Icelandic Leaves: mittens and tam

The traditional mittens from the West fjords of Iceland and their recognizable Leaf motifs inspired Hélène Magnússon  modern and colorful mittens with a matching tam. The tam is a completely new take on the tradition. A sweet project to match the colors of  your favorite Brynja lopi sweater!

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Icelandic Leaves Pattern

6 €


Wool without instructions

from 9,50 € (plus shipping)


The pattern story

Hélène tells us about her inspiration

"Icelandic Leaf mittens and matching tam are inspired by the traditional Leaf mittens in the West fjords of Iceland. As their name suggest, they were decorated with a leaf pattern. They were different types of leaves which were given names fimmtandi, sextandi, sjöundi referring respectively to the numbers 5, 6 and 7, according to the number of row repeat needed for one leaf. The biggest the leaves, the biggest the mittens. My mittens also have different types of leaves according to sizes.  The smaller patterns, such as the “check”, “small leaf”, “tong” or “twist”, were used to get the right size for the mittens and were also an opportunity to use the tiny bits of leftover colors. I used much thicker wool, the Icelandic Léttlopi, worked rather tight, to make really warm and cozy mittens; It's also much quicker to knit! The tam is my new take on the tradition and is sized in the same manner than the mittens with different leaf motifs according to size. It's constructed like many mittens place together and the tips rejoingning at the center. The set is a perfect color match with my Brynja lopi sweater."

To know more about the tradition of Leaf mittens in Iceland, also read the story of Lauf, a charming top inspired by that same tradition.

The pattern was published in the book Knitting hats and mittens from around the world: 34 heirloom patterns in a variety of styles and techniques, Voyageurs Press (2012).



The designer

Hélène Magnússon is a leading knit designer in Iceland, the author of many books about traditional Icelandic knitting and the editor of The Icelandic Knitter. She likes to put a new spin on Icelandic traditions. She began her professional life as a lawyer in Paris before she made a complete life change and moved to Iceland, where she studied textile and fashion at Iceland Academy of the Arts and worked as a hired girl in a sheep farm and a mountain guide. The varied skills she learned in those early years richly inform the amazing hiking and knitting tours she passionately guides in collaboration with tour operator Icelandic Mountain Guides. 


Material, sizes & info

The pattern

Sizes: S(M, L) small (medium, large)

Mittens: finished measurements of hand circumference 20.5 (22.5, 24) cm / 8 (8.75, 9.5)”

Tam: finished measurements 24 (26.5, 29) cm / 9.5 (10.5, 11.5)” diameter across top (can be blocked to bigger dimensions), to fit head circumference up to 48 (53, 58) cm / 19 (21, 23)”. 

Gauge: 10x10 cm  = 20 sts and 28 rows in st st on needle 4 mm

Wool: Léttlopi from Ístex, 100% Icelandic wool, 50g/skein, 50g = 100m

MC #0053 (brown) 2(2,3) skeins

CC1 #0051 (white); CC2 #1404 (turquoise); CC3 #1409 (red); CC4 #9264 (mustard); CC5 #0059 (black): half skein of each (10-20 g used)

Needles: circ needles 3 mm and 4 mm/US 3 and 6 (using Magic loop) or DPN’s.

Notions: markers, darning needle

Techniques: Knitting in the round, stranded knitting, jogless join, Magic loop.

Pattern: once you've made your paiement, you will receive an email with a link to dowload the pattern PDF . We don't send patterns by snailmail.

Kit: Kit includes the yarn. Pattern is not included in the Kit and will have to be purchased separately. Kit doesn’t include the needles and notions. Shipping costs are not included in the price.  

Errata: no mistake was found in this pattern.