Fritillary Mittens by Heatherly Walker

Fritillary Mittens

July 2014
Light Fingering ?
41 stitches and 49 rows = 4 inches
in colourwork
US 0 - 2.0 mm
365 - 380 yards (334 - 347 m)
8 inches (20.3 cm) in circumference and 9¼ inches (23.5 cm) long
This pattern is available from for $6.50.

Heatherly used an eighteenth-century embroidery pattern as inspiration for a stunning colorwork mitten design.

Using an unusual knitting cast on, what appears to be crocheted ringlets are made.

The luxurious cashmere silk from Lisa Souza Dyeworks, makes these a decadent treat to keep your hands warm all winter.

“Several years ago, a friend of mine made some delightful socks with singing birds on them. The pattern was so beautiful. It turned out they were a charted embroidery pattern she had fitted to colorwork knitting.

Intrigued by the idea, I began researching old embroidery pattern collections to see how I could apply them to my own knitting. Many of the designs I found were hundreds of years old. Some were spaced so that they stitch work would be better if duplicate stitch, others were perfect for basic colourwork knitting.

I love colorwork. I find I knit faster completing a section here and there. I am motivated to complete a picture in the wool I am knitting.

For the Fritillary Mittens, my botanic arts background drew me towards a particular motif. The checkerboard in the flower reminded me of Fritillaria meleagris. The common names for the flower include Snake’s head fritillary, guinea flower, or chequer lily. It is very rare to find square shapes in nature. They can be quite mesmerizing when you do. The name “fritillaria” comes from the latin word fritillus meaning “dice box”.

I added a knit border for the cuff from a 1912 filet crochet booklet. The main chart is modified from an old page that was tucked into a French embroidery book from 1886, source unknown. I charted the main flower, flipped it and manipulated it a bit so the floats between colours would not stretch endlessly.“

Chart available