I've already sent several boxes of hats to one of my favorite charities - Nest: Maine! They've already gotten snow in the Portland (Maine, not Oregon) area this season, and Jean is already taking bags of donations to local shelters.
At her most recent drop-off, she learned there is a HUGE need for warm mittens in all sizes, but especially for kids as young as 2. So I'm going to break out of my hat donation mold for a bit, and get some mittens on my needles! Hopefully I can work up some from my stash and add them to my next hat box.
Since I'm not normally a mitten maker, I did a quick search of Ravelry for mittens that I can make with the yarn already in my stash - worsted and aran weight wool. I plan to add an extra inch or so to the wrist cuffs, both to help keep them on and to add a bit of extra warmth, and will work up as many different sizes as I can!
Bev's Two Needle Mittens For Kids is a free pattern that's perfect for folks who don't want to use dpns! The pattern comes with two sizes, and the Ravelry notes have a link to an adult version as well!
Another Pair Of Mittens is a free toddler mittens pattern. Perfect for using up leftover bits of yarn, Jean mentioned there is a high need for toddler sized mittens, so this one might get lots of time on my needles.
Basic Cuff-Up Mittens is a free pattern that uses Cascade 220. Lucky for me, I have a bit of that in my stash, so plan to dig that out this week and use it up with this pattern!
The Basic Pattern For Children's Mittens is also free, and this one uses four dpns. Sizes from 4-6 years through to small adult means this pattern could easily be a go-to for almost all sizes!
Cruiser is a free pattern that offers a bit more design for those out there who are more seasoned mitten makers, and looking for something more than stockinette.
Mittens For All is a free pattern written for acrylic yarn! Nest needs wooly mittens, but I'm holding onto this one anyhow, as sometimes patterns written for wool don't work as well for acrylic, and you never know when I'll want to make mittens with acrylic as well.
The Stars Or Stripes free pattern is written for toddlers, preschoolers and children, which definitely helps in the "small mittens are needed" way.
I love making waffle stitch hats, so the free Waffle Mittens pattern will help me make a few hat/mitten sets, I think!
The Waiting For Winter pattern costs $4, but it comes with instructions for three hand sizes AND a fingerless mitts version!
Warmest Mittens says it fits an "average woman's size hand", so this free pattern will work well as a good general mitten pattern.
I'd love for you to use one of these patterns (or another of your favorites!) and send a pair or two along to Nest: Maine. Here's their PO Box for those interested in helping out:
P.O. Box 6011
Falmouth, Maine, 04105
I'll be sharing my pile of mittens before I send it off, and I hope you'll consider sending a few pair, as well!