Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Season of the Mitts

I seem to have mitts on the brain this winter. Have you ever had that happen, one kind of project just takes over your life for a while? I still haven't settled on a pattern for Fair Isle fingerless mitts for myself, but I came across this leftover ball of Dark Horse Fantasy and thought- 'Ah, a pair of cable cuff mitts would be perfect for a friend of mine- she was saying her hands get cold typing.'

So I grabbed the ball and the pattern on my way to hang out with my friend Mary Ellen for a knitting date. She wound up taking down the Christmas tree while I started the mitts, but we had fun chatting. She's recovering from a severe attack of children, grad school and work, and was recently converted to the knitting side of the force by another friend. (I'm quite impressed- dragging a non-knitter repeatedly into fiber stores and making her fondle luscious yarns seems to have done the trick. Of course Mary Ellen was a weaver years ago, so arguably her resistance was low to start with.)

The cable cuff mitts are moving right along:

I find it curious that although I've knit this pattern at least three times before this- I still found two errors in it. Evidently I came up with a correction or workaround for them each previous time, without even realizing they were there. This time, I made a note on the pattern.

And in the interest of spreading the fingerless mitt joy, I wrote out the pattern for the alpaca fingerless mitts I made for my sister. (Okay, I also wanted to start saving patterns in a place I could find them again.) I should point out that these are totally worth making *just* to try the yarn- beautiful, beautiful stuff, and *so* soft.

Fingerless Mitts or Elbow-length Fingerless Mitts

Yarn: Reynolds' Andean Alpaca Regal (Bulky), 2 skeins (220 yards) (You can probably get wrist length mitts from 1 skein- I used every last inch of yarn in these, so if your hands are the same size as mine, you'll either want a third skein or be okay with the elbow length mitts falling a bit shorter.)
Needles: Size 5 US (dpn)
Gauge: 5 stitches/inch

Note on sizing: These were sized for for a large woman or med-sized man's hands.
Hand diameter at palm: 8 inches
Wrist diameter: 6.5 inches
Palm length: 4.25 inches from end of wrist to base of fingers.

These are cast on at the end of the wrist- for the fingerless mitts, use a provisional cast on.

Cast on 32 stitches (in working yarn for wrist-length fingerless mitts, with waste yarn for elbow-length). Divide onto three needles roughly equally, leaving the start of the round at the junction of two needles.

Wrist and hand to base of thumb:

Work in K1P1 ribbing for 2 1/2 inches.
Change to stockinette and knit six rounds.

Thumb increases:
Round 1: K15, M1, K2, M1, K15
Round 2 (and every even round): Knit
Round 3: K15, M1, K4, M1, K15
Round 5: K15, M1, K6, M1, K15
Round 7: K15, M1, K8, M1, K15
Round 9: K15, M1, K10, M1, K15
Round 11: K15, M1, K12, M1, K15
Round 13: K15, M1, K14, M1, K15

Round 14: Knit
Round 15: K15, cast off 14 stitches, Knit to end of round.
Round 16: K15, cast on* 4 stitches to cover the gap across the thumb, then continue knitting on the hand stitches.
* I cast on by twisting a loop of working yarn twice and putting it on the needle.

Knit 6 rounds.
Change to seed stitch (K1, P1) and knit six more rounds (or as many as needed to cover the palm to the base of the fingers. Cast off.

For elbow-length mitts:
Sizing notes- these are for an arm 12 inches in diameter just below the elbow and 9.5 inches from the inside elbow to the base of the wrist (that's 7" above the ribbing)

Unzip provisional cast on and put stitches back on needles.
Round 1: Knit
Round 2: *K8, M1* repeat 4 times.**
I found that a M1 in this yarn was nearly invisible, so I spread out the increases evenly around the arm. If the increases are more visible/less attractive in your yarn, you might want to instead M1, K1, M1 at the start of the round, and then increase 2 stitches every half inch up the arm to reach the desired diameter.

Knit in the round, increasing 4 more stitches every inch until reaching 1-2" short of the desired length. Change to K1, P1 ribbing. Knit the last 1-2" in ribbing and use a stretchy cast-off (I used a standard cast off with a larger needle for the first ones, then tried a sewn cast off for the second.)

1 comment:

  1. Your elbow-length fingerless mitts are beautiful! These are exactly what I have been looking for. Thank you so very much!