Checks and Balances by Laura Ricketts

Checks and Balances

January 2015
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
16 stitches and 20 rows = 2 inches
in over pattern
US 1 - 2.25 mm
400 - 600 yards (366 - 549 m)
Child's large, woman's and men's size (7, 8 and 9 inch [18, 20 and 23 cm] hand circumference)
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Checks and Balances mittens are knitted in three colors of fingering weight wool at the gauge of 8 stitches to the inch. No more than one or two colors are knitted per row, so this could be a good, beginning colorwork mitten. Begun at the cuff with a 2 x 2 knit/purl ribbing, the mitten quickly progresses through multiple rounds of cheerful checks and is finished off with a traditional Sámi braid and tassel attached at mid-cuff. Pictured mitten is the 8” 20 cm circumference size.

This mitten pattern is based on a pair of Sámi mittens I observed in Stockholm’s Nordiska museet, or the Sweden’s Nordic Museum. They were originally obtained in 1925 on an expedition to the town of Jukkasjärvi, the extreme northern tip of Sweden. This Sámi knitted pattern is common in the area, and can be seen in Lule Sámi patterns of neighboring towns.