Friday, November 02, 2007

Super Easy Fingerless Mitts

Well looks like I haven't been here for some time, but I've been busy. :P I've been working on a lace sampler scarf for a class at my LYS, and it's quite time consuming. We are using Alpaca with a Twist Fino, which is very fine-both ways! Beautiful yarn and very very thin. The yarn is here:

I don't see the book on the website, perhaps it is only published for class use. But the pattern is here, about 2/3 of the way down the page.

But anyway, the point of my post is that I have finished something-just last night in fact! I've had this thing for fingerless gloves/mitts and usually just whack off the fingers of those cheapo magic gloves that you can buy for a buck. But I decided I was worth more than a buck and since I have this massive amount of sock yarn, thought I'd give some a try.

There were plenty of free patterns on the web, so I tried one that I found on one of those free pattern sites. Well, it was a disaster and I ended up starting over. I used the same yarn, same needles, same gauge and obviously the pattern writer has yooooooge hands! Here's what I finally came up with.

I'm only typing this up here because I had to redo one. LOL I'd bet money the exact same thing is online *somewhere,* just nowhere I could find.

Me wearing 'em and one sitting for its portrait. Ain't they purdy? :D

I used Lion Brand Magic Stripes, I think it's called Spring, but I've been calling it Clown. :P I've had this Magic Stripes stuff forever, and knew I'd probably not use this colorway in socks.

Using size 1.5 (2.5 mm) DPN, cast on 64 stitches. You can use a straight needle and then transfer to your DPNs if you like. You'll find this will be a bit looser than your normal sock gauge. I figured it didn't matter too much because you won't be wearing them in shoes, and they most likely won't wear out as quickly.

Place a marker at the beginning of the round. Do 2x2 (K 2, P2, etc) ribbing for 3 inches. (this will look really huge, but I like a thicker wrist and anyway, I'd already done the cast on for the previous pattern, I didn't want to rip it out. lol) Having a number divisible by 4 will allow you to decrease one stitch on every knit rib. You will end up with 48 stitches and an interesting "design feature" at the end of the ribbing. If you don't want this design feature, then simply cast on 48 and forget the decreases. Next pair I make I will probably make them a bit smaller, maybe cast on 56 and decrease from there to 42. Eh-maybe somewhere in between. I'll have to do the math when I'm fresh. lol

Knit in the round for about an inch, 8-10 rows, then you will start the shaping for your thumb gusset. This is pretty standard, but I'll review that here: knit to within three stitches of your marker, place another marker, increase (I used K in front, then in back of the same stitch), knit one, then increase again. You will have three stitches in between your markers. Knit the next two rounds, then do your increase round again. You will do these three rounds/rows until you have 21 stitches in between your markers. (Note to self-for next pair, stop at 19.) Your next round will complete that row, then you will stop and place the remaining 21 (or 19) stitches on a holder of some sort-dental floss works really well. It's sturdy enough to hold the stitches, but flexible enough to stay out of your way.

Cast on 5-6 stitches on the end of your working needle, join that round, then continue knitting in the round for about an inch. You'll skip the thumb stitches, btw. When you have the length you like, bind off. The original pattern called for knitting every round and then binding off. This will make it roll. I didn't really want that, so I knit for an inch, then repeated my K2, P2 ribbing for an inch, then bound off in pattern.

Thumb was a bit tricky for me. I think because it is such a small space/tube to knit. I picked up the 5-6 stitches from where I cast on the extras, then joined with the gusset stitches on the holder. I decreased at the join until I had 18 (next time I'll stop at 20) stitches, then knit until the length I wanted. I didn't care if this rolled, I can roll it up or down, depending on my mood and level of chill. Then bind off.

If you're using two balls like I did, you can simply start each mitt at the same point in the color pattern. If you're not using two balls, then you could wind off enough yarn at the end of your finger area bind off until you hit that pattern again, and use that wound off yarn for your thumb. Or do both thumbs at the very end so you'll be able to match them, if you want.

Obviously (well that's obvious to some, probably not to me until I did one! lol) you can keep knitting the thumb, then finish like you'd finish the top of a hat-decrease until you have left a few stitches on the needle, then draw your yarn through and close the ends. You can also finish the top of the mitten, by knitting continously until the length you want, then starting your decreases like you would for a toe. Separate your stitches on 4 needles, you will do decreases on every other row. One side you'll do a K2tog decrease, the other side you'll do a slip, knit one, slip knitted stitch over for your decrease. You'll want your decreases to slant in the opposite direction. It won't matter for utility of course, just for "looks." Oh yeah, weave in your ends! ;)

Any questions, just email me-I'm no expert by any means, but will help any way I can.


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