Tech-able Mittens

cabledmittI love mittens.  They keep my hands and fingers so much warmer than gloves but I rarely wear them because I cannot answer my phone or use the GPS while wearing them.  Fingerless mitts solve a lot of this problem but my fingers are still COLD.  The solution?  Finger holes in the mittens!cabledmitt3cabledmitt2However, the holes in the mittens created another problem- a draft while not in use.  I found that a simple garter stitch flap overcomes this obstacle.  Yay for that!  I haven’t yet knitted a flap over the thumb as you can see in the picture.  It turns out that I knitted the thumb too large.  There’s a little bit of tweaking to be done to the pattern before it’s really wearable.

The strange flap on the wrist is a button band.  There are pretty silver buttons in my stash that I thought would compliment a cabled pattern.  Buttons can add that bit of sparkle to a project that brings the whole thing to life.  🙂

I’m really excited about these mittens.  It’s a shame that they need reworking before they are wearable.  I’ve been taking notes along the way for a possible future pattern release.  In the meantime, I’ll be sitting by the fireplace in hand-knitted socks with my dog creepily staring at me while I work on these mittens.  Hope you are staying warm as well.fireplace

Thrummed Madness

ThrummedBeforeAt end of fall I caught wind of a new (to me) knitting technique where bits of roving are knitted into mittens in order to add bulk and warmth for those cold snowy days.  This technique is called thrumming and it’s time consuming and tedious but in the end when you slip your hand into the fuzzy, fluffy center of the mitten, it’s all worth it!

ThrummedBefore2Here’s a shot of what the mitten looks like turned inside out.  🙂

I produced a couple of pairs of these.  Last week the smaller pair were put to the test after some serious snow fall.  My youngest daughter wore them out to play and sled in the snow and the results were sad.  They look like a tattered mess!  The roving has pulled out and snagged, the mittens are are misshapen have shrank up a bit. A bit of blocking may put these mittens back into shape but I’m afraid not much can be done about the roving.  I don’t think that this is a technique I will use again in the future… at least for children’s mittens.thrummedMadness

The Last Bit of Heavenly Yarn

2013-01-05 008There is something heavenly about the blend of baby alpaca and bamboo in this yarn by Classic Elite.  It’s so soft and airy.  It took a few tries, but the yarn came together to make my favorite scarf of all time.  Now, it’s been used to create my favorite mittens of all time.

Nothing fancy needed to happen, just a basic mitten formula and a fabulous yarn.  So soft and warm, like a hug on my hands.  I’m thinking about ordering this yarn in a creamy color next…

2012-12-19 002 copy

Cabled Stash Bustin’ Mittens

cabled mittenspdf StashBustinMittens

Cabled mittens are complete!  My daughter loves her new mittens so the project is a success.  However, I’m not crazy about this yarn as a mitten.  It has a shine and a drape instead of the usual fuzziness that lets you know a mitten is going to be toasty.

But, I did use up some of my leftover sweater yarn.  Also, I learned a bit more about cables and how to add and subtract extra stitches required for those beautiful things.  I’m planning on using my new pattern to knit up some mittens in a fuzzier yarn.

Directions:

For those who would like to replicate, I used a sport weight yarn and a size 3 needle.  I am a loose knitter so I always move to a smaller needle.  The gauge is 5.5 stitches per inch in stockinette.  It produced mittens for a girl or small woman’s hand  (3.4 inches across or 6.75 inches around).

Using circular needle, CO 32 st.  Move half of stitches onto another circular needle.  Join and 1×1 rib for a few inches or approximately 18 rows.

Set Up Round

first needle (thumb):  k2, m1, pm, k2, pm, k till last 2 st and m1, k2

second needle (cable): k2, m1, [k2, m1]2 times [k1, m1] 6 times, k2, m1, k2

Thumb Gusset

first needle (thumb): Knit across first needle, slipping markers when reached.

second needle (cable): k4, begin pattern across next 18 stitches, k4

first needle(thumb): k to marker, slip marker and m1, k to next marker, m1 and slip marker, k to end.cabledmittens2

second needle (cable): k4, knit pattern across next 18 st, k4

Repeat these 2 rounds until the gusset reaches the base of the thumb or the web of skin between thumb and forefinger, approximately 9 repeats of these 2 rounds.

first needle (thumb):  k to marker, remove marker and put all thumb sts on scrap yarn, CO 2 sts, remove marker, k to end of needle

second needle (cable): k4, k in patt across next 18 sts, k4

Hand

first needle: k across

second needle: k4, k in patt across next 18 sts, k4

Repeat this round until mitten covers pinkie, approximately 22 rounds.

Reducing and Closing Hand

first needle: k1, SSK, k until last 2 sts, k2tog, k1 (16 st)

second needle: k1, SSK,  k1, k in patt across next 18 sts, k1, k2tog, k1 (24 st)

first needle: k across

second needle: k3, k in patt across next 18 st, k3

first needle, k1, SSK, k until last 2 sts, k2tog, k1 (14 st)

second needle: k1, SSK, k in patt across next 18 st, k2tog, k1 (22 st)

first needle: k across

second needle: k2, k in patt across next 18 st, k2

first needle, k1, SSK, k until last 2 sts, k2tog, k1 (12 st)

second needle: k1, SSK, k in patt across next 16 st, k2tog, k1 (20 st)

first needle: k across

second needle: k2, k in patt across next 16 st, k2

first needle, k1, SSK, k until last 2 sts, k2tog, k1 (10 st)

second needle: k1, SSSK, k in patt across next 12 st, k3tog, k1 (16 st)

first needle: k across

second needle: k1, SSK,  k in patt across next 10 st, k2tog, k1 (14 st)

first needle, k1, SSK, k until last 2 sts, k2tog, k1 (8st)

second needle: k1, SSSK, k in patt across next 8 st, k3tog, k1 (12 st)

first needle: k across

second needle: k1, SSK,  k in patt across next 6 st, k2tog, k1 (10 st)

first needle, k1, SSK, k until last 2 sts, k2tog, k1 (6st)

second needle: k1, SSSK, k in patt across next 4 st, k3tog, k1 (6 st)

Use Kitchener’s Stitch to graft the two sides together.

Thumb

Move thumb stitches off holder and onto 2 circ needles.  Pick up the 2 CO sts and any extra sts needed to close gaps.  Just remember to reduce (using k2tog) on subsequent rounds the number of extra sts picked up.

K across all sts until thumb covers actual thumb, approximately 15 rounds.

k2tog all around for 2 rounds.  Cut yarn with 6 inch tail.  Use needle to thread tail through remaining sts.  Pull tight and weave in end.

Other Mitten

The next mitten is worked exactly like the first with the exception of the thumb placement.  The thumb set up will be on the opposite side so the set up round will be:

first needle (thumb):  k2, m1, k till last 4 st,pm, k2, pm, and m1, k2

Pattern

All odd rounds (1,3,5,7 &9): p2, k14, p2

round 2: p2, [k2, p1] 4 times, k2 p2

round 4: p2, k2, [p1, FC] 2 times, p2

round 6: p2, [k2, p1] 4 times, k2, p2

round 8: p2, [BC, p1] 2 times, k2, p2

round 10: p2, [k2, p1] 4 times, k2, p2

FC (Front Cross):  slip 3 sts to cable needle and hold in front, k2, then slip the left st on  cable needle back onto left needle and purl, then k2 from cable needle

BC (Back Cross): slip 3 st to cable needle and hold in back, k2, then slip the left st on cable needle back onto left needle and purl, then k2 from cable needle.

Cabled Mittens

2013-01-02 005In the interest of stash busting, I’m working up these cabled mittens for my 8 year old daughter.  This is some of the leftover sweater yarn that was also used in the Noro Chevron scarf.  It’s a blend of wool, cashmere and acrylic- so hopefully they will be warm mittens.

Cables require extra stitches per inch which made for an interesting decrease scenario at the end of the mitten to get stitch counts even on the front and the back.  It took a few tries to get the mitten to look good but I think it was worth the effort.

Thanks to the kitkatpurchase of a crazy Xbox worm game that I was enticed to play with my kids, the second mitten is still sitting half-knitted.  Perhaps tomorrow I will finish it.

At least KitKat is enjoying the one completed mitten.  🙂