Gaman Mittens to Knit and Embroider by Susan Strawn

Gaman Mittens to Knit and Embroider

August 2017
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
33 stitches and 48 rows = 4 inches
in St st on larger needles
US 0 - 2.0 mm
US 1½ - 2.5 mm
248 yards (227 m)
8.25" hand circumference and 11.25" long
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This pattern is available from for $7.99.

A pair of mittens hand-embroidered in a World War II (1939–1945) Japanese internment camp inspired my pattern for gaman mittens. Gaman means to persevere with dignity under adverse circumstances. The colorful design on the original mittens struck me as whimsical and even cheerful. I loved the way that the designs on the right and left mittens were different, yet similar. Knitting and embroidering these mittens turned my thoughts to the deeply human need to make art and live with beautiful creations, despite the tragedies of life.

Difficulty Intermediate

Finished Size 8.25” hand circumference and 11.25” long.

Yarn Spud & Chloë Fine (80% superwash wool, 20% silk): #7822 sidewalk, 1 skein (see Note). Yarn distributed by Blue Sky Fibers.

Embroidery Appleton Bros, Ltd. Crewel Yarn (2-ply, 100% wool): #746 bright China blue, #454 bright mauve, #842 heraldic gold, #403 sea green, and #144 dull rose pink, 1 skein each.

Needles Sizes 0 (2 mm) and 1½ (2.5 mm): set of double-pointed. Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.

Notions Markers; waste yarn for thumb; tapestry needle; embroidery (or crewel) needles size 1 or 2 with sharp points and elongated eyes; 2 pieces of 4” x 4” sheerweight interfacing fabric; 1 piece of 3” x 6.25” cardboard; embroidery scissors.

Gauge 33 sts and 48 rnds = 4” in St st on larger needles.

Note The sample mittens used all of one skein of yarn. Consider purchasing an extra skein as insurance.