Sunday, October 12, 2008

T is for...Tip Down Mittens (with Gusset)

Tip Down Mittens (with Gusset)

Written for Magic Loop
Today is the first day of snow for us in Central Montana. We've had a few flurries, but the snow is sticking and my kids are in the back yard screaming and throwing snow at each other. To celebrate, I knit a pair of mittens.

The best way to explain this process is that it is similar to knitting a bottom up raglan sweater. The thumb and body are knit separately, then joined at the widest part of the hand and decreased toward the wrist.
These mittens are loose fitting on average women’s hands. They can be layered over thinner mittens or fingerless mitts on cold days. The gauge is tight for the yarn weight to help trap warm air around the hands.

Use your favorite method to M1 (make one.) I placed a backward loop on the right needle for all of my increases.
If you've never done the famous Judy Becker Magic Cast On, Cat Bordhi has an interesting video here.
Yarn: my handspun, 3-ply bulky weight, 200 yards. The finished yarn averaged 6 wraps per inch. Good substitutes would be Noro Iro, Nashua Wooly Stripes, or SWS. I recommend that you browse for something rustic and sassy on
Needles: 32 inch or larger size 9 US circular needle, or as needed to obtain gauge.
Gauge: 16 stitches and 21 rows equal 4 inches.
Also helpful: 3 stitch markers, waste yarn or stitch holder.

Thumb, complete first
Cast On: Using Judy Becker’s Magic Cast On, wrap 6 stitches onto your needles. (Three on each needle tip.)
Round 1: Knit around.
Increase round: *M1, knit 1.* Repeat between * to end. (12 stitches)
Continue knitting even until thumb measures 2 ½ inches. Break yarn leaving a 12 inch tail. Place all stitches on waste yarn or spare needles. (I used spare dpns.)
Cast On: Using Judy Becker’s Cast On, wrap 10 stitches onto your needles. (Five stitches on each needle tip.) Mark beginning of round.
Round 1: Knit around.
Round 2: *Knit one, M1, Knit across to last stitch before loop, M1, Knit one.* Repeat between *.
Repeat these two rounds until you have 34 stitches.
Knit even until body measures 6 inches.
Attach thumb to body

Knit 17, place marker, Knit 6 thumb stitches, slide over onto circular needle, K 6 thumb stitches , place marker, Knit to end. (46 stitches)
Knit one round even.
Decrease Round 1: Knit to marker, SSK, knit to last two stitches before next marker, K2tog, knit to end.
Decrease Round 2: Knit around.
Repeat these two rounds until two stitches remain between markers.
Knit next round as follows: Knit to stitch before marker, remove marker, SSK, slip next stitch to right hand needle, remover marker, place slipped stitch back to left hand needle and K2tog. (34 stitches)
Knit next round even.
Work K1P1 ribbing for 2 inches. Bind off. Make second mitten the same way. Weave in ends.

Use yarn tail from thumb to sew the gap closed. Block as desired.
Note to spinners: This yarn was spun woolen with hand-carded rolags. I allowed the neps to stay where they landed in the single. When I chain plied the single to get a bulky weight yarn, neps were locked in place and added little pops of color throughout the finished mittens.
I chose to knit this project without setting the twist first. I knit it at a very tight gauge for the grist of the yarn and soaked the finished mittens in hot water and wool wash. This allowed the yarn to bloom and make a dense, wind-proof mitten. I recommend it highly to anyone spinning yarn for this project.


Susan said...

Great lesson! I can't believe the snow. I must have left the memories in Vermont when I moved to San Diego. lol. Great FO.

Lovs2Knit said...

Nice mittens! The kiddo was so excited Sunday morning when she woke up and saw the snow. She's kinda bummed that it's gone now but it's only a matter of time before it snows again. :)

Team Knit ! said...

Awesome mittens! thanks for the details, I'm always interested in how people get from point A to point B.

- Julie

Jessica said...

I haven't been so successful with mittens recently, but I want to take these for a whirl! Thanks so much for sharing the pattern!

Susan said...

The mittens are great but I'm horrified by the snow! I'm so not ready for winter.

Beth said...

I love these mittens! I said to my husband the day before yesterday that I wanted top down mittens so I could custom fit mittens to my tiny little hands. Then yesterday I found your pattern! And it doesn't use a ton of yarn either. Thanks for this great pattern!