About a week ago, I found myself with some knitting time on a Saturday morning. As always, plenty of unfinished projects lurked about the house. But that day, they didn't tempt me much. I wanted to knit mittens.
During the previous week, Afghans for Afghans sent out an e-mail update asking for mittens, ASAP. So I gave myself permission to cast on yet another new project and went stash diving.
When I surfaced, I had in hand a skein of heathery-raspberry Peace Fleece (appropriate, no?) and another of Knit Picks Telemark (in green, which, according to A4A, is "the beloved color of Islam"). I grabbed some DPNs and tuned the radio to hear two of my favorite shows: Car Talk and Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! The sun was shining, the heater was blurbing and glugging (it's an old house), and I was happy.
Off I went, knitting without much thought to the hows and whys of mittens. They're pretty simple, after all...Nothing more than a cuff, a simple gusset, and a toe-like tip. If you've ever knit socks, you can knit up a pair of mittens, no problem!
Once they'd been blocked and had dried through (with a bit of assistance from my air purifier), I packed them up and shipped them off to San Francisco, where Afghans for Afghans was tallying up an impressive mountain of mitts. In about three weeks, they received more than 1,000 pairs!
In my enthusiastic state, however, I'd failed to take a photo of the finished mitts! So, until I make another pair, I've photographed my sketch for you (a reasonable facsimile, I think). Together with the notes I jotted down after finishing the second mitten, I managed to create a pattern I call "Knittin' Mittens!" and I'm posting it here, free, for your knitting pleasure. Happy stitching!
- Yarn: Two colors (approx. 150 yds main color [MC] and 20 yds contrasting color [CC]) of Peace Fleece or other worsted/heavy worsted-weight yarn (I used Peace Fleece for the MC, and double-stranded KnitPicks Telemark for the CC)
- Needles: Set of five US#6 DPNs (or circular needle, if you prefer)
- Notions: scrap yarn, tapestry needle, scissors, stitch markers
- Size: Child's Medium (but very easily customized by adding length to hand/thumb)
- Gauge: 4.5 sts per inch in st st
CO 32 sts with MC and join to work in round; place marker (PM) to mark beginning of round.
Work two rnds K2P2 rib.
Join CC and work K2P2 rib for four rnds, carrying MC up side.
Break CC and continue with MC for ten more rnds.
Rnd 1: K to end.
Rnd 2: K7, PM, M1R, K1, M1L, PM, K to beg of rnd.
Alternate these two rnds until you have 11 thumb sts between markers.
Knit around, placing thumb sts on scrap yarn as you go.
Next rnd: K6, work RT* on two sts immediately above thumb opening, K to end.
K three rnds.
Join CC and K six rnds, carrying MC along inside edge as you work.
Break CC and pick up MC.
K three rnds.
Decrease @ Fingertips
Rnd 1: [K6, K2tog] four times (28 sts).
Rnd 2: K to end.
Rnd 3: [K5, K2tog] four times (24 sts).
Rnd 4: K to end.
Rnd 5: [K4, K2tog] four times (20 sts).
Rnd 6: K to end.
Rnd 7: [K3, K2tog] four times (16 sts).
Rnd 8: [K2, K2tog] four times (12 sts).
Rnd 9: [K1, K2tog] four times (8 sts).
Break yarn leaving at least 8" tail. Thread yarn on tapestry needle and draw through rem 8 sts two times, pulling tightly to close hole. Insert needle into center of hole and draw yarn through to inside. Weave in yarn end on inside of glove.
Place sts from scrap yarn AND two new sts directly above thumb opening and one new st on either side (between thumb and hand) on 3 DPNs [15 sts].
Divide these sts as follows:
N1: first 5 sts from scrap yarn
N2: next 5 sts from scrap yarn
N3: last st from scrap yarn and the 4 new sts picked up where thumb meets hand.
1) K one rnd.
2) Next rnd, K to N3; on N3, K2 tog, K3, K2tog (by knitting last st on N3 with first st on N1) [13 sts].
3) K one rnd.
4) K2tog, K to N3, K2 tog, K to end [11 sts].
Work even in st st for 11 rnds or desired length.
Next rnd: [K1, K2tog] around.
Break yarn and, using tapestry needle, draw through rem sts twice. Draw hole closed tightly, then thread yarn through to inside of thumb.
Turn mitten inside out and weave in ends.
Block by soaking in lukewarm water with a bit of cleanser. Rinse gently unless you used a rinse-free wool wash. Be careful not to agitate the mittens as you wash and rinse them or they'll felt and shrink (unless you used superwash wool).
If yarn color bleeds, soak in lukewarm water with a bit of white vinegar to help set dye. Blot dry with towel, lay flat, pat into shape as desired, and allow to dry thoroughly before wearing.
* To work RT: Insert tip of right needle into next two sts on left needle and K2tog without letting either st drop off; insert right needle into first st on left needle and K this st again; drop both sts off needle.