Friday, July 17, 2015

Bulky Indigo-dyed Mittens for July


Now, theoretically, I won't be needing mittens for quite awhile, because supposedly, it is July, but this is one of those summers that isn't really happening--I wore wool and a coat the other day, blah. Maybe it's not actual mitten weather, but it doesn't seem too far off. It's getting to be a theme. It's Cold. I can't even tell you how sad I am about it. Anyhoo. Mittens are a fast project that makes a knitter feel like she's getting someplace, and I was in the mood for that yesterday. These were the work of a few hours at most. Result!


Easy, plain mittens in bulky yarn from the stash cupboard--this yarn is leftover from The Chunk, which originally came from a thrifted pullover that I unraveled, the remains of which was then dyed by Michelle and me last fall with indigo. Yum! This yarn is some kind of blend I'm not sure about--it definitely has some animal hair in it, maybe angora? Something wooly, maybe with cotton or possibly acrylic? I don't know. There are probably ways to tell, including having looked at the tag in the original garment before discarding it; that would no doubt have lent a clue or two. Naturally, I didn't do that, so we are left to wonder.

In case you're already anticipating needing a new pair of mittens, and you'd like to make a pair of these too, here's the pattern I made up as I went:

July Mittens

You'll need: approximately 150 yards bulky weight yarn (or twice as much worsted weight, held double); a set of 4 dpns, US size 9; tapestry needle, US I/5.5mm crochet hook.

Gauge for this project is 3 sts/inch.

*Instructions are for the LEFT mitten, with RIGHT mitten instructions in parentheses ().

On dpns, CO 24, divide stitches among three needles, join for working in the round. Work eight rounds, or about two inches, in stockinette stitch.


K8 (16), m1, k to end of round.

Knit 2 rounds even.

K8 (16), m1, k1, m1, k to end of round.

Knit 2 rounds even.

K8 (16), m1, k3, m1, k to end of round.

Knit 2 rounds even.

K8 (16), m1, k5, m1, k to end of round.

Knit 2 rounds even.

K8 (16), m1, k7, m1, k to end of round.

Knit 2 rounds even.

Divide for hand/thumb:

K8 (16), place next 10 sts on holder, CO 2, k to end of round (25 sts on needles).

Knit 26 rounds on 25 sts.

Mitten Cap:

K2tog around to last st, k1 (13 sts).

K2tog around, k1 (7 sts).

Cut yarn, leaving a 12" tail. Thread the tail onto a tapestry needle and run the yarn through all remaining stitches. Go around them again for extra security. Tighten and fasten off.


Put 10 held stitches on needles. Pick up and knit 1 stitch at side of gusset, 2 CO sts, 1 stitch at other side of gusset (14 sts on needles).

Working in the round, K4 (8), k2tog, k2, k2tog, k4 (0). (12 sts on needles).

Knit 9 rounds.

K2tog around (6 sts remain). Break yarn, leaving a 12" tail. Thread the tail onto a tapestry needle and run the yarn through all remaining stitches. Go through them again for extra security. Tighten and fasten off.

Cuff edge:

Using a US I/5.5mm crochet hook, work sc in each CO stitch at cuff. Join with a sl st and fasten off. Weave in all ends.

DIY Note: These mittens were designed to fit my average-sized female hands. If you want to make bigger mittens, you can simply increase the number of CO stitches--try 26, 28 stitches--and adjust at the gusset by continuing as set to k8 (16), m1, k9, m1, k to end of round, etc. Knit more rows to make them taller. You can try them on as you go; continue to work plain rounds of stockinette until the last row is at the very top of your tallest finger, then work the cap. For smaller mittens, do the opposite. If you really want to make sure they'll fit, make a gauge swatch and measure your hand. Multiply the number of stitches per inch in your swatch by the desired number of inches around at the cuff. I wanted my cuff to measure 8" around, and my gauge came in at 3 sts/inch, and 3 x 8 = 24. You can do it. I believe in you!


Now, maybe this will be like bringing an umbrella to a baseball game and we'll have a summer day, chock full of actual warmth and maybe a touch of humidity to lend a certain je ne sais quoi to the spectacular mess that is my hair. Fingers crossed.


  1. Love the mittens. I've printed out the pattern already. We've had hot, hot, hot and dry this summer. I'm ready for a little coolness, but not wool coats yet please. That will come soon enough! Thank you for the sweet pattern.

  2. I want to live where you live. well maybe not if it's raining a lot. We're having 2 gorgeous days here now-dry, warm, sunny but tomorrow back to the soupy humid heat. I will still be wanting to make those mittens though. thanks for the pattern

  3. Great mittens, the colour of the yarn is lovely. Shame about your weather, we are so hit and miss but thankfully not really cold.

  4. Coincidentally, today I was looking at some bulky yarn in my stash and thinking about using it to knit some mittens. Your pattern will do just nicely. Thanks for sharing.

  5. We are hot and rainy here, can I send you some of the heat? Love your mittens, I hope you have a brilliant summer weekend.

  6. hello your posts...thank you for sharing your projects...the mittens and yarn are lovely and are at the time of year to begin working on cold weather projects...thank you for sharing photos of your philly visit...your daughter is lovely...take care...sally

  7. We have the opposite complaint here in No. California. It has been HOT here since March (heat didn't use to start until July). I am soooo done with it. But early October is the cool-off date. UGH! Please! Send some of that sweet air this way!

    Hair. I noticed in your pic with your daughter that you are growing your hair out. Just saying because I, too, am doing the same. Isn't it a pain?? An appointment to cut it all off has been made and cancelled 2 times. The only reason it is still on my head is DH...he likes it.

    Personally, having it less than 2 inches long (SHORT!) is so wonderful! Easy, breezy, no need to carry a hairbrush.

    More than you wanted to know. HA!
    :*) Debbie, No. CA

    PS: Mittens will be made in spite of the weather. Thank you for the pattern!

    1. You're so right about short hair, but I just got so tired of having to cut it all the time. The grow-out, though..aargh! I have had the scissors in hand many times. :)

  8. Kristen, your mittens are a heavenly shade of blue. You've chosen a perfect way to use your beautifully dyed re-cycled yarn. I would love for some less hot and humid weather for a few days. We've already had a thunderstorm pass through the city earlier this morning, with more due for the afternoon. I should not complain though, having seen some of the awful stuff that's going on further west.

    Thanks so much for sharing your mitten pattern. That crocheted edging is a lovely, delicate detailed touch. I might have to look around this apartment to see if I have any bulky weight yarn. I guess I could double strand worsted?


    1. Yes, you could use double-strand worsted. Some of this (weird, thrifted) yarn appears to be just that, while some is plainly bulky, a spun single. I don't even understand it. It worked, though! :)

    2. Thank you so much, Kristen! Hard to believe that I've never knitted any mittens. Gloves, fingerless gloves, mitts yes...but it will be fun to knit some actual mittens...sometime before the first frost. xo

  9. Thank you for the pattern

  10. Ooh, these are cute! I'll try and make them when it gets colder, here these days it's unbearably hot, so no wool time at all... thanks for sharing! xx

  11. I have just finished a bulky pullover with yarn to spare so mittens it is then..Thanks for the pattern. Jo x

  12. I'm struggling....I say again, struggling with a pair of socks on circs. It's just so fiddly and that long cord you need for the magic loop, well, it's getting on my one last nerve!! I shall overcome, though. The 3 inches it took me 4 hours to knit feel somewhat cosy around my ankles. Just the heel flap and toes to go now. Have a great week and I love the colour of your mittens too.x

  13. The fact that you can just pump out a knitting pattern like that (snaps fingers) makes my head spin. I must be learning though, because while I may struggle to make said mittens just yet, I actually understood every knitty thing you were talking about!!! They are the perfect shade of blue.

  14. Your mittens are wonderful and I will love them even more when this heat wave breaks!

  15. You might want to move to South Carolina....we're burning up and the humidity is off the charts. Miserable. Counting the days till October. Love the mittens.