I am one of those sewists who is so envious of knitters and their beautiful work. I wish I knew how to knit gorgeous sweaters, afghans, lace, hats, mittens. I’m very good at knitting and purling, and I make scarves, shawls and other pieces with right angles. But beyond that, I am not much of a knitter. I don’t have the patience to learn.

I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to forgo those beautiful handmade wool mittens, hats, scarves, just because you don’t knit. I learned how to sew felted woolen mittens this weekend at the Denver Craft Ninja’s workshop, led by the lovely ladies of Sew It All and Sew News. It is a really simple project that you can learn too.

A group of about 15 of us made adorable mittens from recycled, felted wool sweaters. We learned how to needle felt and add other embellishments. It was such a fun project! I am completely convinced that sewing these cuties is a better use of the sewist’s time than learning to knit mittens. I mean no offense to knitters. If you know how to knit mittens, simply put, I’m jealous! But if you’re like me and you don’t know, here are three reasons why you should consider learning to sew wool felted mittens instead.

1) It’s sustainable!

Who doesn’t have an old wool sweater, much loved, well worn, but it has a few moth holes here and there?! You don’t have to toss it or give it away. Repurpose it into these cute mittens!

2) These mittens are very simple to customize to your hand shape and size.

I say this as a person with abnormally small hands. They don’t fit in any standard gloves or mittens. These are made from a simple pattern that’s easy to tweak either before cutting your fabric or during sewing (I did the latter). Now I have mittens that perfectly fit my weird hands!

3) It’s an easy, lovely gift to sew for friends and family.

I’m not saying that I wouldn’t love to receive newly knitted mittens as a gift. But I know it’s going to take most of us sewists, without previous knitting experience, much less time to make an impressive, thoughtful, useful gift that’s sewn. It’s easily personalizable and possible to finish in few hours to a day, depending on how much detail you add in. This is one quickie project that I’m keeping on hand for the holidays!

If you want to see more ways that the Denver Craft Ninjas customized their mittens, check out Sew It All’s Facebook page for more photos (and become a friend while you’re at it!).

~Kristina

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