Saturday, March 27, 2010

Week Thirteen: Security Mitts

I was working on a baby cardigan this week that's turning out to be trickier than anticipated (short story: short rows). I had to rip back and restart it. By the time I realized I wasn't going to finish the pattern in time for this week, it was Friday.

linus flowerAs it happened, I recently spring-cleaned my computer, and found a bunch of old text files hiding in a partitioned drive, one of which was a knitting pattern I'd written two years ago but never shared with anyone.

(I called them "Linus Mitts" in my Rav projects page because the yarn was security-blanket blue).

Feeling like a cheat, I set out to knit a new pair of mitts from the pattern, intending to post it as I'd written it. But to my surprise, I found myself first tweaking it, then overhauling it entirely.

Security MittsThe end result, knitting-wise, is not a lot different, but the pattern reads much differently, because (surprise surprise) I am a much better pattern writer today than I was two years ago.

I shouldn't really have been surprised, I know. It's a lesson I've learned over and over, and one I hope to pass on to my Z and any other munchkins who come into my care: Stick with it, kid. You'll get better.

Security Mitts

Security Mitts are a quick, easy way to keep some of your favorite comfort yarn close at hand. They are knit in the round with the thumbhole worked back and forth.

Yarn: You will need approximately 100 yards of a bulky-weight or lighter yarn for best results. (Pictured, new mitts: Araucania Copihue in PT503 overdyed with blue food coloring, bulky, 2 skeins / 100g / 96 yards, 100% superfine alpaca; old mitts: Patons Classic Wool Merino in Worn Denim, worsted, 1 skein / 100g / 223 yards, 100% merino)

Note about yarn: I tend to like knitting at a pretty tight gauge, but the new mitts, which were done in bulky yarn on US size 5s, are about as tight as I'd go. I actually prefer the gauge of the old ones, which are a light worsted. Unfortunately I couldn't locate them to compare gauge and measurements. I can tell you the new ones are a bit bigger than the old ones, and I can tell you that I noted in my projects page for the old ones that I used about 110 yards of that light worsted yarn.


4 US size 5 double-pointed needles
tapestry needle

Gauge (new mitts): 4 inches = 18 sts / 28 rows in stockinette

Finished Measurements (new mitts): Length: Approximately 6". Circumference: Approximately 8".

Symbols and Abbreviations Used:

k = knit
p = purl
(x) = repeat x as indicated
CO = cast on
BO = bind off
ssk = slip slip knit: Slip one stitch, then slip the next. Insert left needle into the front loops of the slipped stitches and knit them together through the back loops.
yo = yarn over
sl1k = slip stitch with yarn in back, as if to knit
sl1p = slip stitch with yarn in front, as if to purl


CO 36 sts. Join, being careful not to twist.

Rounds 1-5: (k2, p2). Repeat till end of round.
Round 6: k.
Round 7: (ssk, yo). Repeat till end of round.
Round 8: k.
Round 9: (yo, ssk). Repeat till end of round.
Round 10: k.
Round 11: (ssk, yo). Repeat till end of round.
Round 12 k.
Rounds 13-17: (k2, p2). Repeat till end of round.
Round 18: k.
Rounds 19-20: k2, p until last 2 sts, k2.

At this point, turn the work so the wrong side is facing. You will be knitting back and forth for the thumb hole.

Row 21 (WS): sl1p, p1, k2, p to last 4 sts, k2, p2.
Row 22 (RS): sl1k, k1, p2, k to last 4 sts, p2, k2.

Rows 23-40: Repeat Rows 21-22 nine more times (or as many times as necessary to accommodate the wearer's thumb).

Join to resume working in the round.

Rounds 41-42: k2, p to last 2 sts, k2.
Round 43: k.
Rounds 44-45: (k2, p2). Repeat until end of round.
Round 46: k.

BO loosely. Using tapestry needle, weave in loose ends.

Make two mitts.