An interesting project uses fleece roving to create especially warm "Buff" mittens. Having lived for a number of years in the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York, I learned that the creator of this technique lived close by. Annis Holmes had (or may still have) a yarn shop in Chestertown. These mittens kept many an outdoor Adirondacker warm. While Annis made these mittens by hand, there’s no reason why they can’t be made on the Sweater Machine.
Buff mittens are mittens with the inside being “filled with” carded fleece in loose roving form. When the mittens are worn, the fleece mats inside and creates one of the warmest mittens imaginable. The mittens need to be hand washed in cool water, but who cares? For warm hands on the coldest days, I’d hand wash anything, within reason…..
Here’s the method:
Using any mitten pattern, make a size that's one size larger than what you'd ordinarily make. There are tons of mitten patterns online, so just pick one you like that calls for worsted weight yarn.
Then choose a main yarn for the mitten itself, let’s say Caron International's Simply Soft® Heather.
Tear off (don’t cut, just kind-of rip off) a number of 2” (approx) lengths of fleece rovings.
About 4 rows above the ribbing or cuff of the mitten, begin a 4-stitch Fair Isle pattern, bringing forward every 4th needle to HP.
Knit 1 row.
Fold the fleece roving piece in half and knit it in the center.
Repeat across until the row has been completed.
Knit 3 more rows and repeat, but stagger the needle in HP (so needle #3 in the group of 3 in WP is now in HP).
Repeat the knitting in of the rovings. It will now look like rows of old bearded men.
Continue in this way until the mitten has been finished. Note that you may want to make the thumb in the same patterning with the roving to keep your thumb from being left out in the cold.
Here’s what the mitten will look like on the right side. Remember to wear the mittens as soon as it gets cold, probably for shoveling, as the hand movement will serve to mat the wool on the inside and lock in the stitches.