Wednesday, December 10, 2008

cute mittens

When it’s late at night and the cold winds blow, you’ll be glad you made these toasty mittens. Knit in the round with thick worsted wool, this project is a good one to try after mastering the Sculpted Hat. (In fact, the leftover yarn from the hat will make a whole pair of mittens.) This pattern fits an average woman’s hand if you tend to knit tightly. For loose knitters or smaller hands, use size 3 and 4 double pointed needle instead. To create a larger mitten, move up a size or two with your needles.
1 skein (4 ounces) acrylic or wool worsted yarn
4 size 4 double-pointed needles
4 size 5 double-pointed needles
2 stitch markers
Stitch holder
Yarn needle
Row counter (optional)
Casting on
Knitting in the round
Rib stitch
Stockinette stitch
Picking up stitches
Weaving in loose ends


for the hand:

1. Cast 36 stitches on a size 4 double-pointed needle. Divide the stitches among 3 of the needles, 12 stitches per needle. You will be using the fourth needle to knit with.
2. Join the stitches into a circle and work 22 rounds in knit 2, purl 2 ribbing. This is the ribbed cuff.
3. Round 23: Work in stockinette stitch (knit only, since you’re working in the round). Switch to the size 5 needles by substituting a 5 for a 4 as you knit around. Set the size 4 needles aside.
4. Knit 1 more round (for a total of 2 rounds on the number 5 needles). You will now begin to increase to match the shape of the hand and to create the thumb gusset.
5. Knit 1 stitch and place one of the stitch markers immediately after it. Increase 1 by knitting through the front and the back of the next stitch, then knit 1. Place the second marker. There are now 3 stitches between the markers. Increase 1, then knit to the end of the round.
6. Knit 2 rounds, slipping the markers from your left to right needle as you go.
7. Knit 1, slip the marker to your right needle, increase 1, knit 1, increase 1. There are 5 stiches between the markers. Knit to the end of the round, and knit 2 more rounds.
8. Repeat step 7, increasing after the first marker and before the second one until you have 13 stiches between the markers. (Knit the additional 2 rounds after each increase round.)
9. Knit 1 stitch as if you were starting a new round, then take the first marker off and slide the 13 stiches off the needle and onto the stitch holder. You will use these stitches later to create the thumb.
10. Knit 25 rounds.
11. Begin decreasing for the mitten tip. For the next 4 rounds, knit 4 stitches and then knit 2 together, repeating throughout the round.
12. For the last 2 rounds, knit 3 stitches, and then knit 2 together, repeating throughout the round.
13. Cut a 12-inch tail and use your yarn needle to draw the tail through the remaining stitches. Pull the yarn tight, knot to secure, and weave in the ends.

for the thumb:

1. Slip the 13 reserved stitches from the stitch holder onto 2 size 5 needles, placing 7 stitches on one needle and 6 on the other.
2. Using a third size 7 needle, pick up 3 stitches in the space between the first 2 needles to form a triangle.
3. Starting on the right side of the third needle, knit a round, leaving an 8-inch tail to weave in later.
4. Knit 14 more rounds.
5. Begin decreasing to create the thumb tip. For 1 round, knit 1 stitch and then knit 2 together, repeating throughout.
6. For the final round, knit 2 together throughout.
7. Cut an 8-inch tail and use your yarn needle to draw the yarn through the remaining stitches. Pull it tight, knot to secure, and weave in and trim the ends. Gently tighten the tail at the base of the thumb and weave it in.
8. Repeat steps from casting on for the hand to make the second mitten!

improvisation idea: Choose 3 different colors and switch to another one every 10 rows.

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