Sunday, February 18, 2007

Tip Down Mitten Pattern

Wanna finally use that Noro that you got for Christmas but are struggling to find a pattern? I used 2 skeins of Noro K for these little monkeys

Short Attention Span Mittens
I love a simple knitting project that I can make while traveling, waiting for an appointment or chatting. And everyone knows about my preoccupation with the noble mitten
With my recent infatuation with toe-up socks turning into a full-blown obsession, I decided to try to find a basic fingertip-down mitten, using the same shaping that I’ve been using for my sock-toes. I found a couple of patterns but none of them suited my odd-shaped hands. What to do? Make my own pattern!

The challenge was creating a pattern that required little thought, something that I could pull off, without referring to a pattern. So, the repetitions included here are simple (24 for the tip, 28 for the hand, 24 rows for the wrist and 20 for the thumb) – it doesn’t get easier than that.

You will need:
*100 grams of light to medium worsted weight yarn (you should have lots left over but just to be sure that you have enough – 100 grams should do it)- I used some left-over Red Heart Comfort for my test pair, 2 skeins of Noro for the 2nd pair
*4 or 5 X 3.5 mm. double-pointed needles (depending on your taste)
*a note pad & pencil (essential for your first pair – jot down the number of rows that it will take, in your own tension, to reach the end of your hand, your wrist, your thumb ect.)

I started with a provisional (crochet) cast-on and the excellent tutorial found on Knitty. It’s simply 24 stitches, worked in short rows until you have the toe of a sock (or in this case, tip of a mitten). I use 3 needles, with 1 to work my stitches (4 needles in total) but you can use 5 if that’s what you’re comfortable with. You should have 48 stitches all around so place them on your needles according to your preference; I have 24 on needle 1, 12 each on needles 2 & 3. These numbers will of course change if you are using 5 needles – adjust accordingly

Keep in mind that a narrower or shorter hand will take less rows/ stitches. If you need your tip to be narrower, cast on less stitches – try 20 or 22, and see if that suits your hand.

After your mitten tip is finished, knit XX rounds (I knit 28 rounds); this should be as long as it takes to reach your thumb crotch – get your minds outta the gutter, folks – crotch, like a tree crotch. You know - the spot between your thumb and hand?
Right here
Yes, my hand is that warped and gnarly – thanks for noticing. You’re my favorite!

This pattern was an excellent reference to help decide how long to make the top if my mitten, as well as how to decrease for your wrist. For the thumb, I was torn – how to proceed? Follow my normal thumb? No, let’s try something new? But new is scary…Long story short, I used this tutorial to make my thumb for this project.

Mitten 1 - Knit 46 stitches, then work thumb like this – in waste yarn, knit the next 8 stitches (yes, you will be knitting into the next round – breathe - everything will be fine), slip needle 1’s stitches back onto needle 1 and the stitches knit on the waste yarn back onto needle 4; re-knit these stitches in your regular yarn.
Your new starting point will be exactly ½ way around your mitten from where you began (trust me, this will ensure a symmetrical mitten)
Complete the round and continue on to knit 5 more rounds.

Mitten 2 - Knit 18 stitches – in waste yarn, knit the next 8 (yes, you will be knitting into the next round – remember? we just discussed this! Geez wouldya breathe already!?!), slip these stitches back onto their original needles; re-knit these stitches in your regular yarn. (On this mitten, your starting point does not change – use your original start)
Complete the round and continue on to knit 5 more rounds.

Your decreases for the base of your thumb/ top of your wrist will be equally balanced around your thumb’s base (d’uh!)

Begin wrist decreases: what was your beginning (where you cast on) will now be the opposite side of your new ‘start’ (see notes above for 2nd mitt)
Knit 20, ssk, knit 8, k2tog, k 16 (changes for Mitten #2 = knit 16, NOT 20)
Knit 1 plain row
Knit 17, ssk, knit 8, k2tog, k 17

Repeat decrease row every second row until 40 stitches remain (4 decrease rows followed by plain rows, end with plain row) Knit 2 more plain rows . In the Noro, I added an extra 8 rows to compensate for the thinner bits in the spinning – does anyone else find their spinning extremely tight?

Begin k2p2 ribbing (I prefer a long cuff because of the cold, damp winds along the river; this way you can tuck them up under your coat sleeve cuff. You can make your cuff to suit your preference and climate)
Mine was 24 rows. Cut yarn and weave into wrong side of knitting
At this point, you have an odd fish-shaped object that looks like this – do you see that yellow thread? That’s the scrap yarn where your thumb will be!

It’s hard to see with such little contrast so here is the same mitten, this time knit in color-saturated Noro K. Look closely at the purple yarn – see? It’s hiding right there and you can see how the thumb ‘lives’ behind the hand, offset to fit a real human hand

Yeah, I know – it’s hard to see – look harder, dammit! Yellow on purple – you can’t miss it!
Start thumb! You’re almost finished! Pick up stitches on scrap yarn – you’ll have 8 on needle 1, 4 on needle 2, and 4 on needle 4.

I slip my needle under one of the 2 parts of the stitch that is on the scrap yarn – if you do it this way, make sure that you’ve picked the same side of each stitch so that your work hangs neatly – the other option is to simply pull out the scrap yarn and slip the open stitch onto your needle like this

Knit 8 stitches on needle 1, pu 1 stitch, knit next 8 stitches, pu 1 stitch – 18 stitches


Knit 20 rounds and begin decreases. Knit 2tog all the way around – cut yarn (about 12”) and with a darning needle, thread yarn through the remaining 9 stitches and gather. Pull thread to inside of thumb, secure and weave yarn end into thumb

Gratuitous Noro Shot

Yummy, yummy, yummy Noro
Totally gratuitous Austria/ Ski reference
This pattern is intended for free sharing – NOT commercial reproduction. Do not re-print this pattern without my express written consent. Play fair folks – give credit where it’s due. Otherwise, enjoy it!


Anonymous said...

This actually looks like a mitten even I can do...Love the Noro- where did you find it? The colours are awesome. I just bought the spring Knit It! which has a knitted tote bag pattern and new squares and baby blankies.

R the Maggagie Mommy

Bumbershootska said...

it's super simple-dimple! When you come to visit next time, I'll take you to Textile Traditions for a Noro hunt! Bring that Knit It!, too :)

bl3h said...

Yay! a mitten pattern that doesnt leave a big clumpy mess at your finger tips! Im about an inch away from getting to where the thumb starts. So far, this has been a blast =) Looking forward to wearing these on my trip to Ohio. Thank you for sharing! =)

Bumbershootska said...

Thanks for the comment! I hate the baggy thumb-regions of the traditional mitten patterns too ;)