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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Warm Hands, Warm Thumbs

Pattern: Warm Hands, Warm Thumbs (outlined below)
Yarn: Elann Highland Wool, Ruby color, 1 ball
Needles: 4.5 mm

I've been working on my 4th mitt, which is based on the first mitts I ever knit. The only difference is that I cast on 40 stitches to make a larger mitt that will fit a man's hand and I am working a wrap around thumb (which maintains the K2P2 pattern). You can follow my process by reading post1 and post2 before this one.

I finished the first mitt of this pair (photo above) and it came out well. It looks long on my hand, nearly reaching the tips of my fingers, but it'll be perfect for a man's longer hand.

This (photo below) is the second mitt of this pair, just after binding off the main section, but before knitting the wrap around thumb.

When I first designed the thumb gusset, I thought I could increase until I had 8 stitches. After several tries, I came up with this:

I knit this section while sitting in bed. When I got to my 8 increase stitches I realized that this was not large enough. So I had to figure something out. Not wanting to get out of my nice cozy warm bed (lazy me), I managed to find a small section of scratch paper within reach that was not already scribbled on and continued working up from there to work out the increases up to 12 stitches.

I continued increasing until I got 12 stitches and thought that was a good stopping point. It would be perfect after picking up 4 stitches, for a total of 16 stitches around the thumb so that I can continue the K2P2 ribbing around the thumb. (Cuz you need it to be divisible by 4 to keep the K2P2 ribbing pattern going around the thumb.)

I think I did a neater job of knitting the thumb gusset on this second mitt. The first one was a bit more sloppy. Nobody would really notice though. Just me.

My notes on knitting the mitt. You can't see Row 10 where I wrote "slip 8 onto waste yarn", then crossed it out and rewrote Row 10 to continue the thumb gusset increase because the watermark is just over that line. (I had to start putting watermarks on my photos because I began to see my photos popping up on other people's websites. And if that isn't bad enough, some people are linking directly to my blogger photos instead of saving their own copy to their space).

Here is the 2nd mitt of the pair (yes, it looks a bit long on me; I made them longer because they're for someone with much larger hands):

I think I did a better job with the second mitt, the thumb gusset looks better:

Here's the finished pair, just in time for gifting tomorrow:


Here's what I did to knit these:
Using 4.5mm needles, cast on 40 stitches (36 stitches for women's mitt), join into round.
Work K2P2 ribbing for 20 rounds.

Start thumb gusset (purple indicates the thumb gusset section):
1: * K2, P2 * across round
2: K2, P2, M1P, M1K, * K2, P2 *
3: K2, P2, P1, K1, * K2, P2 *
4: K2, P2, M1P, P1, K1, M1K, * K2, P2 *
5: K2, P2, P2, K2, * K2, P2 *
6: K2, P2, M1K, P2, K2, M1P, * K2, P2 *
7: K2, P2, K1, P2, K2, P1, * K2, P2 *
8: K2, P2, M1K, K1, P2, K2, P1, M1P, * K2, P2 *
9: K2, P2, (K2, P2) twice, * K2, P2 *
10: K2, P2, M1P, (K2, P2) twice, M1K, * K2, P2 *
11: K2, P2, P1, (K2, P2) twice, K1, * K2, P2 *
12: K2, P2, M1P, P1, (K2, P2) twice, K1, M1K, * K2, P2 *
13: K2, P2, (P2, K2) three times, * K2, P2 *
14: K2, P2, slip 12 stitches onto waste yarn, * K2, P2 *

Work K2P2 ribbing for 15 rounds. (knit until desired length; I use 10 rounds for women's mitt & 15 rounds for men's mitt)
Bind off in K2P2 pattern.

Put 12 stitches onto two needles.
Pick up 4 stitches around thumb hole using 3rd needle.
Work P2K2 ribbing for 8 rounds. <-- Note you start with P2
Bind off in P2K2 pattern.
M1K is an increase that is a knit stitch. I used whatever method, depending on the stitches adjacent to where I wanted to insert the increase, that seemed to create less gap.

M1P is an increase that is a purl stitch. I used whatever method, depending on the stitches adjacent to where I wanted to insert the increase, that seemed to create less gap.

Note: The mitts are interchangeable, so you can just make two identical mitts. However if you want a little more "symmetry", you can work it as above for the left mitt. And then for the right mitt thumb gusset, work the pink thumb gusset sections in the reverse order (after working a K2). And when you later pick up the thumb, you'll just start the ribbing with K2 P2; it'll be evident when you're looking at your knitting. :-)

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

Yarn 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

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