Wednesday, 12 September 2012

A month? Has it really been that long?

IMAG0204If it is any consolation, I have felt pretty much all of it!  Whilst my lungs have been behaving (pretty much, ish, well you know...) the rest of me decided not to and life has been a bit more of challenge than ordinarily. So has sitting, but hey, all sorted for now.  Maybe.  At least my GP has listened to my reasoned arguments and not put me down for surgery for the moment (antibiotics are just so lovely don't you think).

So I have hoarded the energy I have had, and spun, a bit; and knitted, quite a bit.

Now, I should have been at a knitting morning last Saturday, but I really wasn't in any state to attend (couldn't sit for any length of time for start off!).  But in preparation, I had written a fingerless mitten pattern.  So I thought I would share it with you instead!

Just to note, the concise version is at the bottom...  you don't have to wade through my ramblings unless you want to!

IMAG0232So, here we are then.  I've written this for an approx 4 ply/sport weight/sock yarn (or in this particular case, some hand spun, hand dyed baby camel and silk I found in my stash).

I have tension issues, so before you fall over at the size of the needles, give it a few swatches if you are that way inclined and see which suits you (if you are being fussy, look for 30 sts and 42 rows to 10cm on 2.5 needles).  I use 2.25cm DPNs and 2.75 cm DPNs for this particular pair.

Now, c/o 64 stitches with the larger pair of needles and a long tail c/o. (as a digression, I have noticed that this happens to be the same number of stitches as you would need for an adults 7-9 (UK) sock.  So if you are truely gifted, you could adjust the numbers of stitches to the foot size of the person the mittens are intended for and obtain a really good fit with out giving the game away..... Xmas looms people). Join the ends together ensuring that the stitches are evenly distributed across the DPNs. (I have found that slipping the last stitch over the fist and drawing the first through gives and nice smooth edge without too much fiddling). Then change to your smaller set of DPNs and knit rib, I favour K1,P1 myself, but the world is pretty much you oyster here, small projects give the opportunity to experiment with stitches that may appear too much of a hassle on a larger project.  Oh, and knit 12 rows of whatever you settle on.

IMAG0231Change back to larger needles and decrease 12 stitches evenly over the next row.  (Again, this is a guide, if you have knitted a really fancy ribbed cuff, you may feel the need to reduce the wrist a little further to ensure they stay on.  On the other hand, if you wish to wear them over your wrist brace, don't bother with the decrease...)  Knit 10 rows plain.  (Nope, have to digress here.  Before you start on your 10 rows of plain knitting, think.  This is an opportunity to try out some lace or maybe a small aran pattern.  Just limit yourself to half the stitches, or the back of the mitten.).

On the next row, add 2 stitch markers either side of the 25th stitch (this is for the left hand, if you are knitting the right hand, make it the 2nd stitch). Then increase 2st on the next row as follows; slip the marker, increase, knit to next marker, inc, slip the marker.  Then repeat on the following 4th row, twice. (12 rows, 3 increases).  You will then have 7 stitches between the 2 markers. On the next row, when you get to the first marker, STOP!  Knit the next 7 stitches (to the 2nd marker) with a scrap of spare yarn and then transfer the scrap stitches back to the left needle.  Continue across them with your knitting yarn.  Hey look!  You have just knitted a thumb hole!  (This method works just as well for popping a small pocket into a sweater or cardigan.  Just remember, that however many stitches you decide to use will be doubled +2 when it comes to knitting it up!).  Over the next 2 rows dec 6 stitches evenly over the palm of the mitten.

Then knit 12 rows (if you want it to be a different length, check at intervals by slipping your fingers into to top of the knitting, use the scrap yarn thumb row as a guide as to how far up your knuckles you have reached.) Once you have the length that you are happy with, change to your smaller needles and  knit a further 2 rows.  Now finish off.  I prefer an idiot cord cast off myself, but this the point that you can use your imagination, and go crazy. 

IMAG0230And now for the thumb. Look carefully at the patch with the spare wool knitted into it.  Very carefully pull out the scrap yarn and you should be left with 14 stitches 7 top, 7 bottom of the hole.  Arrange them on 3 needles to give yourself some space and change to the larger needles (pick up on the smaller needles, actually knit on the larger ones).  As you knit round, on your way past the gap between the top and the bottom stitches pick up a stitch from the yarn across the gap to avoid a hole (16 stitches altogether).  Knit 7 rows and the finish off to match the top edge.

There you have it, my basic mitten.  I knit this at least 20 times a year, with variations. Nice, basic, but effective. 

(Oh, and if you have increased the number of stitches to increase the size, don't forget to add 2 to the thumb, as a rule, If I have incresed the mitten by 4 stitches 68, then I would increase the thumb gusset by 2, 18 sts + 2 pick ups not 14 + pick ups and decrease by 8 not 6 accross the palm).

And here we are for the fainthearted:

You will need:

3 Stitch markers
1 metre of waste yarn (in a contrasting colour)
Sock yarn, 4 ply, or sport weight. (Approx 150m)
DPNs
1 set (2.00mm - 2.75mm)
1 set (2.50mm - 3.25mm)*
*Please ensure that there is .50mm between the 2 sets of needles 

Tension:

30st and 42 rows to 10cm

Left Hand
1.     Cast on 64st with a longtail cast on and 2.75mm needles.
2.     Join the cast on row together with no twists and switch to 2.25mm needles distributing the stitches over the 4 needles (16st to a needle).  Mark the start of the round.
3.     Knit 12 rows in K1,P1 rib.
4.     Change to larger needles.
5.     Decrease evenly by 12 stitches over the next row (52 stitches).
6.     Knit 10 rows in plain stocking stitch.
7.     Place 2 markers either side of the 25th* as you knit past it. 
*For the Right Hand Mitten, place either side of the 2nd st.
8.     Increase 2st as follows on the next row: *slip marker, increase 1st, knit to marker, increase 1st, slip marker.* **
**Increase by picking up yarn from between the stiches with the left needle and knitting into the back of the loop (1 stitch).
9.     Repeat 8. every 4th row twice. Giving you 7 Stitches between the markers.
10.    On the next row, knit to the marker.  Knit to the next marker with the scrap wool and then transfer the stitches back to the left needle.  Re-knit the stitches with the proper yarn, knitting into the waste yarn stitches.
11.    Knit 1 row and then decrease evenly by 6 stitches accross the palm of the mitten over the next 2 rows.
12.    Knit 12 rows. Change to smaller needles on the 13th row.
13.    Knit 2 rows on the smaller needles.  Cast Off with idiot cord cast off.
14.    Remove the waste yarn and pick up thumb stitches. Pick up 14 stitches (7 from top, 7 from bottom). Arrange over needles and as you knit past, pick up one stitch from the yarn between the top and bottom 7 stitches on each side. 16 Stitches.  Knit for 6 rows, or until you reach the thumb knuckle.
15.    Cast off.
16.    Sew in ends
17.    Knit second mitten. 
  

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