This week I am re-setting the bar about as low as it can go.
I didn't realize, when I started this thing, that I'd feel so much pressure to always come up with something original and innovative, and to top whatever else I'd done to that point. (Obviously I haven't always topped myself, but I still feel the need to try.) And any rational knitter would follow this line of thought to its natural conclusion, which is that if I really did top myself every week, by Christmas I'd have to be delivering a full set of charted and written instructions for a five-dimensional levitating space blanket in seven sizes. And that way lies madness.
So this week, partly because I was desperate and partly because I wanted to take off some of the pressure, I looked at my list of ideas and picked the easiest, most basic item on it. No matter what, you guys, next week is going to be better than this. (I don't know how effective this will really be for soothing my psyche. I can already hear phantom voices in the aether calling, "Where's my space blanket?".)
But really, there are a lot of reasons to like this project.
1. It uses a little of my neverending stash of rose-colored Dazzleaire.
Oh man. Don't get me wrong, I love this yarn. It's 60% acrylic, 40% nylon, and the nylon gives it this little halo which you don't see a lot in acrylic yarns. And it's soft and squooshy and nice to work with. It's discontinued now. I only have some because when I first started knitting, a lady at our church gave me two garbage bags full of her old yarn, and in them was enough rose-pink Dazzleaire to knit a sweater. I couldn't knit a sweater out of what's left now. I kind of ration it out. But anyway, yay Dazzleaire.
2. It's based on one of the first patterns I ever improvised on my own.
When I wanted to make a pair of armwarmers, I was convinced there had to be some trick to it. I had only just learned how to knit in the round at the time (thank you, knittinghelp.com), and I couldn't find a pattern for the Platonic ideal of a mitt that I was picturing. I understand now why I couldn't find one--it's just too simple--but newbie-knitter me didn't know that, and was pretty thrilled to figure out that knitting a tube with a slit in it would make an armwarmer. Still and all, I figure there are other newbie knitters out there facing the same problem. This pattern is for them.
3. It gives me warm fuzzies.
When I worked in child care, anytime I wore fingerless gloves to work, the toddlers would come up to me and tug them off my arms so they could wear them. I wound up knitting about half a dozen pairs of baby mitts so I could keep my own. The little ones were thrilled.
I decided to knit a pair for my Z, who is not quite toddling yet. I found when I tried to replicate what I'd done all those years ago that the mitts turned out too big for her, so I scaled them down. I may come back and add stitch counts for more sizes another time.
I am not going to be switching this pattern to for-sale like the previous ones from Pattern a Week. Free now, free always.
I'll also be leaving last week's free pattern up for free for now. I'd like to sell it eventually, but not before I take some more pictures and polish it a little.
Fair warning: This pattern has not been test-knitted by anyone other than me.
Basic Baby Mitts
Yarn: You will need approximately 25 yards of an aran-weight yarn for best results. (Pictured: Caron Dazzleaire in 2846 Victorian Rose – aran, 1 skein / 85g / 190 yards, 60% acrylic/40% nylon)
4 US size 5 double-pointed needles
Gauge: 4 inches = 18 sts / 30 rows in stockinette
Finished Measurements: Length: 3.5". Circumference: 5.25". This is very small. If your baby is 6 months or older, I recommend making the mitts larger. Length may be adjusted by adding as many rows of stockinette as desired. Circumference may be adjusted by adding to the # of cast-on sts in multiples of 4.
CO 24 sts. Join to work in the round, being careful not to twist.
Rounds 1-3: (k2, p2). Repeat to end of round.
Rounds 4-13: Knit.
Turn work. Rows 14-19 will be worked back and forth to form the thumb hole.
Row 14: Slip 1st st with yarn in front (that is, the inside of the mitt). Purl to end.
Row 15: Slip 1st st with yarn in back (still the inside of the mitt). Knit to end.
Rows 16-19: Repeat Rows 14-15 twice.
Now join to continue working in the round.
Rounds 20-21: Knit.
Rounds 22-24: (k2, p2). Repeat to end of round.
BO all sts loosely. Using tapestry needle, weave in all loose ends.