Sheepskin is amazing. These mittens stay warm even when sopping wet from playing in the snow for hours!
As you can tell by the darker color of the fingers, I’ve gotten a lot of use out of these mittens the last two winters, since I made them. These were fairly easy to make, and are the warmest pair of mittens I’ve ever had.
It’s a really simple downloadable PDF for making mittens out of felted wool and fleece. I simply made it out of sheepskin instead.
If you do make it with sheepskin, there are a couple items you need: an awl for poking holes in the leather, a tapestry needle, and artificial sinew (or some heavy duty thread). Use saddle stitch for strong, lasting seams. If you’ve done any hand-sewing, you’re probably familiar with running stitch – the simple up-and-down stitch that creates a dashed line. Saddle stitch is when you make a second running stitch, opposite to the first one, filling in the gaps in the dashed line to create a solid line. Each hole now has thread going both ways through it, with the seam reinforced on both sides.
I made my mittens long. I often keep the cuffs turned up, for ease of pulling them on and off. If I know I’m going to be out in the cold for a long time, though, I unfold the cuffs and stuff the long arms up the arms of my coat, creating a tight seal between my coat and the mittens. My hands and arms stay nice and toasty warm!
Though quite bulky, I can make a blunt fist – there is some mobility with them.
For cold winters, these really are the best. ~Kell