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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Warm Hands

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or you can use the Free Patterns label to view all posts.
2. Free Pseudo-Patterns or Pattern Outlines can be found using the Free Pseudo-Patterns label.

Note: I made a follow up version with thumbs, you can see it here:

Pattern: Warm Hands Fingerless Mitts
Yarn: Elann Highland Wool, Ruby, 1 ball
Needles: 4.5mm (US7)

As I sit in this cold house in the afternoons while Miss M "naps", I find that my hands get very very cold. After several days of this (or perhaps also the perceived cold from the 3 whammo storms we experienced last weekend), I decided that I must knit some fingerless mitts to keep my hands warm. A little something for added warmth while also allowing free use of my fingers. I didn't need anything fancy. I just wanted no-nonsense functional mitts. So these are as simple as they get. It's just a plain tube knit in K2P2 ribbing, with an opening for my thumb. Ribbing was the automatic choice for its snug yet stretchy fit. The thumb hole is pretty much made in the same fashion as the keyhole in Miss M's scarf, no real shaping, nothing fancy.

One mitt in the photo doesn't quite look like it's mate. That's because I was wearing the first mitt while knitting the second. So that first mitt got more stretched out than the second one which I hadn't worn before taking the photo you see above. My covered hand was very happy while I knit its mate. :-) I foresee myself making several of these as gifts since they are so quick and easy to make. And the K2P2 ribbing pattern makes it very easy to resize for larger or smaller hands. Miss M saw mine, tried to wear mine, and now wants her own, so I will be knitting a pair for her little hands too.

I knit these with Elann's Highland Wool yarn, which is listed as worsted weight but knits more like a very light worsted or maybe even DK weight for me. One ball is enough to make a pair of small mitts that fit my small hands. Mine are about 8 inches long, I wanted something a little longer to cover a good part of my wrist.

When you start this tube, it looks so small & narrow that you will start to wonder if it will even fit. K2P2 ribbing is pretty stretchy. After knitting an inch or so, you can slip it over you hands to check for sizing. You'll be surprised to find how much it can stretch!

Here's what I did to make my mitts, which fit my small hands:

Using 4.5mm needles, cast on 36 stitches, join into round.
Work K2P2 ribbing for 36 rounds. (about 6 inches)
Thumb hole round 1: K2, P2, Bind off 6 sts, P1, continue with * K2, P2 * to end of round.
Thumb hole round 2: K2, P2 Cast on 6 sts, P2, continue wit *K2, P2 * to end of round.
Work K2P2 ribbing for 10 rounds. (about 1.75 inches)
Bind off.
For the second, right mitt, I did the thumb hole rounds a little differently because I wanted the place where I joined the round to be situated on the palm side. I know these are reversible, it's just a quirk of mine because I can see where the join is so I don't want it on the top side. Most people wouldn't really notice where the join is situated though. I guess I'm just being anal.

Thumb hole round 1: * K2, P2 * until last 8 stitches, then Bind off 6 sts, P1.
Thumb hole round 2: * K2, P2 * until you reach the gap, then Cast on 6 sts, P2.
I have a quirk where I can't work the thumb hole opening on stitches at either end of a needle, they have to be somewhere in the middle. So for the left mitt, I worked the thumb hole on Needle 1 (first needle). For the right mitt, I worked the thumb hole on Needle 3 (last needle). I'm probably making this sound more complicated than it really is. All you need to do is bind off 6 stitches somewhere on the round, and then cast on 6 stitches over the gap on the next round. Easy peasy. I chose to bind off in a K2 P2 K2 section.

This mitt can easily be resized to fit a smaller or larger hand. Just cast on more or less stitches, as long as they are in multiples of 4 ... such as 32, 36, 40, 44, etc.

You can make these as long as you like. I knit mine for 6 inches before I made the thumb hole. You can knit more or less rounds of K2P2 ribbing to make these mitts as long or short as you like them to be.

You can choose how much finger coverage you want by knitting more or less rounds after making the thumb hole. I have small/short hands so I only knit for 1.75 inches past the thumb hole. Someone with longer fingers might want to knit a few extra rounds for more coverage.

Stitches used in these fingerless mitts include:
Knit-Two Purl-Two Ribbing, BW1 pg 39

Elann Highland Wool info:
Fibre Content: 100% Highland Wool
Made In: Peru
Care: Hand Wash/ Dry Flat
Gauge: 19 st/4 inches 4.0 - 4.5 mm (US 6-7)
Yardage: 100 m (109 yards)
Size: 50g (1.75 oz) ball
Price: $2.38 USD


4 stitch(es):

Cactusneedles said...

Those look super warm and easy! Very nice!

Chris said...

Very nice. I keep giving away the fingerless mitts I make. Gotta make a pair for myself

hakucho said...

I have yet to make any fingerless mitts. Yours look great and thanks for the "how to's"

happy knitting and stay warm :)

CatBookMom said...

Please don't tell me I have to write 'un commentaire' in French - too many years in abandoned mental storage, lol!

I've printed out your 'recipe' for these mitts. Maybe my somewhat-challenged knitting friend can manage these. I tried her with 'Lacis', which I thought would be as easy as possible, but I was wrong.

Take care!