Tuesday, March 06, 2018

On To Finer Things - Mittens Part 2

To finer yarn at least ~

Fingerless mitts, in fingering weight yarn using magic loop and 2 contrast colors
You can probably guess that to make a pair of Share A Cup mittens with fingering weight yarn, the pattern will stay pretty much the same except for number of stitches and size of the needles.


You'll need a skein, 438 yards (400 meters) of pretty fingering weight (sock) yarn (MC) and approximately 100 yards (91.4 meters) of contrasting color for your cups (CC) (the mustard gold of the cups above).  If you'd like to do a third color for the background of the cups, as I did with the white in the sample above, you'll need only 100 yards or less of that as well (CC2).  A short piece of smooth yarn in a shockingly different color from your MC.

Needles to give you a fabric you like with your tension.  I used size US 2 (2.75 mm) and US 3 (3.25 mm).  This makes a fairly flexible fabric, if you prefer something denser go down to a US 1 (2.25 mm) and US 2 (2.75 mm).  I should say here that I use the larger needles size on my color work section.  I just know from experience that this is going to give me the nicest final fabric.  If you're color work tension is fine without changing needle size, then just stick with the smaller needle throughout.  By the way, do you know this tip for selecting needle size to suit your yarn if you aren't sure ~

Slip a piece of your yarn into the needle sizer to give you an approximate idea of what needle might work best (particularly helpful with handspun).  Of course, your personal knitting tension is still going to dictate the final decision but I find this to be a helpful tip sometimes.

A beginning of the round marker.  Sewing up needle to weave in ends.


As in the worsted weight version of the mitten, the easiest cuff in the world is to simply cast on with MC the number of required stitches (in this case 60) on the smaller size needle, join in the round and begin knitting to make a nice rolled cuff.  Or work back and forth to make a garter stitch cuff (in the round, that would be k 1 round, p 1 round).  If you prefer ribbing on the cuff, do a few rows of rib.  I like to have about 10 to 12 rounds worked before I start the color work section.

But maybe you'd like to do an I-cord cast on to produce a nice edging like this ~

VeryPink Knits has a nice video tutorial on how to do the I-cord cast on here (all of her tutorials are helpful!)  But honestly, on this small item, I think the simplest and fastest thing to do is just a 3-stitch I-cord with the number of repeats that you need stitches (in this case 60). 

3 stitch I-cord on the right (colored pencils on the left)   

Pick up stitches from the I-cord 

...join, and begin working in the round, knit plain for 10 rounds.  Switching to larger size needle, work 1 more round, then begin the motif.  I'll repeat them here so you don't have to look back at the previous post 

Left mitten motif

Right mitten motif
Follow these charts, using one or two contrasting colors (your choice) with the larger needle.  Knit 1 more round plain with the MC before switching back to the smaller size needle to finish up the hand of your mitt.  Work until you reach the base of your thumb, the spot you want to place your thumb opening.  For me that was 25 more rows with the fingering yarn.  Remember the tip of adding a few extra stitches to allow for ease around the thumb area?  I didn't find I needed to do that with the finer yarn, but do add them if you need it.

Red yarn for the afterthought thumb
For the left hand, knit around until you are 10 stitches from the end of the round.  With your placement yarn, knit the next 8 stitches.  Now, slip those 8 stitches back to the left needle and knit them again with your working yarn as well as the last 2 stitches of the round.  If you look at the photo above, you'll see the red yarn for my thumb stitches.  It's just going to hang out there as you finish knitting the hand of your mitten.  When working the right hand, you will knit 2, work your 8 thumb placement stitches, then knit on to the end of the round.  I find that giving myself 2 stitches before the side of the mitten keeps it from distorting, rather than placing it right on the edge.

Continue knitting until you reach the place you want your fingerless mitts to end, usually right around the knuckle of your middle finger.  I knit 20 rows, decreasing 2 stitches evenly spaced on that last row (I found that helped to snug up the top of the mitt)  Bind off with an I-cord bind off to match your I-cord cast on (if that's how you started your mitt)  I find these instructions from Craftsy's blog very clear and easy (lots of good tips on that Craftsy blog!)  If you started your mitt with ribbing or garter stitch, I would stop knitting the hand of the mitt a few rows sooner and then work either ribbing or garter to match your cast on.

In the next post, we'll finish the afterthought thumbs on our mittens!  In the meantime, what edging have you used?  Did you try the I-cord?  I love the look!

I wanted to apologize, too, for taking so long to get this second post up for you!  Sometimes life...right?  I'll be faster getting the thumb post up.  And thank you again for knitting along.  Don't forget to ask any questions if you have them either in the comments here or over in the Ravelry group for The Woolen Homestead.  And post your project pictures there for a chance to win the March prize ;)

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