Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Mini Ice Age Mittens

The last two cold winters here in Maine have inspired me to start knitting mittens.
I am on about my 6th pair now.
I am calling them ice age mittens.  It helps to have a bit of humor when the snow is so high you can't see out your windows and it is so cold,  you can barely start your car.

I have made so many pairs now, that I am not needing a pattern anymore.  I have mostly used handspun and some commercial odds and ends of yarns as well.  I am knitting these on 8 and 10 double point needles and have doubled the strands to make a bulky yarn. Some came out a bit bigger depending on the yarn thickness I used.   The pattern is below.  It is for an adult size average mitten.
I made up the pattern and it is quite simple.  My usual free way of knitting. I like mindless projects, not counting stitches. I also like things that are not perfect and look home knitted. 

The big pair on the left in blue was done in three strands of pretty thick yarn and they will fit a man with larger hands or go over another pair for super warmth. The black and white are handspun of one strand alpaca one on of Blue Face Leicester. I used hand spun white handspun and the hand dyed green for the green and white pair.  The blue pair are all kinds of odds and end as are the red ones.

                                                     Mini Ice Age Mittens Pattern
( This pattern assumes you have some basic knitting skills to knit in the round on circulars. Otherwise, pretty easy)

Bulky Yarn or two strands that equal a bulky yarn.8 and 10 DP needles.
Cast on 24 Stiches on to 8 double point needles so that you end up with the stitches on three needles.  I use a knitted cast on.
Start working in the round.  I personally do one row before I start the circular knitting as it is easier not to twist stitches for me. 
K1, P1 Rib for 2 or 2.5 inches depending on how long you like the cuff.
K 1 row on the number 8 needles.
Change to the number 10 needles and K 3 rows around
Knit one more row and increase 1 stitch as you go around. ( 25 stitches)
Next Row -start thumb increase- Knit 12, place a marker, K in front and back of next stitch, place a second marker,  K12. 
Knit 1 Row.
Increase in first and last stitch of thumb gore in next row and K around.
Repeat these two rows  until you have 10 stitches total between the markers.
Place thumb stitches on a holder.
In the next row,  K around casting on two stitches over the thumb gore. (26 stitches)
K the next several rows until your little finger just reaches to the top of your knitting when trying on the mitten,  or 2 inches from the desired finished length of mitten.
Next row decrease 8 stitches evenly around.  (19 stitches)
K next 2 rows
Next Row  Decrease 9 stitches around ( 10 stitches)
K 1 Row
Next Row- K 1, K2  together around
Bind off the top of the mitten by pulling your yarn through each stitch until all are off the needles
Pick up  thumb stitches from the stitch holder and divide onto three size 8 needles.
K around  knitting in two stitches over thumb gore into fabric in the first row. (12 stitches)
K to 1/2 inch  from end of the thumb desired length.
K 2, K 2 tog  around.
K next Row
Next Row -K1, K 2 tog around.
Bind off in the same manner as the tip of the mitten by pulling the yarn through each stitch.
Finish Mitten by weaving in ends and yarn with darning needle.

I have made variations of this pattern and used less stitches for grandkids etc. It is pretty mindless once you have made a few pairs. The big needles help it go fast.
I use the 8 needles on the thumb as they make the thumb a bit warmer with the fabric more tightly knitted.