I don´t have much time to knit Christmas gifts, but I always try to find time to knit something for the twins. They are always glad to receive knitted mittens or socks - and as long as that´s the case I´ll continue knitting them.
Being very active boys their mittens must be rather sturdy. This year I chose to full the knitted mittens to get them warmer and thicker (and hopefully more durable).
Samplers after fulling
I started by making samplers in a 3-ply wool, using different size needles to see which kind of fabric that I would prefer. After that I fulled the samplers in the washing machine. I use the washing machine when the mittens are too small for me to get my hand in when fulling on a fulling board. The risk with using the washing machine is that you don´t have control of the process (that is why I had to make these samplers).
Mittens before fulling
After drying the samplers I decided which fabric I liked the best. I then compared the before and after measurements to calculate the gauge and decide on how many stitches to cast on and how much bigger I had to knit the mittens to get the right measurements when fulled and dried.
I knitted striped mittens with some variations in then. I wanted the mittens to look alike but I also wanted them to be easily separated. The finished result is rather thick and "fluffy" and I think they turned out pretty much as I had planned them to.