In my garden and in all the gardens in my neighbourhood grow rowan trees where one can observe starling birds (starri in Icelandic) eating the red berries during the autumn. There are so many of those colorful rowan trees in Reykjavik, that it has almost become a symbol of the city center!  A pattern by Hélène Magnússon.

Yarn used: Grýla (plied Icelandic wool) or Gilitrutt Tvíband (plied Icelandic wool, very soft lamb)

Back to Grýla collection 


Starri Mittens Pattern

3 €


Starri KIT (wool without pattern)

from 24 €



The pattern story

Hélène tells us more about the pattern

Various types of mittens can be found in Iceland. Some were clearly inspired by the well-known Selbu mittens and knitted with fine handspun Icelandic wool. My Starri mittens are a modern interpretation of this type of mittens. Instead of the more usual geometrical or stylised motifs, they are decorated with a lively starling bird eating berries in a rowan tree, a typical sight in the gardens of Reykjavík city during the autumn. The Starri mittens are knitted in the round in stranded knitting, with a lovely lace cuff. The oblong tip, shaped with symmetrical decreases, makes for a snug fit around the fingers, a common feature in Icelandic mittens as opposed to the Norwegian mittens. The red berries and a few details in the bird are embroidered afterwards

The pattern has written instructions and colour chart and includes pictorial step by step instructions for special techniques.

Grýla is a rare Icelandic 2-ply lace yarn with an exquisite halo, inspired by the Old handspun yarns. Made from pure Icelandic sheep wool, specially selected for its quality, it is plied which makes it particularly sturdy and perfect for knitting hardwearing accessories such as mittens. Washing softens the wool considerably and ads a lovely bloom to the delightful colors inspired by Icelandic nature. 

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 / Iceland Rovers. 


Wool, sizes  & info

The pattern

Size: one size. You can achieve more sizes by changing needle size (2,25 to 3,25 mm / US 1 to 3 are suitable sizes) and adjust length by adding or removing rnds above and under the rose motif (rnds 53-65).

Gauge: 4”x 4” / 10x10 cm = 30 sts and 34 rows in stranded pattern on 3 mm/US 2 ½ needle.

Yarn: Grýla Tvíband from Hélène Magnússon, 100% new wool (100% Icelandic wool), 2-ply, lace/light fingering, 25 g / skein = approx. 112 m/ 123 yds.

MC: white, 2 skeins (116 m / 128 yds used)

CC1: black, 1 skein (54 m / 59 yds used)

CC2: red, 1 skein (less than 4 m / 4 yds used)

Total yardage: 170 m / 187 yds

Needles: sizes 2,5 mm and 3 mm / US 2 and 2 ½ circular needles (using Magic loop) or DPN’s. Adjust needle size as necessary to obtain correct gauge. 

Notions: markers, sharp needle and blunt needle. 

Techniques: The mittens are worked in the round with an afterthought thumb.

Knitting in the round (Magic loop or DPN's), stranded knitting, after thought thumb, increases, decreases, embroidery (spiderweb rose and straight sts).

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

Kit: includes all the yarn necessary to knit and embroider the mittens and a project bag. Kit doesn’t include the needles and notions. Shipping costs are not included in the price. Pattern is not included and should be purchased separately. 

Errata: unfortunately, a mistake was found in this pattern. Please check the errata. Files purchased after the 6.02.2015 ending with ENG1-1 are correct.