Last time we ended with knitting up to the top of the thumb.Now we are going to start decreasing our stitches in order to taper over the fingers. First, count the number of stitches you have.In this case I had 34 stitches. You will of course have more if you are making larger mittens, or less if you are making smaller mittens. You will want to decrease your stitches at 5 different points in your row, as evenly spaced out as possible. Thirty-four is not evenly divisible by five, so I fudged it a bit. Here I knit two together at every 7th stitch, with the last going at the 6th.Now knit one row plain.In the next row, decrease again, knitting two together in the same places you did it last time. Remember that you now have four less stitches, so adjust your count accordingly. Keep going until you reach the top of your hand.So you have stitches here on 3 needles.We want all the stitches on 2 needles only now, divided evenly, so start sliding stitches from your middle needle onto the other two until it’s empty and stitches on both sides are equal.Like this:Now we start the grafting process. For this you will need a darning needle or blunt tapestry needle.I’m not sure I can explain this properly, so I’m not going to bother. But here is a pretty clear explanation. Essentially you use the needle as a knitting needle and alternately purl and knit your stitches off the needle, pulling off every second one.For my first try I didn’t do a very good job. I think I forgot to stick the needle in knitways and purlways, only doing it purlways, and so my edge is not as good as it could be.Now turn the mitten inside out and stick your needle through.Finish it off with a few hidden stitches and tie a knot.In our final lesson we will learn how to finish off the thumb. Stay tuned!
So two weeks ago we learned how to cast on and create a ribbed cuff on four needles for a mitten.
Today we are going to learn how to increase our stitching in order to accommodate for the thumb.
When we cast on, we did ten stitches on the first needle, ten on the second, and then eight on the third. The third is where this thumb will go. The unique thing about these mittens is that the thumb doesn’t stick out the side — it comes in front, like it actually does with your hand. So when you’re making the mitten for the other hand, you would want to reverse the order of your needles, and have it go eight, ten, ten, instead of what we’ve done here, which is ten, ten, eight. Sorry, I know that’s confusing. It makes sense later.
So in the next row, you want to start with the plain knit stitch. Apparently I knit upside-down, according to my grandmother, so I have to do it in purl. As you are knitting, you want to increase two stitches on each needle. I can’t really illustrate this properly, so for good diagrams on increasing your stitches you can look here or here.
On your third needle, the one with the eight stitches, knit the first four stitches, and then purl one, knit two, and purl the last one. The reason you do the purling here is to mark where the thumb is — it creates a line as it gets bigger and makes the thing easier to find.
When you get to the thumb marking, increase two more stitches inside the purl stitches, and purl the last one as usual. Knit two rows plain again, remembering to keep up marking those purl stitches. You can see here what my increased stitches look like.
More next time!
Last week we had a little fun with the MacGuyver mittens. This week I bring you the real deal.
Trace your hand (or someone else’s hand, it’s up to you, of course) with the thumb sticking out a bit. Cut out your tracing, leaving about half an inch on the outside edges. Use that tracing as a template and cut it out of both sides of your felted sweater, using the ribbing on the bottom of the sweater as the opening of the mitten.
If you want to be really clever, you can sew a loop of thread onto one mitten at the cuff, and a button onto the other mitten in the same place. Then you can slip the loop over the button and keep your mittens together!