RIIHIVILLA KITS FOR MITTENS
Riihivilla- mittens are a combination of Finnish tradition, harmonous natural colors and motifs from Finnish nature. My mother Liisa Rajala designed the first mittens for us in 1992 and most of the mittens were made as a teamwork with her together with me, Leena Riihelä, and my husband Jouni Riihelä. Our mittens are based on the traditional Finnish mittens, especially the palm of the mitten and the cuff. Thumb is knitted with gusset, so it fits your hand perfectly.
The ideas for the motifs come from Finnish nature, and the colors of naturally dyed yarns please the eye. These mittens are at their best made with Riihivilla Aarni yarn.
We sell our mittens as a kit, with yarn and the pattern, and you can buy them here from our online shop or at the market Kauppatori in Helsinki.
Mittens are adult size and there is plenty of yarn in the kit, if you want to make even bigger mittens. Or, if you want to make them smaller, most of the designs are easy to make smaller by reducing stitches from the edges and the actual pattern will stay untouched. Because individual gauge may differ even with the same yarn and needle size, please try the mittens in your hand when the work progresses, to see if you get the right size mittens. If not, try different size needles.
I have written a blog post about the thumb gusset here.
In the kits there is Aarni yarn, color picture of the mittens, written general instruction in Finnish or English and a colored chart. These mittens are of medium difficulty and they require some experience with stranded knitting and ability to read charts.
The price of the kits varies depending how much there is naturally dyed yarn in the kit.
The base color in many kits is Natural White, Natural Grey or Natural Black, all natural colors from sheep. Black from sheep is brownish black, some see it as dark brown. Many naturally dyed colors are dyed on grey wool, and so they are not bright colors but more muted colors. Colors dyed with natural dyes are a combination of many different dye pigments which are present in plants and mushrooms. In red there is also yellow pigments so many times it may look orange shade of red, or when combined with cochineal pinkish shade of red. Some yellows may look greenish yellows, some orange yellow. Greens dyed with mushroom Tapinella atrotomentosa are olive greens, and the ones dyed on grey wool may look brownish in certain light. Colors dyed with natural dyes may look different when looked inside compared to when looked outside in the sun or in shade. Even though the colors in different dye lots may vary, the colors used in our mittens were chosen so that I am mostly able to repeat the same colors in different dye lots. I try my best to choose matching yarns in the kits so that you will get mittens as close to the original ones as possible.