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.

Gusset:

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.

Thumb:

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.