The Botanist's Mittens by Sabine Kastner

The Botanist's Mittens

by Sabine Kastner
February 2019
DK (11 wpi) ?
20 stitches and 30 rows = 4 inches
in Brioche ribbing, unstretched
US 2½ - 3.0 mm
188 - 284 yards (172 - 260 m)
S, M, L
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Botanist Anna Atkins, born in 1799, is considered the first person to have published a book illustrated exclusively with photographic images. She had been interested in science and graphic arts from an early age and was fascinated by the cyanotype photographic process (later known as “blueprint”) that Sir John Herschel invented in 1842. She applied the technique to algae, ferns and flowering plants, showing the beauty of their intricate shapes in fascinating white and blue images.

The Botanist’s Mittens are worked in two-colour brioche combined with two-colour garter stitch.

Skills required: Basic knitting techniques (such as casting on, binding off and working in the round over a small circumference), two-colour brioche ribbing in the round, different types of brioche increases and decreases.

The pattern PDF includes written instructions for 3 sizes, and photo tutorials showing how to increase and decrease in brioche knitting.

Mitten measurements (unstretched):
18 cm/7’’ (20 cm/8’’, 22 cm/8½’’) around the palm
16 cm/6¼’’ (18.5 cm/7¼’’, 20.5 cm/8¼’’) length from start of leaf panel to top
The cuffs can be worked to the desired length.

Approximate yarn requirements:

  • MC: 72 (90, 110) m / 79 (98, 120) yards
  • CC: 100 (122, 150) m / 109 (133, 164) yards

The sample shown combines a sport-weight with a light DK-weight yarn; slightly heavier yarn worked at the same gauge is ideal if you like a denser fabric. Colours with high contrast will result in the best effect.

Make fingerless mitts by skipping the third leaf and ending with a few rounds of ribbing. Finish the thumb in the same way when you reach the desired length.
For an introduction to knitting brioche mitts or mittens, you may also like to have a look at The Astronomer’s Mitts.

Thank you to Jo Torr for technical editing and to all test knitters for their work and helpful feedback.