted to try knitting with some of my ethical yarn. The yarn I knitted these mittens in is from Hooligan Yarn.
The mittens are Roma mittens by Matilda Kruse, and I knitted them on 2.75mm needles, to get a dense fabric that will last for a long while. My mother uses her mittens when she walks the dogs, and I knew from the quality of the yarn, that these would felt in the palm of the hand, and be perfect for the intended use. (Her previous mittens were in superwash yarn, and they don´t felt, but sadly get holes rather quick if you have eager dogs…)
Now, let´s talk about the yarn. Hooligan Yarns have the following message on their page:
“It’s essential for the welfare of sheep that they’re shorn at least once a year, but the fleece is often disposed of or given away for next to nothing. I liked the idea of producing a ‘single sheep’ yarn that promoted a high welfare message.
The boys were originally called The Hooligans because of their boisterous behaviour and unerring knack of seeking out trouble, and although the girls are generally better behaved, they also have their moments. And so Hooligan Yarns was born!
We have mostly Gotland sheep, with some interesting crosses with Teeswater and Shetland that make unusual, beautiful wool. Some new additions of rescued Jacobs and Lleyn crosses provide a traditional alternative to the Gotland blends. Our yarns are machine spun in UK mills. Batches are produced by individual sheep fleece with the name and details of each boy or girl provided as a story postcard with every order, including a photo. So you know exactly who you’re knitting, and who you’re wearing.”
I got the most lovely package when I got the yarn I ordered. Pictures of the sheep, in this case from the sheep Guthrie who is a Gotland sheep. (The yarn is a DK ply with 160m per 100g ball from their spring 2017 shearing.) And a story about who Guthrie is. Truly charming mail!
This yarn was perfect for mittens, and I suspect also for socks, but I don´t think I´d knit shawls or sweaters with it, because it was quite rough. The fabric got a nice halo, which I think is beautiful, but it wasn´t perhaps the best match with the pattern of choice. But my mother was very happy when she unwrapped them, so I suspect I´m too judgy…
The patterning on the top of the mittens disappeared into the fluff the yarn created. But you sort of get the idea…
My mother has by now used the mittens many many times, and she can confirm that they are warm and that they have felted by wear to be perfect for dog walking! And I have enough yarn left to knit another pair of mittens!