I started these blue diagonal rib mitts for my friend Jennifer last winter. I made her boyfriend, Paul Second Grade a yeti hat to wear while he biked and I had some yarn left over. Its one of those U.F.O.’s (unfinished objects) that flies off the radar, usually never to be heard from again. But the crisp evening we had a few days ago reminded me of them, tucked away in my knitting box, waiting to fulfill their destiny. Yes, I am aware that I just got a tad melodramatic. Its part of my charm.
I’m lucky that Jennifer was nice enough not to mind terribly that she never got them last winter, despite the unfinished product being dangled in front of her. She’s a good sport. Happily these will now be ready just in time to wear during the 2 1/2 weeks that is fall in NYC, and hopefully be helpful in the long winter months ahead.
The diagonal rib is really ideal for mitts. It creates a natural gather that hugs your hands and keeps everything snug and warm. The open fingers let you text, shuffle songs on your ipod or buckle your jacket without having to take anything off. Besides all that they’re just darn cute! Just look at how pretty that ribbing is.
I make them in the round because I look for any opportunity to avoid unsightly seams in knitting. Here I am using my teeny tiny Clover circular needles, size 4, 6 inches in length. I wish I could tell you where to find some of your own, but the nice ladies at Purl SoHo told me that they are out of production. Such a tragedy. I was so going to buy extras, one pair of mine met an ill fate at the hands of a cat. He chewed the heck out of one pointy end.
After a few inches of plain diagonal ribbing I start increasing in one spot for a thumb gusset. When that is big enough I put those stitches on some waste yarn to hold their place and then cast on one stitch in the gap and continue knitting in the round till its long enough to just cover your knuckles. At this point you cast off, and make sure that you cast off very loosely because you want the fabric to have ease and stretch a bit. You don’t want your hands to feel constricted, and it makes it more difficult to put them on and take them off if you cast off tightly.
Now you just put the held stitches onto the needles. You’ll need to switch to DPNs (double pointed needles) at this point because even the little Clover needles can’t handle a circle that small! Just be mindful to tighten your yarn properly after each needle to avoid an ugly gap. Knit a few rows for the thumb and cast off again. Repeat for the other mitt, weave in your ends and then you are done and done! Its not necessary to block these. As they are worn they will become a rightie and a leftie, though you could press them with a little bit of steam before hand if you wanted to. When I am done with them I will post the super simple directions. I’m struggling a little bit with how to make the diagonal pattern follow through into the thumb gusset.
What a quick and easy gift idea!